Monday, May 27, 2013

Brown Sugar Banana Bread Pancakes with Vanilla Maple Glaze

Breakfast you say?? I normally don't post what I make for breakfast, but this one was just begging to be posted!

I was going to make Banana Bread but then of course on Pinterest I found the recipe for Brown Sugar Banana Bread Pancakes with Vanilla Maple Glaze from How Sweet It Is and it was just calling my name!

Brown Sugar Banana Bread Pancakes

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl.
  • Whisk together the dry ingredients and add in milk and vanilla, stirring to combine. The mixture will still be dry.
  • Add in mashed bananas and mix.
  • Add in melted butter and stir until batter is somewhat smooth.
  • Heat a skillet or grilled on medium heat.
  • Using a 1/3 cup measure, spoon batter into rounds cook about 4-5 minutes. (I made 2 pancakes from each 1/3 cup)
  • Flip and cook for 2-3 minute (I lightly pressed the pancakes when I flipped them over)

  • Keep pancakes warm in a 250º oven until ready to serve.

Vanilla Maple Glaze

1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until smooth. Drizzle over pancakes.

There you have it! The pancakes are sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good! Be patient when cooking them, as they do take longer to cook than normal pancakes and the mixture is pretty thick... Trust me, they are so worth it!!!

Homemade Saturday

Ok.... I know it's not Saturday again.... I ended up not cooking on Saturday as I went to my cousins wedding. :) Which was wonderful!

Last night I cooked Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Shells. I found the recipe on Pinterest and have been wanting to make it for a while. The hubby has also been asking me to make them too :)

The original recipe came from Tasty Kitchen, but as you know how things go in my kitchen, I always tweek them! :)

Tree's Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Shells


  • 1 package (12 Oz. Size) Jumbo Shells
  • 4 Chicken Thighs
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • Garlic Powder
  • Cumin
  • Salt & Pepper
  • ⅔ cups Frank's Thick Hot Sauce
  • ⅓ cups Bleu Cheese
  • ⅓ cups Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
  • ⅓ cups Parmesan Romano Cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups Ricotta Cheese
  • Prego Savory Bacon Alfredo

  • Prepare the pasta according to package directions then let cool.
  • Boil the chicken until cooked, about 20 minutes
  • Take the skin off of the chicken and shred the chicken into small pieces. Then cook in a skillet over medium heat with the vegetable oil, Garlic Powder, Cumin and Salt & Pepper, until no longer pink.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the Hot Sauce, Blue Cheese, Mozzarella, Parmesan Romano and Ricotta, Egg and Shredded Chicken
  • Stuff each shell with as much filling as it will hold. 
  • Place ina prepaired 9x13 pan, seam-side up. 
  • Lightly pour the alfredo sauce over the shells,
  • Bake at 400ºF for 20–30 minutes or until heated through.
Volia! There you have it! I took a chance with the bacon alfredo sauce, but it was awesome with the shells.

Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day! Thank you to all of those who have served for our country.

I hope everyone has a safe, enjoyable and yummy holiday...

No cooking dinner in the kitchen today... Heading over to my mom's for a cook out and her yummy pulled pork :)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Review Day Tuesday!

Myself and a few of the girls from work decided we needed to get out for lunch and get away from the office for a little bit. We basically did a hop, skip and a jump over to Rey Azteca to get a bite to eat.

The hubby and I have eaten here before, it is actually one of our favorite Mexican places to eat at. We've been to the location in Penn Center and New Kensington and the food has been great at both locations. My hubby grew up out west in Arizona and California and he said it is the closest to west coast Mexican food that he has had out here on the east coast.

They always give complementary chips and salsa. The day we ate there, they served a festive assortment of chips.

I ordered the Fajita Salad with chicken. The salad is served in a crispy bowl tortilla, tender chicken with bell peppers, onions, tomatoes topped with lettuce, tomato, sour cream & guacamole dip.

This is one of my favorite entrees for lunch and is the perfect size for lunch. Their service is also very quick, we were in and out of there with in 45 minutes, as we have an hour for lunch.

If you are looking for authentic mexican food, give Rey Azteca a try. I'm sure you won't regret it!

P.S. Their Camarones Al Majo De Ajo is awesome!

Rey Azteca on Foodio54

Rey Azteca on Urbanspoon

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Homemade Saturday

Ok.... I know it's not Saturday today.... I'm making up for yesterday, since we ended up going out to dinner with my mom.

Today the hubby and I did yard work. The hubby tilled the soil for the garden for one last time. Then while I was planting the garden, he cleaned out the gutters.

So here is the garden... No more container garden! :) This year I planted: (I may have went a little overboard)
  • Tomatoes
  • Corn
  • Bell Peppers
  • Jalapenos
  • Habaneros
  • Onions
  • Green Beans
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Zucchini
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Butter Crisp Lettuce
  • Green Onions

Then in the pots around the garden, are the herbs:

  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Chives 
Once we were done with our work outside for the day I head in and made dinner, Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers. I saw this on pinterest a while ago and decided to give it a go.

I have to say they turned out REALLY good! Half of one pepper is quite filling too!

The original recipe can be found at Peace, Love and Low Carb.

Philly Cheese Steak Stuffed Peppers

1/2 lb. Thinly Sliced Roast Beef
8 Slices Provolone Cheese
2 Large Green Bell Peppers
1 Medium Sweet Onion – Sliced
6 oz. Baby Bella Mushrooms - Sliced
4 Tbs. Butter
1 Tbs. Garlic - Minced (I used 6 cloves of fresh garlic)
Salt and Pepper - to taste

  1. Slice peppers in half lengthwise, remove ribs and seeds.
  2. In a large sauté pan over low-medium heat, add butter, olive oil, garlic, mushrooms onions and a little salt and pepper.  Sauté until onions and mushroom are nice and caramelized.  About 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 400°
  4. Slice roast beef into thin strips and add to the onion/mushroom mixture.  Allow to cook 5-10 minutes.
  5. Line the inside of each pepper with a slice of provolone cheese.  Fill each pepper with meat mixture until they are nearly overflowing.  Top each pepper with another slice of provolone cheese.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese on top is golden brown. 

Now off to watch the Pen's game! :)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

In honor of National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, I made Brown Butter Cream Cheese Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookies :)

Tree's Brown Butter Cream Cheese Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 cup butter
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • Preheat your oven to 375°
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan until brown.
  • Cream the butter, cream cheese, brown sugar and white sugar together with an electric mixer until smooth.
  • Add the eggs and beat until combined.
  • Turn the mixer on low and mix in the flour, salt and baking soda.
  • Fold in the butterscotch and chocolate chips.
  • Roll 1/4 cup size balls of dough and place them on a greased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly.

  • Bake for 9-12 minutes, until the edges are golden.

Voila! Now time to enjoy one with a nice glass of cold milk! :)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Review Day Tuesday!

Last week my mom and I stopped at Walnut Grill for a late dinner/early lunch after my eye doctor appointment, dilated eyes and all! Luckily I was able to read the menu, although I had to really squint to see it :)

I started off with the french onion soup, topped with provolone. It was good... kind of interesting with the provolone instead of swiss.

 My mom got the soup du jour, which was vegetable.

With our soup, we got a side of bread with Cherry Chocolate butter and Red Pepper Hummus. We didn't know what each spread was at first. When I tried the hummus I knew I have eaten whatever it was before but I couldn't figure it out! The Cherry Chocolate butter was pretty good, once it came to room temperature.

My mom got the classic cheese burger with sweet potato fries.

I ordered the fish taco's which were served in flour tortillas with chipotle aioli, shredded cabbage, cheddar cheese, served with salsa, guacamole, sour cream and also a side of sweet potato fries.

I was really craving fish taco's for some reason... Not sure if it was because I was seeing them all over TV for some reason the week before. They were good... the fish was a tad bit dry but the salsa and guacamole made up for it. Plus there were filling. Overall our food was good... but nothing that really stood out.

Walnut Grove on Foodio54

Walnut Grove Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!!

Happy Mother's Day! Today, I cooked dinner for my mom and my hubby's grandma. I also decided to break out the china :)

For our "main" course I made Chicken Florentine Roll-Ups, Fusilli with Creamy Spinach & Parmesan Sauce and Mini Baguettes... 

The Chicken Florentine turned out amazing! I got the recipe from Eating Well. I ended up using boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of breast.

For dessert, I made a Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake with Limoncello icing................ 

Yeah, something went wrong... The cake looks pretty but it turned out more like a pudding... I followed the recipe from Tastebook to a T... The only different was I used lemon greek yogurt instead of plain... I cooked it for an hour too... This is the first time I've baked in the oven.. Maybe the temp is off.. I need to get a thermometer to check it out... Anyways... It still tasted good.... My hubby ate 2 slices and we haven't became ill *lol*

Now it's time to relax and get ready to watch Game of Thrones! :)

Oh and here is the recipe for the Chicken!

Chicken Florentine Roll Ups


  • 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced soft sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 8 4-ounce chicken cutlets (about 2 pounds total) ( I used chicken thighs)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Mash spinach, cream cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts, 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper and garlic powder with a fork in a medium bowl until well combined.
  3. If using thighs, pound the chicken to make it easier to roll up
  4. Place chicken on a work surface. Sprinkle both sides with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Place about 2 tablespoons of the spinach mixture in the center of each cutlet. (I had a total of 12 thighs and used 1 tablespoon for each thigh) Roll up the chicken around the filling and secure each roll-up with 2 toothpicks; place in the prepared pan. Pour wine around the roll-ups. Cover the pan with foil.
  5. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest roll registers 165°F, 30 to 40 minutes. Slice with a serrated knife and serve.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Homemade Saturday

Thanks to Pinterest for tonight's dinner :) Although these are semi home made, they twere incredibly easy to make and quite filling! The original recipe can be found here on the Betty Crocker site.

Impossible Easy Mini Chicken Pot Pies


Chicken Mixture

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
    1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 oz)

Baking Mixture
  • 1/2 cup Original Bisquick® mix
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs

Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 12 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray. 

 In 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook chicken in oil 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink in center. Add onion and chicken broth; heat to simmering. Add frozen vegetables and seasonings. Heat until hot, stirring occasionally until almost all liquid is absorbed. Cool 5 minutes; stir in cheese.

 In medium bowl, stir baking mixture ingredients with whisk or fork until blended. Spoon 1 scant tablespoon baking mixture into each muffin cup. Top with about 1/4 cup chicken mixture. Spoon 1 tablespoon baking mixture onto chicken mixture in each muffin cup.  

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes. With thin knife, loosen sides of pies from pan; remove from pan and place top sides up on cooling rack. Cool 10 minutes longer, and serve.


There you have it! I also had some left over potato skins stuffed with mushrooms and cheddar cheese that we had as our side.

Ok now time to get back to watching the Pens game!!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Review Day Tuesday!

So a few weeks back I met my 2 of my cousins for dinner at Bangkok Balcony in Squirrel Hills. Matt and I have not tried Thai food before, so it was an adventure for us. My one cousin and her husband love Thai food, so for our first time trying it, it was nice to have some input from the pros :)

Bangkok Balcony is located off of Forbes Ave and I can't tell you how many times I have walked right on by and didn't notice it...

Pic my hubby took while waiting for my cousins....

My one cousin recommended we try the coconut soup with chicken...For all of the food you can choose your level of spicy... I did a 2, but I think I could of gone higher... The soup was pretty good and I think I would try it with shrimp the next time I get it.

For my main dish, I got Chicken Pineapple Curry... Oh my god was this good! It was chicken mixed with pineapple and green pea in coconut milk and pineapple curry paste... I was pretty full from the soup and also the Thai Ice Tea, which reminded me of a chai tea, so I didn't eat all of my meal.... plus we were talking away catching up with each other....

The hubby got something called Ginger, which was beef stir-fried with fresh ginger, onion, carrot and mushroom in a ginger sauce.

We ended up closing down the balcony and decided we better go before we get the boot! The food there was awesome, very pleased with my first experience with Thai food... only bad part... I left my doggy bag on the table and didn't remember until we were getting in the car :( Oh well, I guess it's an excuse to go back! :) This place has a great atmosphere and is a hidden gem!

Bangkok Balcony on Foodio54

Bangkok Balcony on Urbanspoon

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Lazy day...????

So, I pretty much wrote off today as being a lazy Sunday..... Yesterday we dug up a spot for my garden in the backyard and did some other yard work... I woke up sore, blistered and bruised and I planned to relax on the couch and watch the Pen's game after breakfast.....

Yep, my lazy day turned into a not so lazy day... Pens were losing so I went upstairs to the kitchen and made the marinade started to marinate the pork for Tuesday's dinner... I then decided to prep some food for lunches for the week and made the meatballs for dinner tonight... Not to mention I scrubbed the kitchen floors and planted flowers in a few pots.... Oh, and the Pens ended up winning the game! :)

Ok, back to the meatballs... They were not just your ordinary meatball... They were buffalo chicken meatballs any 4 meatballs are only 157 calories! I found the recipe on Pinterest, which ended up bringing me to Shrinking Kitchen for the recipe... Ok I was a little worried they were going to fall apart when I started to make them but they turned out AMAZING!

I ended up making meatball sandwiches with them.... My photo op using the setting sun a the dinner table :)

The orginal recipe can he found here.

Tree's Buffalo Chicken Meatball Sandwiches

1 pound lean ground chicken
1 egg
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 carrot
1 stalk celery
1 small onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ounce crumbled blue cheese
1/2 cup Frank's Thick Sauce, divided
1 tablespoon butter

Hoagie Buns
Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with foil and coat with nonstick spray.
  3. Cut the celery, carrot and green onion into large chunks and throw into a food processor.
  4. Pulse to chop into small bits.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the vegetable mixture, chicken, egg, breadcrumbs, garlic powder, salt, 1/2 the hot sauce and the blue cheese.
  6. Gently fold together to combine, but don't overmix.
  7. Form the mixture into small meatballs - you should get about 28 small meatballs.
  8. Place the meatballs on the cookie sheet.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes.
  10. While the meatballs are baking, put the rest of the hot sauce and the butter into a microwave safe dish.
  11. Microwave about 30 seconds, until butter melts.
  12. Stir well to combine.
  13. Remove the meatballs from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  14. Place 3-4 meatballs onto a hoagie bun and drizzle with the buffalo sauce and a sprinkle of shredded cheddar.
These are for sure on my make again menu! Sooooooooooooooo yummy!!!! :) They would also be good served alone too... good idea for an appetizer!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Dr. Frankenstein

Again, here I go taking two recipes and making one out of them.... The end result was a Bruschetta Chicken Pasta Bake, which turned out AWESOME!

Cooking the chicken

The topping....

Pasta waiting to go into the jacuzzi

The garlic waiting to get a good press

Ready to go into the over...

Yep, the final product.... Forgot to take a pic when it came out of the oven!

This one is way too good not to share!

Tree's Bruschetta Chicken Pasta Bake

1 can  (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes with oregano and basil, undrained
1 pkg.  (6 oz.) Herb Stuffing Mix
1/2 cup  water 
4 cloves  garlic, minced
1-1/2 lb.  boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tsp.  dried basil leaves
Red Pepper Flakes - to taste
2 cups Shredded Provolone Cheese
3 cups Penne - cooked
Olive Oil
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce... I think I used Parmesan & Romano flavored sauce

  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. Mix the diced tomatoes, stuffing and water and set aside.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and add chicken... Cook until lightly browned. Add dried basil and red pepper flakes.
  4. Once pasta is al dente, drain and then add to chicken, toss lightly.
  5. Add pasta sauce to chicken and penne mixture, then transfer to a 9x13 pan.
  6. Top with Provolone cheese then stuffing mixture
  7. I then sprinkled some Romano cheese on top of the stuffing.
  8. Pop in the oven for 30 minutes and there you have it!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Kidney Bean Risotto.....

Cooking the brown rice....

Simmering the veggies....

More veggies.....

Da beans!

Ready for the good stuff!


If you want the recipe.... shoot me an email... :)