Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Easy Cheesy Chicken and Rice

How can something so easy to make be so good?  This is one of those throw it all together in one skillet meals and wonder how something so simple can be so incredibly delicious.  This is one of those anyone can do it meals.  This is one of those close your eyes and savor the flavor meals.   This is one of those meals you need to make tonight!

Easy Cheesy Chicken and Rice 

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 package boneless, skinless chicken thighs (6-8 thighs)
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup uncooked white rice
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley

Pat chicken thighs with a paper towel to remove moisture and season with salt and pepper. Melt butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and brown chicken on all sides.  Remove chicken from skillet and cut into bite sized pieces. Set aside.

Using a wooden spoon, scrap up the brown bits from bottom of skillet. Add rice to skillet, stirring to blend in with chicken bits from bottom of skillet.

Pour in chicken broth and bring to a full boil. Turn heat down to low and cover with a lid.  Cook for 15 minutes or until rice is cooked and liquid gone.

Remove cover and fluff up the rice with fork.  Add cut up chicken thighs and stir to combine.  Sprinkle cheese on top and cover again until cheese has melted.  Season with more salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle on parsley and serve. 

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Strawberry Cream Cake

I know…. Strawberry cakes are usually a summer dessert but when I saw these beautiful gargantuan California strawberries the other day at Costco, I had to have them.  Honestly, I had no idea what I might make at the time but I knew they were just too pretty to pass up.  They found a home in my Strawberry Cream Cake recipe!  So glad I bought them.  This cake is to die for! 

Strawberry Cream Cake

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
4 tablespoons lemon juice , divided
zest of 1 lemon
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces sour cream
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, diced small
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan. 

Dice your strawberries into small pieces. Two big and they will sink to the bottom.

Stir together 2 1/4 cups flour, baking soda and salt. Then add in lemon zest and set aside. With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Next beat in eggs, one at a time. Then stir in 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. 

Alternate mixing the flour mixture and the sour cream into the butter/sugar mixture until all is incorporated. Mix diced strawberries with remaining 1/4 cup flour. Then gently fold into the batter.

Pour the batter into a tube pan and reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake for 60 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Allow to cool for 20-30 minutes in the pan and then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely. 


Once cake has completely cooled, mix together powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Feel free to swap the lemon juice in the glaze with milk. Drizzle glaze on top of cake with a spoon.  Top with strawberries. Serve with a whipped cream topping.



Make sure to grease and flour your pan! This prevents sticking and helps for an easier release.

Before folding in the strawberries, mix with 1/4 cup flour. This keeps them from sinking to the bottom.

Make sure you let cake cool in the pan for 20-30 minutes before releasing onto baking rack. If you try to release too soon, the cake might stick.


The cake should be completely cooled prior to topping with glaze. If it's still warm, your glaze could melt!

Store covered in the refrigerator.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Banana Split Dessert

I love this dessert. I can remember my Mom making it from the time I was too little to even know what it was.  But I know now and I love making it.  It is so cold and creamy and just the best thing out there to satisfy every decadent need!  This is a keeper my friends.

Banana Split Dessert

2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 10 whole crackers crushed)
1 ¼ cups sugar, Divided
1/3 cup butter, Melted
2 pkgs (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
1 can (20 oz) crushed Pineapple, drained
1 cup strawberries, sliced thin
4 ripe bananas
2 cups cold milk
1 large box vanilla Pudding
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

In a medium sized bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar, and melted butter. Press into the bottom of a 9 x13 inch pan. Set aside.

Beat together remaining sugar and cream cheese until well mixed. Carefully spread over cookie crust. Top with pineapple. Slice bananas and layer over pineapple. Add sliced strawberries over bananas.

In another bowl mix together cold milk and vanilla pudding and set aside. In a large bowl, beat together whipping cream, vanilla and powdered sugar until soft peaks form. Remove 1 cup of whipped cream and mix into pudding. Layer pudding over bananas. Spread remaining whipped cream over pudding and sprinkle with huts. Chill for 5 hours before serving.

NOTE: You can also use 1 carton (8 ounces) Cool Whip, thawed instead of the whipped cream.

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Thursday, July 16, 2020

My Jumbo Lump Maryland Crab Cakes

For those of you who really know me out there, you know that I am from Maryland and I have a thing about crab cakes. I have a thing about seeing crab cakes on social media sites that bear the title of "Maryland Crab Cakes: when they are not even close. 

When I say I have a thing about it...I mean it drives me nuts! Typically the crab cakes you see out there are full of peppers and onions and tons of filler and the sweet succulent blue crab is totally lost.  A real Maryland Crab Cake "celebrates" the crab. We do not cover up the flavor of it! 

So today, I want to show you what a delicious, authentic, Maryland Crab Cake is and how to make them. You can thank me later.

My Jumbo Lump Maryland Crab Cakes

1 lb Jumbo Lump crab meat
1 large egg 
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon of  salt
1/2 cup fine breadcrumbs made from white bread
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drain crab meat and put in a bowl and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg, mayo, mustard, Old Bay, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Gently stir in crab meat and breadcrumbs and mix with hands lightly without breaking up the lumps. Mixture will be somewhat wet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour or more.

Once chilled, shape the mixture into rounded mounds whatever size you'd like. Do not flatten or make into patties. Place on lightly sprayed baking sheet with sides. Spray the tops very lightly with non-stick spray for browning.   Just look at those big lumps of sweet succulent crab! 

Just before putting crab cakes in the oven, drop two or three ice cubes onto the baking pan in between crab cakes. This will keep the high temperature from burning the bottoms.  Bake in hot 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes depending on the size you made your crab cakes.

In Maryland, the home of the most incredible crab cakes, we judge the perfect crab cake as one that has mostly sweet Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab and very little filler!  And NO PEPPERS or vegetables or any other nonsense that might take away the taste of that sweet wonderful crab!

Just enough filler to hold them together.  Look at that crab! 

Can't you just taste them!  Oh My Goodness.  There is nothing like a Maryland Crab Cake!   This recipe makes 4-5 big jumbo lump crab cakes.

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Thursday, July 09, 2020

♥ Peanut Butter Chocolate-Hazelnut Cookie Sandwiches


Yum!  What a combination.  I love these cookies! 

Peanut Butter Chocolate-Hazelnut Cookie Sandwiches

1/2 cup granulated sugar plus more for flattening
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 egg
1-1/4 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread

Blend sugars, peanut butter, butter and egg in an electric mixer. Stir in remaining ingredients until well incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate about 1 hour.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Shape dough into 1-1/4 inch balls. Place about 3 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten in a crisscross pattern with a fork that has been dipped in sugar.

Bake 10 minutes or until golden brown, rotating cookie sheet after 5 minutes. Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 15 minutes.

When cookies are cool, flip over and spread half of the cookie bottoms with about a tablespoon of chocolate-hazelnut spread each. Top with a similar size cookie. Makes 15.

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