Homemade Granola

This is a really simple yet delicious granola recipe. I first made it to use in my Breakfast Salads recipe, but it’s great with plain yogurt or milk, added to your favorite cereal, or just on its own as a healthy snack! 


Homemade Granola

Serves: 5 cups

  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. honey
  • 1/4 c. canola oil
  • 4 c. old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. raisins
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Combine brown sugar, honey and canola oil in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Pour brown sugar mixture over oats and add cinnamon and salt. Stir until oats are evenly coated.
  4. Spread granola mixture over a cookie sheet (sprayed with pam) and press mixture down.
  5. Place in oven and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15-20 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before breaking apart and into pieces. Mix in raisins.
  7. Store in a ziplock bag or other air tight container.

Cookie Dough Dip

Let’s admit it… the best part about baking chocolate chip cookies is sneaking some of the raw cookie dough. So why not just skip the oven all together with this decadent dessert dip alternative… completely safe to eat “raw” too because there are no eggs!


Cookie Dough Dip

Serves: 6-8

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 8oz. package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. packed brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 c. semi sweet mini chocolate chips
  • Pretzels, graham crackers, nilla wafers, of fruit, for dipping
  1. In a mixing bowl, cream together butter, cream cheese, and both sugars with an electric mixer until smooth.
  2. Add the vanilla and salt and continue mixing.
  3. Add the chocolate chips and mix until just combined.
  4.  Serve with pretzels, graham crackers, nilla wafers, or fruit for dipping. Refrigerate any unused portions.

Easy Jambalaya 

In honor of Mardi Gras, and because I love all things New Orleans, I decided to try my hand at making this classic spicy rice dish. I would say I’m a fairly adventurous cook, but some things still intimidate me, and jambalaya had always been one of them… until I started comparing recipes and realized it is totally not as scary as it looks! This version is based on chef Emeril Lagasse’s Shrimp and Ham Jambalaya (who better to learn from than the master of Creole cuisine himself, right?). For my recipe, I subbed out the ham cubes and added chicken and some nice, spicy chorizo. You can make yours with any meats you like… pork… sausage… you really can’t go wrong! I hope you will be brave like me today and try this wonderful New Orleans favorite; I’m sure you’ll love the results. Laissez les bons temps rouler!


Easy Jambalaya
Serves: 6-8

  • 1/2 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 lb. chorizo
  • 1/2 lb. chicken, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 can whole tomatoes (14 1/2 ounces), chopped, with juice
  • 1 1/2 c. yellow onions, chopped
  • 1/2 c. bell peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 c. celery, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 cups water
  1. Heat the oil in a large cast-iron Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook chicken pieces and while chorizo until cooked through, 7-8 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  2. Add the onions, bell peppers, and celery and sauté for 7 to 8 minutes, or until golden and soft.
  3. Add the shrimp and bay leaves and sauté until the shrimp turn pink, about 2 minutes.
  4. Slice chorizo. Return chorizo slices and cooked chicken to pan.
  5. Add the tomatoes with their juice, the garlic, salt, cayenne, black pepper, and thyme. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.
  6. Add the rice and stir to mix. Add the water, stir well, cover and cook undisturbed over medium-low heat until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes.
  7. Remove from the heat and let stand undisturbed for 5 to 10 minutes.
  8. Remove the bay leaves and serve!

Breakfast “Salad” with Homemade Granola

Those of you that follow me on social media know that one of my favorite places to eat in my hometown is a little breakfast and lunch spot called the waffle shop. Often when I go I get chocolate chip pancakes or a big Belgian waffle with whipped cream, but once in a while I opt for something healthier like their “breakfast salad”… a big bowl of vanilla yogurt, topped with fresh fruit, granola with raisins, and honey. It’s really delicious, filling, and guilt free so I decided to recreate it at home and thought I’d make it special by making my own Homemade Granola as well! You can use any kind of yogurt you like for this, or substitute Greek yogurt for some added protein!

Breakfast Salad with Homemade Granola

Serves: 2

For Granola:

  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. honey
  • 1/4 c. canola oil
  • 4 c. old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. raisins

For Breakfast Salads:

  • 32 oz. vanilla low-fat yogurt
  • 16 oz. strawberries, sliced
  • 6 oz. blueberries
  • 3 bananas, sliced
  • 3-4 tbsp. honey, for drizzling
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Combine brown sugar, honey and canola oil in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Pour brown sugar mixture over oats and add cinnamon and salt. Stir until oats are evenly coated.
  4. Spread granola mixture over a cookie sheet (sprayed with pam) and press mixture down.
  5. Place in oven and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15-20 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before breaking apart and into pieces. Mix in raisins. (Any unused granola can be stored in a ziplock bag or other air tight container.)
  7. Divide yogurt between 4 bowls.
  8. Top each with a 1/2 cup of granola.
  9. Top with berries and bananas.
  10. Drizzle each salad with about a tablespoon of honey. Serve immediately.

Caprese Flatbread with Balsamic Reduction

Lighten up pizza night with this fresh caprese flatbread! Made with whole wheat naan bread and topped with freshly roasted grape tomatoes, creamy fresh mozzerella and topped with a sweet balsamic reduction and fresh basil, you won’t miss the calories of a traditional take-out pizza one bit!


Caprese Flatbread with Balsamic Reduction

Serves: 2 pizzas

  • 2 pieces whole wheat naan bread
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 8 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced (appx. 1 clove)
  • salt
  • 1 c. (good quality) balsamic vinegar
  1. Make balsamic reduction: Pour vinegar into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes until vinegar has reduced down, stirring occasionally. When it coats the back of a spoon, it is done. Remove frome heat and let cool.
  2. Roast tomatoes: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place grape tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tbsp. olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. Roast in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Place flatbreads on baking sheet. Top each with remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil and the minced garlic, divided evenly.
  4. Divide sliced mozzerella among the flatbreads and evenly distribute roasted grape tomatoes on each pizza.
  5. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  6. Top each with some chopped fresh basil and drizzle on balsamic reduction. Serve immediately!

 

Homemade Pancakes

Don’t be intimidated making from-scratch pancakes, they are really simple and well worth it! These are the light, thin kind with crisp, buttery edges. Try them for your next breakfast or Sunday brunch with a side of bacon or sausage… mmmm! 😋🥞 I got this recipe from 80 Breakfasts … check it out! 


Homemade Pancakes

Serves: 

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Butter for the pan
  1. In a bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and vegetableoil. Add the melted butter and whiskthis in as well.
  2. In another bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
  3. Whisk the flour mixture into the milk mixture until it’s just combined. Add more milk if you think the mixture is too thick (although my batter seemed to be quite thin but ended up being perfect).
  4. Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add a pat of butter. As the frothing subsides add a ladle full of batter. You can make the pancakes in any size you wish.
  5. Let the batter cook until bubbles form, and then pop,on its surface. Once the bubbles pop turn the pancake over and cook the other side until golden. Serve immediately, hot and fresh from the pan!

Grilled Lemon Herb Marinated Chicken Salad

I’ll admit it, I think salads are kind of boring. I have trouble eating one without getting tired of it. (Seriously!) So IF I am going to indulge, it has to be pretty tasty… and this lemon herb marinated chicken fits the bill. The marinade has fresh lemon, garlic, some basil and oregano… I promise you’ll get through this one without losing interest! And maybe want seconds! I paired it with a really yummy store bought lemon vinaigrette to bring out the flavors of the marinade… delish! 😉🥗 

Try it with my Honey Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette

#WhatIveGotCookin


Grilled Lemon Herb Marinated Chicken Salad

Serves: 4

For the marinade:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon (1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice)
  • 2 tbsp. water
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp. dried basil
  • 2 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • cracked pepper, to taste
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

For the salad:

  • 1 head Romaine lettuce, washed and cut
  • 3 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 large cucumber, sliced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Lemon vinaigrette (store bought), or your favorite dressing 
  1. Combine all ingredients for marinade in a jar and shake to combine.
  2. Marinade chicken breasts in a pie plate, covered and refrigerated, for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  3. Cook chicken on both sides on a lightly oiled grill pan over medium heat until cooked thoroughly. Remove from heat and rest 5 minutes before cutting into slices.
  4. Arrange vegetables on four dinner plates. Top with sliced chicken, feta cheese, and vinaigrette dressing.

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Green Beans & Mushrooms

This is such a flavorful side dish, much more interesting than just plain old green beans! Depending what else you are serving, you could easily roast everything on the same sheet pan making this into a one pan meal. 👌


Garlic Parmesan Roasted Green Beans & Mushrooms

Serves: 4

  • 1 lb. cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 lb. green beans
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 c. fresh lemon juice 
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a baking sheet lightly with non-stick spray.
  2. In a bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, thyme, and Parmesan cheese.
  3. Remove ends from green beans. Add beans and mushrooms to bowl, tossing to coat.
  4. Pour onto baking sheet in a single layer and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until tender.

Spinach & Feta Stuffed Tilapia

As far as I’m concerned, you can never have enough ways to prepare tilapia. This would work well with any thin white fish, such as s flounder or snapper. The fresh spinach and feta cheese make for such a flavorful filling. You can also prepare this slightly ahead of time, then just pop it in the oven when you’re ready to eat! Recipe credit: The Wholesome Dish Pictured below served with a side of my Garlic Parmesan Roasted Green Beans & Mushrooms. 😋


Spinach & Feta Stuffed Tilapia
Serves: 4

  • 4 tilapia fillets (or other thin white fish)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 c. part-skip ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 c. breadcrumbs
  • 1 c. fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. each salt & pepper
  • Additional salt & pepper for seasoning fish
  • 1 lemon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Pat tilapia fillets dry with paper towels and season each with a little salt and pepper.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the egg with the ricotta until smooth. Add the feta, bread crumbs, spinach, ¼ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. black pepper, and thyme. Mix until well combined.
  4. Divide the filling between the fish fillets, placing the filling on the widest end of the fillet. Roll the fish around the filling. Secure the seam with toothpicks, if needed.
  5. Place the stuffed fish, seam side down in the baking dish. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the top of the stuffed fish. Cover and bake for 25 minutes. The stuffing should be cooked through and the fish should flake when touched with a fork. Enjoy!

Best Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

This is my Nan’s recipe and it is literally the yummiest homemade chicken noodle soup you will find! She whips up a big pot any time one of us feels a cold coming on or just to warm up on an extra chilly winter weekend.


Best Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Serves: 8-12

  • 2- 48 oz. can chicken broth
  • 4 small bone-in chicken thighs
  • 4 small chicken drumsticks 
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 large carrots
  • 3 celery stocks
  • 8 oz. egg noodles
  • salt & pepper
  • parsley, for garnish 
  1. Put oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. 
  2. Put the chicken in the pot, skin side down. Sprinkle with salt and cook, undisturbed, until browned, 5-6 minutes.
  3. Trim and peel the onion. Trim and peel the carrots. Trim the celery stocks. Cut the onion, carrots, and celery stocks into 1/2 inch chunks.
  4. Add the vegetables to the pot with the chicken.
  5. Add chicken broth, stirring to scrape the chicken and any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add a pinch each of salt and pepper.
  6. When the broth comes to a boil, adjust the heat so that it bubbles steadily. Cook, undisturbed, until the meat begins to loosen from the bones and is cooked through, 15-20 minutes.
  7. When the chicken begins to fall off the bone, remove all bones and any chicken skin from the pot and discard. Bring the broth to a rolling boil and add egg noodles. Start tasting after 5 minutes; when the noodles are tender but not mushy, turn off the heat.
  8. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Laddle into bowls and serve, garnished with parsley, if desired.