My daughter’s favorite food is cheese. Maybe it is in her blood, since she was born in Wisconsin. When I made these cheese breadsticks for the first time, she stated I could make them every day. They are very easy to make. The only tricky part is timing the baking exactly right to get a crispy bottom that isn’t burnt.
You only need a few ingredients to make these. I used thin crust refrigerated pizza dough (in the tube). You can roll out the entire tube of dough to create a rectangle or cut off a strip of dough from the end to create a square. I pre-bake the dough to prevent the breadsticks from being soggy.
What makes these cheese breadsticks extra amazing, is the garlic butter sauce that goes on first. Just a simple combination of melted butter, olive oil, minced garlic, and parsley.
Then comes the cheese. I found that a combination of shredded mozzarella and fancy shredded Italian cheese created the best effect of stretchy, gooey cheese.
Adding an extra sprinkle of parsley and Italian seasoning on top gives these breadsticks more flavor.
Now comes the tricky part. If you don’t bake these long enough, the breadsticks will be floppy and too gooey. If you bake them too long, the bottom of the crust will get burned. I start checking every minute, starting with 8 minutes. A golden crust will give you that perfect crunch on the bottom with garlic butter and melted cheese on top.
Slice the baked cheese bread into strips (using a pizza cutter works best) to create Amazing Cheese Breadsticks.
Amazing Cheese Breadsticks
Pizza crust topped with garlic butter, mozzarella cheese, and seasonings
- 1 tube refrigerated thin crust pizza dough
- 2 Tb salted butter
- 1 Tb olive oil
- ½ ts garlic, minced
- 2 ts parsley flakes
- ½ ts Italian seasoning
- ½ cup mozzarella, shredded
- ½ cup Italian cheese blend, finely shredded
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Unroll the pizza dough onto the parchment paper. Pull the corners until the dough is thin and spread out evenly. If desired, cut a 3-4 inch strip of dough off the end to create a square (I did this and used the extra strip of dough to make a mozzarella and pepperoni spiral).
- Pre-bake the dough in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven.
- Melt the butter. Stir the olive oil, garlic, and 1 ts of parsley into the melted butter. Brush evenly over the entire pre-baked crust. Spread the mozzarella cheese and Italian cheese on the crust and sprinkle lightly with Italian seasoning and parsley.
Bake in the oven for an additional 8-10 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Watch carefully because the bottom of the crust browns quickly.
- Remove from oven. Using a pizza cutter, slice the cheese bread once vertically through the middle, then make horizontal slices to create breadsticks.
I’ve been really wanting to make a “loaded” cookie, so when I saw Carrot Cake Oreos in the store, I knew I needed to create a recipe out of them. So, I broke them into pieces and added them to cookie dough along with chunks of oatmeal creme pies and white chocolate morsels. The result is a flat, chewy cookie with lots of cinnamon flavor. They are definitely yummy!
The cookie dough with all the chunks of goodies waiting to be mixed in looks amazing!
Stir gently at this point so that your chunks don’t turn into tiny crumbs. I did wrap the dough and chill for 2 hours. Without chilling, your cookies will be extra flat and run into each other while baking.
Once chilled, you can scoop large spoonfuls of dough onto your cookie sheets. Each cookie will have cinnamony bites of creme pies and carrot cake oreos complimented with sweet white chips.
Eat one or ten (I won’t tell). Each cookie is a little different.
Oatmeal Creme Pie & Carrot Cake Oreo Cookies
Sweet, cinnamony cookies with pieces of oatmeal creme pies, carrot cake oreos, and white chocolate chips
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 1 ts vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 Tb cornstarch
- 1 ts baking soda
- 8 carrot cake oreos, broken into pieces
- 2 large or 4 small oatmeal crème pies, broken into pieces
- 1/2 cup white chocolate morsels
- In a large bowl, cream both sugars with the butter. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Stir in the flour, cornstarch, and baking soda until fully mixed. Gently fold in the oreo pieces, crème pie pieces, and white chocolate morsels. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie pan with parchment paper. Scoop large tablespoonfuls of cookie dough and place on pan several inches apart.
Bake in the oven for 8-9 minutes. Remove cookies to a wire rack to cool.
Happy 2019! My blog is almost a year old and I know one of my resolutions for 2019 should be to write more blog posts, however my work schedule has been CRAZY lately. I have hundreds of recipe ideas written on notes on my phone and in notebooks, but I simply haven’t had the time to test them out. Then sometimes, when you think you have a genius food idea, it doesn’t work when you try it in the kitchen and you have to start all over again. Some other times, a recipe may turn out and taste good, but the end product is not aesthetically pleasing enough to be blog-worthy. The good news is that I have three new recipes tested and ready to be posted!
This is my first pizookie and I really liked the texture and buttery flavor of the cookie base. I topped the cookie with crushed oreos mixed with chocolate pudding – yum! You could definitely top this treat with a big scoop of ice cream, but I thought it was just as good plain.
You start with a basic cookie dough and press it into a cast iron skillet (mine is 12 inches).
Then you break some oreos (because who doesn’t love oreos) and throw them on top with some chocolate pudding.
I love that this recipe is made quickly. After sliding the cast iron into the oven and baking the cookie, you have a warm pizookie ready to eat.
Slice this baby into triangles like you would a pizza and enjoy.
Oreo Mud Swirl Pizookie
A sugar cookie base topped with chocolate pudding and crushed oreos cooked in a cast irom skillet
- ½ cup butter, softened
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed
- 1 egg
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ ts baking powder
- ½ ts baking soda
- ¼ ts salt
- ¼ cup instant chocolate pudding mix
- ½ cup milk
- 12 oreo cookies, crushed
- cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 12 inch cast iron skillet with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, cream the softened butter with the white sugar and brown sugar. Mix in the egg. Stir in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined.
- In a separate small bowl, stir the milk into the chocolate pudding mix.
- Press the cookie dough evenly into the cast iron skillet. Spread the pudding mixture on top. You can leave a little space around the edges. Top with the crushed oreos. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until the edges are golden.
My first post for December and these Cranberry Streusel Bars are a beautiful, blushing red, perfect for the holidays. Before Thanksgiving, I bought extra cranberries to keep in my freezer because I knew a cranberry recipe would pop into my head. For these bars, I used the same blondie base as my Peach Streusel Bars because it is a truly wonderful, chewy, and delicious bar.
I love the bright, bright red of the cranberries. You need to be a bit generous with the sugar, otherwise they will be too tart.
These bars are topped with a pecan streusel, but you can omit the pecans if you don’t like nuts (I did that for half of these bars).
You definitely need to test these bars for doneness because the juice from the cranberries requires a bit more baking time. After baking, these bars are still a beautiful red color.
You can cut the bars as big or small as you like! Yum!
Cranberry Streusel Bars
A blondie bar base topped with cranberries and pecan streusel
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg white
- 1 ts vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 ts baking powder
- 1/4 ts salt
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- 3/4 cup sugar
- zest of one orange
- 2 Tb butter, melted
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
2. Stir together the cranberry topping ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Cover and microwave on high 2-3 minutes until the cranberries begin to burst. Remove from microwave, stir, and let sit while preparing the blondie base.
2. In a large bowl, stir the brown sugar into the melted butter until well combined. Stir in the egg, egg white, and vanilla. Blend in the flour, baking soda, and salt until fully combined. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared baking pan.
3. Spoon the cranberries evenly over the blondie base (let most of the juice drain away as you’re scooping).
4. Prepare the streusel topping: fluff all of the streusel toppings with a fork in a small bowl until small balls of crumbs form. Sprinkle over the top of the bars.
5. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cut into bars and serve.
I know it has been a long time since I’ve done a blog post. Working 50-60 hours a week makes it hard to find time to blog, or do much of anything.
So finally here is a tasty chicken recipe, quick enough to be made on weeknights. Next I will need to be planning all the holiday food: Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and Christmas cookies! I’ll probably need to run a marathon every week…
But anyways, back to the chicken. This Cheezy Cheez-it Chicken is similar to my Pepperoni Pizza Chicken, but has a completely different taste because the marinara and mozzarella are replaced with ranch dressing and colby cheese.
It all starts with a beautiful, crunchy crust of Cheez-it crackers. You can use any of the cheese flavors – cheddar, white cheddar, parmesan, four cheese, etc.
I didn’t want this chicken to be too dry, which is why I added the ranch dressing. The ranch adds a nice punch of flavor. I prefer Ken’s, but use whichever brand you like best.
Since we have cheese cracker coating, it is only fitting that we add some cheese on top. I used a colby-monterey jack blend, but cheddar would be good too.
No need to transfer the chicken to the oven or broiler. I just let the cheese melt in the pan over low heat for a few minutes. If you’re looking for a new chicken recipe, give this one a try. It is relatively quick and easy and has lots of flavor.
Cheezy Cheez-it Chicken
Tender chicken with a crunchy Cheez-it crust, topped with ranch dressing and shredded cheese.
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or cutlets
- 1 Tb butter
- 1 Tb olive oil
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 egg, beaten with 1 Tb water
- salt & pepper
- 2 cups crushed Cheez-it crackers, any cheese flavor
- 4-8 Tb ranch dressing
- 1/2 cup shredded colby-monterey jack or cheddar cheese
- If using chicken breasts, slice the breasts horizontally and flatten them to the desired thickness (if using chicken cutlets, skip this step). Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then dredge in flour. Next, dip the chicken in the beaten egg mixed with water. Finally, dip both sides of the chicken in the crushed Cheez-it cracker crumbs (the finer your crumbs, the better they will stick). Let the coated chicken rest while preparing pan.
- Heat 1 Tb butter and 1 Tb olive oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the chicken to the skillet. Cook the chicken on each side until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Make sure the first side is fully-browned and crispy before you flip it to the other side (this will make sure your coating stays adhered). Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking chicken on both sides until cooked through, about 10 minutes per side.
- Pour 1 or 2 Tb of ranch dressing on each chicken cutlet. Then top with the shredded cheese. Let the chicken stay in the pan over low heat for a few minutes until the cheese starts to melt, then serve.
The coming of fall and winter means it’s time to pull out the soup pot (even though it’s still close to 90 degrees in Georgia). This Lasagna Soup is flavorful and hearty, full of ground beef, cheese tortellini, tomatoes and spices. Bonus – it can be made in about 30 minutes. My daughter declared it one of my best recipes yet.
You start by sauteing some onions, then adding spices, tomatoes, and chicken broth. Your kitchen will start to smell amazing while it is simmering.
Using high quality tortellini is important. I used Buitoni brand from the refrigerated section of the supermarket, not dried tortellini.
Of course, what would lasagna be without cheese. Once ladled into the bowl, I topped this soup with a slice of mozzarella, which melts right into the soup. Yum!
A hearty soup full of ground beef, cheese tortellini, and tomatoes, topped with mozzarella cheese
- 1 lb ground beef
- 3 cups cheese tortellini (fresh refrigerated, not dried)
- 1 Tb butter
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 ts basil, dried
- 1 ts parsley, dried
- 1/2 ts garlic, minced
- 1/2 ts Italian seasoning
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 14.5 oz. can stewed tomatoes
- 1 14.5 oz can whole tomatoes
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 2 ts sugar
- 1 ts salt
- 1/4 ts pepper
- mozzarella cheese, sliced
- Crumble ground beef in a skillet and cook over medium-high heat until browned.
- Meanwhile, in a large pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions and cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the basil, parsley, garlic and Italian seasoning. Pour in the chicken broth and stir. Crush the whole tomatoes (using your hands works best) and add to the soup. If the stewed tomatoes are large, chop them into smaller pieces and add them to the soup. Stir in the tomato sauce, sugar, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil.
- Add the cheese tortellini. Boil for 3 minutes or until the pasta is soft. Drain the grease from the ground beef and stir the meat into the soup.
- Reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with a slice of mozzarella cheese.
Monkey bread doesn’t have to be sweet. Nor does it need to be baked in a bundt pan. These monkey bread rolls are cheesy and savory and baked in a muffin pan. They make a nice addition to an Italian meal, pizza, or soup.
Using refrigerated biscuit dough helps this recipe become quick and easy. Simply start by cutting each biscuit into 6-8 small pieces. Then toss them in a large bowl with melted butter, seasonings, and cheese.
After that, you smoosh several of the biscuit pieces into each opening of a muffin pan. Make sure you smash them down a little bit, so that the pieces with stick together once baked.
Once they come out of the oven, they are puffed up into cheesy, golden bread muffins.
You can either take a big bite outta these or tear off the little chunks of biscuit one by one. Enjoy!
Savory Monkey Bread Muffins
Monkey bread in muffin form with seasonings and cheese
- 1 16 oz. tube refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
- 2 Tb butter, melted
- 1/4 mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup colby monterey jack cheese, shredded
- 1/2 ts dried parsley
- 1/4 ts seasoning salt
- cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray.
- Cut each biscuit into 6-8 pieces. Place biscuit pieces in a large bowl and pour melted butter on top. Stir/flip biscuit pieces to coat. Add seasoning salt and parsley. Stir to coat. Finally add both cheeses and toss the biscuit pieces until they are covered in cheese. They will be sticking together, which is ok.
- Smash several biscuit pieces into each well of the muffin pan. The biscuits should come to the top of each opening. Fill until all of the biscuits have been used.
- Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the muffins are golden brown.
For some bizarre reason, I have not had muddy buddies, aka puppy chow in years. Many years. Then I happened to buy a bag of the pre-made stuff at the grocery store because it was buy one get one free. I thought they’d be a good snack for my daughter’s school lunches since she’s had to eliminate some other snacks due to getting braces. Well, she thought the muddy buddies were awesome and suggested we make some different flavors at home. Thus, the beginning of 99 flavors of muddy buddies has been born.
We started with fruity pebbles. My daughter is the official smasher.
Adding white chocolate and powdered sugar makes this snack super addicting.
I love that muddy buddies are no bake and can be made in just 15 minutes. I can tell this is going to turn into a new obsession.
The fruity pebbles add such a wonderful pop of color to this snack. I may need to add this to my Christmas Eve menu.
Fruity Pebble Muddy Buddies
Chex mixed with white chocolate, fruity pebbles, and powdered sugar
- 3 cups rice Chex
- 3/4 cup Fruity Pebbles cereal, finely crushed
- 1/4 cup Fruity Pebbles cereal, not crushed
- 4 oz. white chocolate
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- In a large bowl, gently stir the crushed fruity pebbles with the rice chex, being careful not to break the chex.
- Melt the white chocolate according to the manufacturer’s instructions. I use Baker’s chocolate, microwaving it for 30 seconds and then 10 second intervals until melted. Stir the chocolate until it is completely smooth and has no lumps.
- Pour the white chocolate over the chex mix. Stir and add the powdered sugar and un-crushed fruity pebbles. Mix until the chex pieces are coated. Store in an airtight container.
These cookies are so pretty; I may need to add them to my Christmas cookie platter this year. This is a small batch recipe, so be ready for them to be gone. Half chocolate cookie and half caramel cookie – the caramel cookie half is especially yummy!
Look at this cookie dough with melted caramel ready to be mixed in…I wanted to eat this right out of the bowl. I’ll definitely have to come up with an edible caramel cookie dough.
You don’t need to swirl the cookie dough together. Simply scooping a small amount of each kind of cookie dough into a cookie scoop will result in a partially marbled cookie.
As I mentioned, this is a small batch recipe. I only had one dozen delicious cookies to eat.
So here is how these cookies turn out: beautiful, swirled, soft, chocolately, and slightly sweet.
They are a nice change to the typical cookie contenders.
Enjoy a stack of these delicious cookies.
Chocolate Caramel Swirl Cookies
Half chocolate, half caramel cookies
- ½ cup butter, softened but still cold
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 ts vanilla extract
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 ts baking soda
- 1/2 ts salt
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup caramel bits
- 1 Tb heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Beat the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla. Beat well. Add 3/4 cups of flour, the baking soda, and salt, and beat on low speed until mixed.
- In a small saucepan, melt the caramel bits over medium-low heat. Stir in the heavy cream and a dash of salt. Cook and stir until melted and smooth.
- Divide the cookie dough in half. To one half, stir in the cocoa powder. To the other half, add 1/4 cup more flour and the melted caramel. Stir until well mixed.
- With a cookie scoop, scoop up a little bit of each dough (chocolate and caramel). Drop on the parchment lined cookie sheet several inches apart. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes.
We eat a lot of chicken at our house, so it’s good to have a lot of chicken recipes on hand. This is my version of Chicken Cordon Bleu, which is relatively simple.
First, I bread chicken cutlets and brown them in a cast iron skillet.
Next, I dot the chicken breasts with a pat of butter, so that the chicken doesn’t get too dry and the swiss cheese gets extra melty.
Swiss cheese, Canadian bacon, and more Swiss cheese top it off,
A brief transfer to a hot oven and the cheese melts to blanket the chicken.
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Breaded chicken cutlets topped with Swiss cheese and Canadian bacon
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken cutlets
- 3 Tb butter
- 2 Tb olive oil
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 egg
- 1 Tb milk
- salt & pepper
- 1 1/2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs
- 4 slices Canadian bacon
- 8 slices Swiss cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season the chicken cutlets with salt and pepper. In a shallow bowl, beat the milk with the egg. Dredge the chicken cutlets in flour, then dip in the beaten egg, and then coat both sides with breadcrumbs.
- Heat 2 Tb butter and 2 Tb olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the skillet. Cook the chicken on both sides until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking chicken on both sides until cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- While the chicken is cooking, cook the Canadian bacon in a small skillet over medium heat until slightly browned.
- Top each chicken cutlet with a small pat of butter. Lay a slice of Swiss cheese on each cutlet, followed by a piece of Canadian bacon, and another piece of Swiss cheese. Transfer the cast iron skillet to the oven and bake for 3-5 until the cheese has fully melted. Remove from the oven and serve.