©Life of a Foodie and Her Family 2008-2013, Lynn Tabor



Italian Stuffed Peppers

Hey there!  I have been making a few new things and posting on my Instagram.  A few friends asked for the recipe, so I figured that I should blow the dust off of my alter ego blog.

Back to back Racery events (yes I really logged 150 miles in 10 days and the second 155 miles in 10.5 days)  and eating everything that I could, plus this Quarantine....well I have gained back a bunch of weight that I lost a few years ago.  About a month a go, I stepped on the scale and cried for a few minutes.  So time to get real and log food and water again.  I have been looking at Pinterest and trying to find things that would be yummy, healthy and easy to figure out portion size.  Stuffed peppers seem to fit that criteria.  I take the recipe and log it into My Fitness Pal to get the nutritional info as what is posted on other blogs just don't seem right or I try and make better changes.

I tweaked the original recipe for this recipe since it didn't look like enough flavor.  So here is what I made:

6 medium bell peppers (any color except green)
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound 93% lean ground beef
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 or 4 garlic cloves minced or grated on a microplane
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ to 1/2  teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 Tbs Tomato paste
1 (15 oz) can no salt added diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice (you could also use Farro or Quinoa)
1 cup shredded Mozzarella - divided
½ cup Parmesan - divided
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a 10x15-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Slice the bell peppers in half from top to bottom. Remove the seeds and membranes then arrange cut side up in the prepared baking dish.

Heat the olive oil in a large, skillet over medium high heat. Add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink.  Drain and return to the skillet. 

Make a hot spot in the middle of the skillet and add the tomato paste.  Let that cook a bit and get a little brown in color.  Add the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, Garlic salt, and red pepper flakes. Saute for a few minutes until garlic smells yummy.  Add the can of diced tomatoes and their juices. Let simmer for 1 or 2 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the rice  and ½ cup of the Mozzarella and ¼ cup of the parmesan. Mound the filling inside of the peppers, then top with the remaining cheeses.

Pour a bit of water into the pan with the peppers just enough to barely cover the bottom of the pan. Bake uncovered for 30 to 35 minutes, until the peppers are tender and the cheese is melted. Top with fresh basil. Serve hot with a side salad.  (We didn't as the peppers were very filling)


Guinness Cupcakes with Bailey's Irish Cream Buttercream Frosting

So for St. Patrick's day, I also wanted a yummy dessert and what is better than cupcakes???

For the Cupcakes

1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup Guinness Stout beer
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup light brown sugar packed
1 tsp salt
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream

Bailey's Irish Cream Frosting:
3/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature
3 - 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
pinch of salt
4 Tbsp Bailey's Irish Cream
2 Tbsp heavy cream

Heat the butter, Guinness, cocoa powder and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until melted. Remove from heat and let cool to room temp.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners and set aside.

To the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl), add salt, flour, granulated sugar, and baking soda. Stir together to mix.

Add in cooled beer mixture and beat (slowly at first - then on medium speed) for about 1 minute.

Add in eggs and sour cream, beat on medium speed for another 1-2 minutes.

Use an ice cream scoop to divide the batter and to fill each muffin cup about 2/3 of the way.

Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Let cool in pan for 5 minutes and then remove to cool completely on a cooling rack.

For the Frosting:

In a stand mixer cream butter until light and fluffy.

Add salt and sifted powdered sugar. Beat on low speed until combined.  It will be pretty thick. 

Add Bailey's and heavy cream and beat on medium speed another 2-3 minutes.

Add frosting to a piping bag fitted with a star tip frost cupcakes.  Decorate frosted cupcakes with festive sprinkles.  I used a Shamrock mix, green sugar and gold sugar.

These came out really good!!!  I would definitely make them again!!!


Beef & Guinness Pot Pies

I must really love my family and subjected myself to a St. Paddy's meal at church for our monthly Food, Fun, & Fellowship night.

I am not Irish and don't celebrate the holiday and I really do not like boiled meat.  So I found a recipe that I would make and eat instead.  The original recipe was from Food Network, but I tweaked it.

For the dough:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup grated Irish cheddar cheese (about 3 ounces)
6 to 7 tablespoons stout beer
1 large egg, lightly beaten

For the Filling
2 1/4 pounds beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup stout beer
2 cups Beef Stock (Kitchen Basic is the best)
3 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch
1 pound carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces

Make the dough: Pulse the flour and fine salt in a food processor to combine. Add the
butter and cheese and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal with some pea-size bits of butter. Drizzle in 6 tablespoons beer and pulse to combine.  Squeeze the dough between your fingers; if
it does not hold its shape, pulse in up to 1 more tablespoon beer. Pat the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.

Meanwhile, make the filling: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Toss the beef, flour, 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or large ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned all over, about 7 minutes. Add the beer and 2 cups stock, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Bring to a simmer, then cover, transfer to the oven and braise, 1 hour. Add the leeks, carrots and celery to the pot and continue braising, 1 more hour.  If it is looking a bit dry add a bit more stout.

Meanwhile, put six 10-ounce ramekins on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roll out the dough between 2 lightly floured sheets of parchment into a 10-by-15-inch rectangle; cut into six 5-inch squares. Make a few slits in the middle of each square to let steam escape. Remove the filling from the oven and increase the temperature to 375 degrees F. Season the filling with salt and pepper and divide among the ramekins (there may be some filling left over). Top each with a square of dough,
pressing the edges into the ramekin. Brush with the beaten egg. Bake until the crust is crisp and golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Let rest about 10 minutes before serving.

These came out fantastic!!!!  I would definitely make them again.  The filling is so good and almost like a stew that it would be good by itself or over mashed potatoes.


Cake Release

I do have to say my kitchen is pretty stocked at all times.  Well..... one day last week I prepped my Walmart Grocery pick up order.  I meticulously went through each recipe and added ingredients to my cart.  Checked out and picked up my order later that day.

When I got home and sorted every item out by recipe and went to the cabinet to get the baking spray with flour the can was just about empty.  Oh crud!!!!!  What is a home baker to do?  Go to Pinterest!

I immediately found a recipe for cake release that had lots of good reviews.  I had all the ingredients and decided to whip up a batch.

1 cup of vegetable oil
1 cup of plain shortening
1 cup of All Purpose Flour

In a mixer combine all the ingredients until it become a smooth but loose paste.  Store in a mason jar in the fridge for a couple of months.  You of course could halve this or even quarter it.

I found that using a traditional pastry brush is much better than a silicone brush.  The tradition bristles get into the little crevices of mini bundt pans and the bottoms of the mini muffin pans.

Snickerdoodle mini bundt cakes

This was another cute little cake I wanted to try for our church's English Tea.

Snickerdoodle Mini Bundt Cakes

3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg (fresh please, not already ground)
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
5 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/4 cup buttermilk

8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Prepare your 2 mini bundt pans with cake release. Set aside.

Shit together the flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside.

In your mixer cream 2 cups of sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients alternating with the buttermilk. Mix until fully incorporated. Divide between your prepared pan and cook for 15-20 minutes. Use a cake tester or tooth pick to test for doneness.

When the cakes are done remove the cakes from the pan while they are hot. Brush with butter and roll in 1 cup of sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.

Allow the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack.

Lemon Blueberry Mini Bundt Cakes

While looking on Pinterest for ideas for our Bake Shoppe/sale, I spotted this idea.  I really love the combination of Lemon and Blueberry, then add a glaze and well I had to make it.

10 Tbs butter (room temperature)
2 cups sugar
4 eggs (room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 ¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 ¼ cup whole milk
½ cup plain greek yogurt
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs lemon zest
¾ cup blueberries (fresh or frozen, from my baking experience fresh does work best)

2 cups powdered sugar
2-3 Tbs Lemon Juice

Pan:  You will need two 6 cavity mini bundt pans.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In your mixer combine butter and sugar. Let mix until light and fluffy.

Add in eggs and vanilla. Mix until completely combined.

In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.

In another small bowl combine milk, yogurt, lemon juice, and lemon zest.

Add 1/3 of milk mixture to the standing mixer (with sugar and butter). Let completely combine.

Add ½ of dry ingredients to the standing mixer. Let completely combine.

Add half of the remaining milk mixture. Mix completely. Add remaining dry ingredients. Mix completely. Add remaining dry ingredients. Mix completely.

Toss fresh or frozen berries with flour. Add dusted berries into the batter. Fold berries into the batter being very gentle.

Prepare your mini bundt pans with cake release.

Pour batter into prepared pan.

For mini bundt cakes bake about 15 to 20 minutes.

Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the middle of the cakes.

Let cakes cool for 2 to 3 minutes in the pan then turn out onto a cooling rack.  Allow cakes to completely cool.

To make the glaze, combine powdered sugar and lemon juice. Start with adding just 2 Tbs of lemon juice and slowly add more to get looser consistency.

Drizzle over the completely cooled cakes.

Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes

These I have made for a few Alpha Course Dinners.  They are a fabulous little dessert and super easy to make.

The recipe below make 6 cakes, that are baked in a Jumbo Muffin Pan.  You can easily double it if you have two Jumbo Muffin Pans.

2 eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
4 tbs pineapple juice
2/3 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 can pineapple rings
6 Marachino Cherries

Preheat oven to 350 and spray a JUMBO muffin pan with cooking spray.  In a mixing bowl beat eggs, sugar and pineapple juice for two minutes.  In another bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt.  Add to the wet ingredients and beat on medium for 2 more minutes.

In a small sauce pan, melt the butter and then add brown sugar.  Whisk for one minute.  Spoon a layer of the brown sugar mix into the bottom of each muffin tin, then place a pineapple ring.  Add one cherry into the middle of the pineapple ring.  Spoon cake mix evenly over the pineapple ring and cherry.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Let cool in pan for about 3 minutes.  Run an offset spatula around the edges.

Place a wire cooling rack on top and quickly flip the pan over and place on a cookie sheet to catch the dripping sugar mixture.

Reese's Chex Mix

I don't know about you, but I love Chocolate & Peanut Butter.  I thought this might be good for the Bake Shoppe/Sale at our English Tea.

1 12.8 oz box Chocolate flavored Chex cereal (about 8 cups)
1 cup roasted, lightly salted peanuts
2 cups powdered sugar
16 oz chocolate CandiQuik
1 cup Reese's peanut butter chips
1 8 oz bag Reese's Minis
1 cup Reese's Pieces
20 Reese's Miniatures, halved
Additional peanuts, peanut butter chips, and Reese's.

Combine Chex cereal and peanuts in a very large bowl and set aside.

Place powdered sugar into a two gallon size ziploc bag and set aside.

Put a couple long sheets of wax paper on your counter top.

Break up CandiQuik, place in a large glass bowl and sprinkle with peanut butter chips. Melt for 1 minute in the microwave.  Stir gently and heat again for 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Stir again and it should be completely melted and smooth.

Drizzle the melted chocolate - peanut butter mixture over the top of the Chex and peanuts and toss gently to combine. Make sure it is well coated.

Transfer the chocolate-coated cereal mixture into the ziploc bag with powdered sugar.

Close the bag tightly and gently shake until the mixture is fully coated.

Spread the contents of bag onto the wax paper and let set up for 15 minutes.

Sprinkle on the Reese's Pieces, Reese's Miniatures and the Reese's halves that you cut up earlier, and additional peanuts, peanut butter chips, and Reese's Pieces if desired.  (I did as it makes it more yummy!!!)

Toss gently to combine.

Store in an airtight container for up to one week.


Key Lime Bundt Cakes

These are just amazing!

4 oz  cream cheese
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup  Greek-style yogurt
2 teaspoons lime zest
2 teaspoons lime juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup  all purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt

½ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 ½ teaspoons lime juice
Lime zest

For the bundt cakes: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 6 cavity mini bundt pan with cake release

In a large bowl, use electric beaters to beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth and creamy. Add the yogurt, lime zest, lime juice and vanilla extract, and beat until well combined. Beat in the eggs one at a time.

Sift in the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and baking soda, and salt.  Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.  Transfer the batter to the prepared mini bundt pan, filling the cavities approximately three-quarters of the way up.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the tops are dry and a skewer comes out clean.  Let the bundt cakes cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Allow the cakes to cool completely before glazing.

For the glaze: Sift the confectioners’ sugar into a medium-sized bowl. Add the lime juice and zest, and whisk until completely combined. If the glaze appears to be too thin, sift in some more sugar.

Spoon the glaze over the top of the cooled bundt cakes.

Store the bundt cakes in an airtight container.

Thin Mint Chex Mix

Thin Mint Puppy Chow/Muddy Buddy
Disclaimer:  No Thin Mints were harmed in making this new snack ;o)

14 oz bag of Wilton Dark Cocoa Mint Candy Melts
1/2 a bag of Milk Chocolate Chips
10 Cups of Rice Chex
1 bag of Mint M&M's
2 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar

2 Gallon Ziploc bag, don't try this in a 1 gallon bag.  It just doesn't work well.

Place the Powdered Sugar into the Ziploc bag.

In microwave, melt chocolates together for one minute, stir and continue melting in 30 second intervals until smooth, it usually takes about two minutes.

Gently mix in the Chex cereal.  When cereal is coated, place the mix into the ziploc bag and seal.  Gently shake until cereal is coated with the sugar.  Pour in the M&M's and gently shake again.

Pour out onto a large piece of wax paper and allow to set up.

Store in an airtight container.


Strawberry & Cream Chex Mix

Our church is having their annual English Tea this week and I always make fun things for the bake sale room.  I have been spending way to much time on Pinterest and you will hear me say "Pinterest gets me into trouble ALL THE TIME!"

So one of the things that caught my eye, was this Strawberry & Cream Chex Mix.  I double the original recipe and here is what I did:

10 oz white chocolate or white vanilla candy melts
10 oz red candy melts (Found in craft stores like Michaels and Hobby Lobby)
10 cups rice chex cereal, divided in 2 parts
1 cup strawberry cake mix
1 cup powdered sugar
Valentine Sprinkles
1 bag of Valentine M&M's (I always find these at Target.

 Put 5 cups rice chex cereal into a large bowl.

Slowly melt white chocolate in the microwave, stopping it every 30 seconds or so to make sure it doesn't burn.  I always do it in a glass bowl.

Add melted white chocolate to chex cereal and lightly stir to coat evenly.

Add the powdered sugar to a large ziploc bag.  Then carefully add the chex cereal and white chocolate mixture to the ziploc bag.   Shake gently until the cereal is coated completely.  I like to pour the mixture out onto a cookie sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper.  I like to use the 2 gallon bags.  I find them at Walmart usually on the bottom shelf.

Repeat the same process with the red candy melts and strawberry cake mix (instead of the powdered sugar).

Allow to cool completely and then combine the two kinds of cereal together in a large bowl and add M&Ms.

Since I portioned them out into servings, I then sprinkled some cute Wilton Valentine Sprinkles on top.


Chicken Fajita Dippers

Since going back to work almost a year ago, blogging has taken a backseat. Some recently asked about my blog and it made me realize how much I miss cooking and sharing recipes. So this week I have made Hot Ham & Swiss sliders, French Dip sandwiches, and tonight Chicken Fajita dippers. Recipes are forth coming, but pictures are on my Life of a Foodie and her Family Instagram account. Look me up and if you see this can you give it a lime so others may see it too. Happy eating!

This recipe, I pinned so long ago, it comes from I Heart Eating.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tablespoon taco seasoning (I would change this next time and use my own fajita seasoning)
1 tablespoon lime juice (fresh or Nellie & Joe's)
Pinch brown sugar
2 cups shredded cooked chicken (you can make a full batch and use it for other meals)
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
About 12 small (soft taco sized) flour tortillas

Add about 1 ½ - 2 tablespoons of filling to the bottom of each tortilla.
Preheat oven to 415 F. Use a cookie sheet and spray with cooking spray.

In a skillet over medium low heat, warm the vegetable oil. Add diced pepper and onion, and cook until veggies are soft 3 or 4 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for about 30 seconds and don't let it burn. Add taco or fajita seasoning, and cook for 30 seconds. Add the lime juice and brown sugar and chicken. Mix well, but be gentle.

Remove skillet from heat and let cool for a few minutes.

Lightly spray tortillas with the cooking spray. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until crisp.

Sprinkle cheese evenly over chicken mixture.

Roll the bottom over the mixture, then tuck in the sides and then roll tortilla up. I like to press them down a bit so they stick. Place seam side down on prepared cookie sheet.

Serve with sour cream and salsa. I also served this with yellow rice and refried black beans.


Pumpkin Crumb Coffee Cake

Good morning foodie friends!

Yesterday morning while going through Pinterest, I spotted this yummy looking recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction.  It looked like something that I really needed to try.  So I got out of bed at 6:30 am and whipped it up.  Luckily I have a well stocked pantry.

Since I was going up to Miss V's school, I boxed it up and brought it to my favorite office ladies.

I can tell you, it was a HIT!

Crumb Topping
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup  unsalted butter, cold
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Put all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until crumbly.  Set aside.

2 cups  all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (do yourself a favor and grind your own fresh nuts)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup pure maple syrup, use the real stuff
1/4 cup  milk

3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1-2 Tablespoons Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer


Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Generously spray an 8x8 or 9x9 baking pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.

For the cake:  Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves together in a large bowl until combined.  In a medium bowl, whisk the pumpkin, brown sugar, oil, maple syrup, and milk together until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Do not to overmix the batter, it is a VERY THICK batter.  Spoon/pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Spread to make an even surface. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly on top and gently press it down into the batter.

Bake the cake for 30 - 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes on clean.

I turned it out onto a wire rack to cool for a bit.  Then drizzled the glaze over the cake.


Strawberry Cheesecake Trifle

I found this lovely trifle on Pinterest.  The original recipe is on Taste Of Home and you can always find great recipes there.  I did tweak it and used Cool Whip.  I normally don't like to, but time got away from me this week.

2 pints fresh strawberries, sliced
1 cup sugar, divided
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons orange juice
1 large tub of Cool Whip
1 loaf (10-3/4 ounces) frozen pound cake, thawed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (I used the larger one and it kind of overfilled the trifle bowl.

In a bowl, toss strawberries with 1/2 cup sugar; set aside.

In a bowl, beat cream cheese, orange juice and remaining sugar until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream; set aside.

Drain strawberries, reserving juice; set the berries aside. Gently toss cake cubes with reserved juice.

Place half of the cake in a 4-qt. trifle dish or serving bowl. Top with a third of the cream cheese mixture and half of the strawberries. Repeat layers. Top with remaining cream cheese mixture. Garnish with sliced strawberries if desired. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Yield: 14-16 servings.

This was incredibly yummy!!!!!!


Chicken Parmesan Casserole

I found this recipe on Pinterest and thought it looked interesting.  The original recipe can be found at Thriving Home Blog.  Again this is one of those "freezer meals" if you like to prep dinners ahead of time.  Me...not so much.

4 cups of shredded, cooked chicken (I roasted a few chicken breast the other night and used three chopped up for this recipe)
1 jar (23-28 ounces) of marinara sauce (I love Newman's Own Marinara) 
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup panko 
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
Italian dried herbs
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease an 8x8 casserole dish with cooking spray.

Layer the chicken in the bottom. Pour on the marinara sauce and gently wiggle the pan so that the sauce and chicken combine.

Top with cheeses until all the chicken and sauce mixture is covered.

In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, olive oil, herbs, salt and a bit of pepper.

Sprinkle the seasoned breadcrumbs on top.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden on top and bubbling on the sides. (I let it bake for 30 minutes so the top would be good and crispy)

This came out pretty good.  I think I would double this and make it in a 9 x 13 pan for our Alpha Course this spring.  I am glad that I baked it a bit longer.  The Panko was nice and toasty.


Chicken Cordon Bleu Pasta

I am back on a mission to try lots of new recipes this year.  I found this yummy looking recipe on Pinterest of course.  The original recipe can be found at Lovely Little Kitchen.  I did kind of tweak it and here is what I did.

1 12 oz box of medium size bow tie pasta
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon Better Than Bullion Chicken Base
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 chicken breast, cooked  and cubed (I roasted 4 or 5 the other night)
3/4 cup cooked cubed ham (I just used some sliced deli ham and chopped it up)
6 slices swiss cheese

1 cup of Panko Bread Crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare a 13 x 9  baking dish by spraying with nonstick spray. Set aside.

Boil your pasta in salted water according to directions on the box.  Drain, return pasta to the pot and set aside.

In a medium pan, melt butter over medium high heat.  Whisk in flour and cook until the roux is a light brown color, about 4 or 5 minutes. 

Gradually whisk in the milk and be careful it does bubble up quickly.  Cook your sauce until it is thicken up, about 5 minutes.

Whisk in chicken base, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire Sauce, and salt.

In the large pot that the pasta is in, stir in the sauce, chicken, and ham. Stir gently to combine.

Pour half of the pasta mixture into your prepared baking dish. 

Place slices of Swiss cheese evenly over the pasta. Pour the rest of the past over the cheese and spread evenly.

Sprinkle the Panko breadcrumbs over the top.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until it is bubbly and the Panko is starting to brown.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.

This came out FABULOUS!!!!  I will definitely make this one again!!!


Eggnog Muffins

Since I had a little Eggnog leftover from last night's dessert, I went to Pinterest to find ways that I could use it up.  After a quick search I found a yummy looking recipe for Eggnog Muffins.  The original recipe is from Better Homes and Garden.

So I quickly went back into the kitchen to whip them up.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup eggnog
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon rum extract

1 recipe Nutmeg-Streusel Topping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease twelve 2-1/2-inch muffin cups or line with paper bake cups; set aside. In a medium bowl sift flour, sugar, baking powder, and nutmeg; set aside.

In your stand mixer combine eggs, eggnog, butter, vanilla, and rum extract. Add dry ingredients all at once to liquid mixture. Mix just until moistened (batter should be thick).

Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each two-thirds full. Sprinkle Nutmeg-Streusel Topping over muffin batter in cups.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden and a wooden toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from muffin cups; serve warm.

Nutmeg-Streusel Topping

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg or 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter

In a small bowl stir together all-purpose flour, sugar, and nutmeg. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  I personally like using my food processor for streusel toppings.

Oh my word!  These came out FANTASTIC!  They are light, flavorful and very tender.  Hopefully I won't eat all 12 of them today.