Amy’s “Warm You Up” Taco Soup

In 2002 our little family moved near Birmingham to Hoover, Alabama to start a new job.  We were in an unfamiliar town with a premature infant son and quite frankly, a bit, or maybe a lot, anxious.  Truthfully, we were scared to death!  Then one day we got the neighbors’ mail delivered to our box by mistake… Continue reading “Amy’s “Warm You Up” Taco Soup”

Asian Chicken Cups

Quite a number of years ago, my sweet cousin Terri told me about this dish I had to try at a restaurant that had just opened near her home in Dallas.  The restaurant, although it was new to us at the time, turned out to be the famous chain P.F. Chang’s…and the dish was their signature lettuce wraps.  They have always been a favorite, and I decided I needed to be able to make them at home.  After all, you can’t always get to the restaurant when you have that craving.  So, I experimented with a little of this and a little of that.  And, after some trial and error, I think it got pretty close!  Then, I thought I would make it a little more party friendly.   And, instead of lettuce, I put it in a wonton cup and baked it in the oven for a handy little grab and go pick up app for any gathering.   Continue reading “Asian Chicken Cups”

Sausage Pancake Bites

I first made these when my son had a sleepover for his 11th birthday party.  I knew I would need something quick and easy that I could have ready the next morning when the thundering herd woke up focused on devouring the kitchen.  Little did I know, they would just be going to bed when I woke up!  Nevertheless, I went ahead and made them, and when they finally woke up…I reheated them for “brunch.”   Continue reading “Sausage Pancake Bites”

Ruth’s Banana Pudding

It seems you just can’t have a big family gathering without banana pudding.  At least in my family!  It’s certainly understandable, because it is irresistibly creamy, dreamy and delicious.  It always seemed to be our go to Easter dessert.  But I don’t think anyone would object to this dish any time of the year!  This one is extra rich thanks to a secret ingredient that took me years to get my Aunt Ruth to give up.  Shhh…don’t tell her I’m sharing it! Continue reading “Ruth’s Banana Pudding”

Cilantro Lime Shrimp

I love the combination of fresh squeezed lime and cilantro.  It’s so bright…especially in the hot summer months. And, when I stumbled upon pairing those flavors with shrimp…I was hooked!  When I originally tasted this, it used chicken as the protein.  That was yummy.  But, when I wanted to make it, I was out of chicken.  I did have some shrimp in the freezer.  Now, fresh shrimp would obviously be the first choice…but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.   Continue reading “Cilantro Lime Shrimp”

Barbecue Chicken Flatbread

This idea was inspired by some nachos we had years ago at one of our favorite restaurants. The chips were piled high with juicy shredded chicken, tangy barbecue sauce, diced red onion, shredded cheese and cilantro. It was the most amazing combo of flavors I’d ever had. Then I decided I’d try to make it a little lighter by subbing the chips for a flatbread and making it a pizza. The result was delicious.
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DIY Panini Bar

I love a good panini.  But, until I got a panini press, I thought I could only get them in a restaurant.  I since learned that even without a panini press, it is possible to make the tasty sandwiches at home using a skillet and another pan on top of the sandwich weighted down with a heavy can or foil covered brick.  But, the press was actually affordable…so I treated myself.  It is the ultimate customizable sandwich. Continue reading “DIY Panini Bar”

Making the most of leftovers

Almost every week we have a taco night.  And almost every week, we have leftover taco meat that nobody wants as traditional tacos in the following days.  So once I realized that was the pattern, I was almost hoping for leftovers that I could use in different ways. Continue reading “Making the most of leftovers”

Two-Cheese Grilled Cheese

It may sound ridiculously basic and simple…but is there anything more sinfully delicious than a grilled cheese sandwich?  It’s always the one thing my son will agree to when he shoots down every other idea I present to him.  He always asks, “Do we have that cheese I like?”  The cheese to which he is referring is gruyere.  I have recently discovered the beauty and versatility of this wonderfully melty cheese, and I can’t believe I wasted all these years passing it by at the cheese counter!

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Mexican Cornbread Casserole

This is the ultimate comfort food from my childhood.  I think the recipe was given to my mom from a church friend.  Nothing better than those church potlucks.  I wish I had a dime for every time I devoured this dish as a kid.  Just catching a whiff of it in the oven always made me smile…and still does.  What makes it great for busy families is it’s really just assembling easy to find convenience items, and it’s a whole meal in one dish. Continue reading “Mexican Cornbread Casserole”