Summer Picnic Favorite

One of my favorite things about summer is picnics and get togethers. One reason I love these is the food. I am a huge fan of picnic type food.. salads, dips, bbq. I have one recipe that I usually make for these events because it is  easy and it has never let me down.  In this post, I am going to show you my  hoagie dip recipe. It’s perfect for any event and can be made in less than 10 minutes !


Hoagie Dip


1 lb Turkey Breast Chopped Finely

1/2 lb Hard Salami Chopped

1 lb Sliced Ham Chopped

1 lb Provolone Chopped

1/2 Red Onion diced

1/2 tomato diced

4 or 5 banana peppers chopped

Shredded lettuce

1/2 cup mayo

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Italian seasoning

Red Pepper Flakes



1.) Chop all lunch meats and cheese and place in a bowl.

2.) Chop onion, and banana peppers and place in the same bowl.

3.) Mix dressing.  Add mayo, olive oil and vinegar – stir well. Add in red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning to taste.  Pour over lunch meat and veggies. Mix well.

4.) Lastly, add in lettuce and tomatoes. I typically do this right before I serve so the lettuce doesn’t wilt.

5.) Serve with crackers or bread  and enjoy !




Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Today’s recipe is a Bailey family favorite. I have literally been eating these cupcakes for as long as I can remember and let me tell you something, they are DELICIOUS! My mom has always been an awesome baker. She can make all kinds of desserts and they always taste amazing. These cupcakes, just happen to be one of our family’s favorites. When she makes a batch (24 cupcakes) they can easily be gone in 2 days !! Crazy right, but once you make them for yourself you will understand why !


1 (8oz) package cream cheese

1 egg

1/3 cup sugar

6 oz. bag of chocolate chips

1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 cup cocoa

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 TBSP. vinegar

1 tsp. vanilla



1.) Mix first 3 ingredients together in a bowl until smooth, fold in chocolate chips.


2.) Mix remainder of the ingredients until smooth for chocolate cupcake mix.


3.) Place cupcake liners in cupcake pans (2 pans), preheat oven to 350*.


4.) Fill cupcake liners 1/3 full with chocolate mixture.

5.) Top each cupcake with a heaping spoonful of cream cheese mixture.

6.) Bake for 12-15 minutes. I typically put them in for 12 minutes then check to see if they need another minute or two.


Now that I have a house and family of my own, I make these a lot. Cole and Layton both love them and they are gone in just a few days !

Enjoy and try not to eat too many ! 🙂





Easter Dessert

Hi everyone !

I hope you had a great Easter yesterday ! I wanted to share with you the dessert I made for our family lunch  ! It was easy and inexpensive. I got the idea from Facebook and wasn’t sure how it would turn out but I thought it was cute and appropriate. You could also make this dessert for springtime in general with some minor changes.


Box of brownie mix

Oil, eggs and water to make brownies


Can of chocolate frosting

White chocolate chips

Orange food coloring


Robins eggs candy


1.) Prepare boxed brownie mix, place in pan and bake as directed.

2.) While the brownies are cooking, begin to prepare strawberries. Melt white chocolate chips in the microwave until smooth, add food coloring to create an orange color.

3.) Dip strawberries into chocolate and place on cookie pan to cool. I placed mine in the refrigerator to harden.

4.) Place about 15-20 Oreo cookies in a ziploc bag and crush. This will be the “dirt topping”.

5.) When brownies are finished, let them cool and then begin assembling.

6.) Place chocolate frosting on top of brownies. I did a thin layer. Then top with chrushed Oreos. Finally place chocolate covered strawberries and robins egg candies on top !


Your completed desert should look like a carrot patch ! I placed a small bunny in the dish to add something extra !

The dessert turned out cute and everyone enjoyed the taste ! You could also do other chocolate covered fruit to creat different veggies to make it look like a garden for the spring/summer !
Enjoy !

home, recipes

5 Meals for $50

For most people, coming up with a weekly meal plan can be difficult, time consuming and expensive  depending on what you plan to cook.  I enjoy creating a meal plan for the week simply because if I don’t , I feel lost and have no plan when I come through the door at 4pm.

This week I created an easy meal plan for 5 nights of food all for under $50. Seems sort of impossible with grocery costs these days but I did it and it was awesome ! Lately, I have been shopping at Aldi which makes spending less on groceries so much easier. I was able to get everything I needed for all the meals for a total of $ 49.00 !


Meals :

French Bread Pizza and Onion Rings

Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

Ground Beef Goulash

Creamy Italian Crockpot Chicken

Cheesy Chicken Brocoli and Rice

Grocery List:

  • Onions (2-3)
  • Green Pepper (1)
  • French Bread Loaf
  • White Bread Sliced
  • 2 Jars of Pasta Sauce
  • 1 bag of Shredded Italian Cheese
  • 1 bag of Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Pepperoni
  • 1 bag of Onion Rings
  • Sliced American Cheese
  • Ground Beef
  • 3 cans of diced tomatoes
  • 3 cans of condensed tomato soup
  • Egg Noodles (2 bags)
  • Packet of Italian Dressing Mix
  • 1 block of Cream Cheese
  • 1 can of cream of Chicken Soup
  • Chicken Breasts (enough for 2 meals- I got a pack of 6)
  • Bag of Steamed Broccoli Florets
  • Rice ( I used brown rice)
  • 1 Container of Chicken Broth
  • 1 can of tomato paste

Here you can see all the items I purchased for all the meals along with prices. The only items I did not get at Aldi were sliced cheese for grilled cheese and onion rings (only because I forgot them). Both of those I purchased at Weis. I also did not include in my grocery list items that are pantry staples including onions, garlic, olive oil, butter and seasonings. These are things that I always have on hand and do not need to purchase on most shopping trips.


Meal 1- French Bread Pizza and Onion Rings

  • French Bread
  • Sauce
  • Italian Shredded Cheese
  • Pepperoni
  • Onion Ringsimg_2926


  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. Cut bread in half and place on a baking tray.
  3. Spread sauce, sprinkle with cheese and place pepperoni on the bread.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes until cheese is melted and bread is crispy.


Meal 2- Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

  • Bread
  • Butter
  • Sliced Cheese
  • 3 cans condensed tomato soup
  • Shredded cheddar
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • Milk
  • Parsley, Italian Seasoning and Garlic Powder



  1. Heat 1/2 cup milk and 1 cup shredded cheddar together on the stove until melted and smooth.
  2. Add in condensed soups and diced tomatoes. Mix well.
  3. Stir in extra cheddar if you wish, let simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
  4. Add seasonings including parsley flakes, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder (as much or as little as you would like)
  5. Make grilled cheese ! ( We all know how to do that, I think ) However, we use a panini maker to make our grilled cheese sandwiches and they get delicious !

Meal 3- Ground Beef Goulash

  • Onion
  • Green Pepper
  • Ground Beef
  • Garlic
  • 1 Jar Tomato Sauce
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • Egg Noodles
  • Shredded Cheddar
  • Italian Seasoning
  • 2 cups Water



  1. Fry onions, green pepper and ground beef on med high heat until cooked.
  2. Drain fat, add in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, water and tomato paste.
  3. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add bag of noodles, stir and simmer an additional 10 minutes.
  5. When noodles are cooked, remove from heat and stir in 1-2 cups of cheddar cheese.

Meal 4- Creamy Italian Crockpot Chicken

  • Chicken Breasts (3-4)
  • Packet of Italian Dressing Mix
  • 1 block of Cream Cheese
  • 1 can of Cream of Chicken Soup



  1. Place frozen or thawed chicken in crockpot.
  2. Stir together Italian dressing mix, cream cheese and cream of chicken soup. Pour over chicken.
  3. Cook for 8 hours on low.
  4. Shred and serve with rice or noodles.

Meal 5- Cheesy Chicken Broccoli and Rice

  • Chicken Breasts (3-4)
  • 1 cup of uncooked Rice
  • 1 bag of steamed broccoli or 1 head of fresh broccoli
  • Onion
  • 2  cups Chicken Broth
  • Shredded Cheddar

(T0tally forgot to take a picture of the ingredients !)


  1. Cut chicken breasts into cubes. Cook with onion over medium high heat until cooked through.
  2. Add in 1 cup of rice. Pour 2  cups of chicken broth over chicken and rice mixture. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in brocoli and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in 1-2 cups cheddar cheese.

I should also mention that each of these meals was more than enough for 2 people. Cole and I ate each meal for the lunch the next day also. So each meal made enough for 4-5 servings. I also chose a lot of meals that didn’t need side dishes to make cost per meal less.

All of the meals were delicious, easy and affordable !

Enjoy !





Pizza Dippers- Kid Approved!

Anyone looking for a kid friendly, super easy weeknight dinner ? I recently tried a new take on pizza in the form of a breadstick. I know this is not something totally revolutionary and I am probably way behind the game on this one but they were pretty tasty. They were definitely Layton and Cole approved and took about 15 minutes to prepare and bake.



1 can Pillsbury Pizza Crust (makes about 8 breadsticks)

1 package mozzarella string cheese

1 package pepperoni

1 jar pizza sauce (for dipping)


1.) Preheat oven to 350*, spray baking tray with non stick spray.

2.) Roll out pizza dough into rectangle, cut into 8 even square sections.

3.) Place several pepperoni and half of a cheese stick in the center. Roll to form breadstick shape.

4.) Brush with melted butter, sprinkle with Italian seasoning and parmesan cheese.

5.) Bake for 10-12 minutes until light golden brown. Warm sauce for dipping.



Enjoy !




Chocolate Chip Goodness

Anyone who knows me, knows that I have 2 absolute favorite “treats” that I CAN NOT live without. They are chocolate chip cookies and donuts. My love for donuts is  another topic for a another blog and I could probably go on for several pages. This blog however is dedicated to my love for chocolate chip cookies.

Prior to getting pregnant 2.5 years ago, I had no desire to eat cookies or brownies or anything sweet. When I found out I was pregnant, that all changed. I ate pans of brownies in one sitting (I’m not bragging or anything but that is a pretty amazing task) and dozens of cookies and since then I’ve got a permanent sweet tooth !

My all time favorite treat is a warm, tasty chocolate chip cookie. Over the holidays I found a new favorite recipe ! I generally use the recipe on the bag of chocolate chips and it is good, don’t get me wrong, but this recipe is delicious.

Here it is ..


1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 brown sugard

6 TBSP granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups chocolate chips

  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees, line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Add in egg and vanilla extract; mix until combined
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt together. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Scoop balls of cookie dough onto sheet, however big or small you prefer.
  5. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until golden brown along the edges and on top.

My biggest complaint about this recipe is that it only makes 20-24 cookies. In this house, those are gone in 24 hours !


Here is your challenge for this week: Make these cookies and try to eat just one. I DARE YOU !



Taste Test Thursday

At the beginning of the month, I decided to make a new years resolution. Now this is not your typical resolution. Most people vow to work out or eat healthier. Not me. I decided to challenge myself to make a new recipe/meal every night for the entire month of January. I have to give Cole some credit on this one. We were talking about dinners and he was getting on me about having lots and lots of cookbooks and never making anything out of them (This is something else I get from my mother. We collect cookbooks ! Crazy must run in the family !) After our talk, I decided to take the challenge and make 23 different meals (not counting the weekends) !

For one my first meals, I wanted to make Chinese Food. I like ordering Chinese food but figured I could make something similar on my own. So here it is General Tso’s chicken and fried rice. The recipes I looked at were pretty easy to make and I adapted them a little for my taste. For those of you that like Chinese, give this a try ! It was yummy !

General Tso’s Chicken

2 lbs chicken breast, chopped into pcs

3/4 sugar

1/2 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup ketchup

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 clove of garlic pressed

4 TBSP brown sugar


1.) Chop chicken into bite size pieces and fry in pan until cooked and light golden brown.

2.) To make sauce, whisk together remaining ingredients. Pour over cooked chicken in skillet.

3.) Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.


Fried Rice

3 cups instant rice, cooked

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic pressed

2 eggs, lightly scrambled

4 TBSP soy sauce


1.) Prepare rice according to directions ( I used brown rice)

2.) Fry onion and garlic in skillet until cooked.

3.) Add in eggs, scrambled and stir with onions/garlic.

4.) Add rice, fry for several minutes.

5.) Stir in soy sauce, mix well.


My taste testers said that it was “delicious” and they wished I made more ! Taste Test Thursday was a success and I will definitely be making these recipes again !