Nov 30, 2012

I can’t even begin to tell you just how ridiculously good this recipe is. I planned to make it on a Sunday night, but somehow ran out of time. We ended up having it on a Monday which was a very bad day considering how time consuming this recipe can be. No regrets though! This recipe was well worth the time invested. It was very easy to make and came together easily too just plan on having extra time for all of the steps. The flavor is incredible… I mean over the top incredible. Saying this is a restaurant quality recipe is an understatement.  

This is one of those recipes you save for a night when you are having guest over for dinner. They will be very impressed with this little ditty! I know everyone in my house was impressed. The sauce alone over pasta is well worth the time.

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 large onion
  • 7 oz. fresh mushrooms
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 5 slices bacon
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2/3 cup sharp cheddar
  • Beef Bouillon cube
  • 1 apple
  • butter
  • Salt & pepper

  1. Mince the onion and clean and slice the mushrooms then set aside.
  2. Season the chicken breasts with a generous amount of salt and pepper and set aside
  3. Cook the bacon and don’t clean out the pan the bacon drippings make this recipe what it is.
  4. Drain the bacon on a paper towel and set aside.
  5. Add butter to the dripping and quickly brown the chicken breasts on both sides, then transfer them to a casserole dish.
  6. Add onions to the skillet and cook for five minutes or so.
  7. Next add the sliced mushrooms, and allow them to sauté for a few minutes, then season with salt and pepper.
  8. Add crumbled bacon to the skillet, crumbled bouillon cube and then add in the wine.
  9. Add cream of mushroom soup and mix in well. Next add in sharp cheddar and mix in. 
  10. Now pour the sauce over the chicken breasts so that they are well coated.
  11. Put the casserole in a preheated oven at 350F (175C) for 25 to 30 minutes. Until the chicken is super tender and the sauce is all hot and bubbly.
  12. While your chicken is cooking cook your spaghetti as directed on the packaged.
  13. Once your spaghetti and chicken are ready plate with the spaghetti on the bottom topped with chicken then the mushroom cream sauce over the top.
Original Recipe Source
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Nov 29, 2012

Here is a great alternative to using the boxed Lipton dry onion soup mix especially in a pinch. I learned the hard way a few nights ago that when the recipe calls for it you shouldn’t skip it. I didn’t have any on hand and never thought about making my own, but now I have and I am super happy I did. 

This recipe tastes great, the same if you ask me, and it’s less expensive. Not that the Lipton dry onion soup mix is expensive, but this way you get more bang for your buck and you can control what goes in the jar. Don’t get me wrong I still love the ease of the boxed kind, but this certain is a nice alternative when you are having an absent minded day like I was having. 

  • 3/4 cup instant minced onion
  • 1/3 cup beef bouillon powder (Look for MSG Free if possible)
  • 4 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Store in an airtight container.
About 5 tablespoons of mix are equal to 1 1¼-ounce package.

I used an olive jar to store my mix. This is my version of recycling. ;-)

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Nov 28, 2012

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Nov 26, 2012

Warner Bros. is proud to announce the release of Thunderstruck on DVD and Blu-ray December 4th 2012, along with the Thunderstruck Blog App!

NBA superstar Kevin Durant plays himself in this action-packed family film about a basketball star who switches talent with a klutzy 16-year-old fan. When Brian (Taylor Gray) magically switches basketball skills with his hero, Kevin Durant, he becomes the star of his high school team... while Kevin Durant suddenly can’t make a shot to save his life! 

But with the playoffs approaching, Brian learns that being a true winner means working hard at your own game, and he tries to make things right in time to prevent a catastrophic end to his hero’s season.

Check Out the Thunderstruck Blog App:
  • Free-Throw Challenge Game! Are you up for a Free-Throw Challenge? Show us your skills! Make as many baskets as you can and unlock special clips along the way!
  • 7 Thunder-ific Tips for Kids! Does your kid dream of going pro? Use these awesome tips to help them sharpen up their skills! “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”- Kevin Durant. 
  • Get Social! Tweet with the #ThunderstruckBluRay hashtag to get your audience revved up for the release of this action-packed family film.

 Thunderstruck Giveaway
US residents only, Prize will be sent via FedEx or UPS. No P.O. Boxes 
Allow  2-4 weeks for delivery!

Win a Combo Pack (Blu-Ray + DVD + Digital Download)

*As required by the Federal Trade Commission: The information and gift packs have been provided by Cool Cuts 4 Kids to Colie's Kitchen at no cost to Colie's Kitchen, nor is Colie's Kitchen being paid to endorse this product. All that was asked of Colie's Kitchen was to review the product, and give our honest opinion. Full DisclosurePolicy*

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Nov 24, 2012

I have been trying to use as few can goods as possible so when I saw a recipe for homemade sweetened condensed milk I knew I had to give it a try.

The flavor of the sweetened condensed milk is incredible and it’s very easy to make. 

The problem with making your own is it tastes nothing like what’s comes in the can. So don’t make this recipe expecting the same product or you will be very disappointed. Although it taste completely different it still tastes great. It would be perfect in a pinch but not something I would replace the canned sweetened condensed milk with.

The consistency is pretty similar, the color is the same, but the flavor is very different. This is a perfect recipe to keep around for the moment when you realize you don’t have a can in the back of the pantry and you need it right away for a recipe. 

  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered milk 

  1. Using an electric mixer, blend together water, butter, sugar, and vanilla.
  2. Add powdered milk and blend until thick. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Original Recipe Source

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Nov 21, 2012

Last Thanksgiving I set out to make a pie to serve after dinner. I wanted to have a pretty crust on my pie but in all honestly I didn’t have a clue how to make a pretty crust. I remember my Nana always had pretty crust, and my Mom always has too.  But how? You can find anything and everything online so why not a video that teaches you how to make a pretty crust?  Sure enough I found one! Here is the video and a picture of my crust! What do you think? If you are still trying to figure it out like I was watch this video! It's great!!

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Nov 20, 2012

Since we are a few days from Thanksgiving and so many Thanksgiving recipes seem to start with "add a can of cream of this or cream of that soup" I thought it would be fun to share as recipe I recently tried for making your own "cream of something" soup mix. 

I have been wanting to make “cream of something” soup to keep on hand as a substitute for canned cream of chicken, cream of mushroom, cream of celery (and so on…) soup. I have been looking at many variations of the recipe for a few months now. I liked the recipes found on One Good Thing By Jillee and One Orange Giraffe, but I wanted to tweek them a little bit.

You know I can make a recipe without tweeking something LOL.  I finally bought a box of dried milk and gave it a shot. It actually turns out just perfect. I read on some sites where people add celery seed or sautéed celery to make it cream of celery, bits of left over or dried chicken for cream of chicken and dried or fresh mushroom for cream of mushroom soup. I thought that was a pretty nifty idea.

I am very impressed with this recipe and excited to have it in a labeled jar in my pantry ready to be used at any moment. This also saves money and time if you forget to buy what you need; better yet it’s not in a can!!

  • 3-5 cup non-fat dried milk* 
  • 2 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup bouillon granules
  • 3/4 cup dried minced onions
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 3 teaspoons pepper
*The reason I put 3-5 cups of milk is because I found this recipe to be too salty with all the bouillon. You might start with 3 cups then after your first time using the soup decide at that point if you need to add more milk or not. I just found it incredibly salty.*


  1. Add and mix all of the ingredients together and store in an airtight container or zip bag. Don't forget to label your container so that you will know immediately how much water and mix to add to get the correct consistency. 
  2. For one can of cream of something soup adds to a saucer 1/3 cup of the cream of something soup mixture and 1-1/4 cups of water. 
  3. Cook on a medium to medium low heat until the soup thickens up to your desired consistency. 
*1/3 cup of the cream of something mixture to every 1-1/4 cups of water equal one can of cream of something soup.*

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Nov 17, 2012

I promised you all this recipe a few days ago, but I fell behind. It's here now so I guess that's what counts right? This is a really great recipe it’s nice and hardy and a perfect fall recipe! I am not a fan of fresh mushrooms, but I really enjoyed this soup. The flavor is very earthy and smooth. It has really nice creaminess to it which I was not anticipating.  

The recipe couldn’t be easier to put together. I actually made it while making something else that night for dinner. I kind of put it together on a whim. The part that takes the longest is just waiting on the barley to be cooked through. When the barley is ready so your soup.

The recipe yield is 4 servings and at least in our case it was exactly four generous servings, not any more than that.  If you are anticipating big eaters or extra guest you might want to double the recipe. Delicious!

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 2 cans (14 ounces each) chicken broth
  • 12 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1 can (about 10-3/4 ounces) cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • ½ cup quick-cooking barley, uncooked
  • 1 teaspoon reduced-sodium Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ cup finely chopped green onions
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  1. Coat Dutch oven or large saucepan with cooking spray
  2. Heat over medium-high heat until hot. 
  3. Add oil and tilt pan to coat bottom of pan. 
  4. Add onions; cook and stir 8 minutes or until onions just begin to turn golden. 
  5. Add carrots and cook and stir 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, mushrooms, cream of mushroom soup, barley, Worcestershire sauce and thyme; bring to a boil over high heat. 
  6. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in green onions, salt and pepper.

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Nov 14, 2012

I feel so lucky to have been able to get close and person with these beautiful birds. They are amazing creatures that were rescued and are now being rehabilitated.

This little guy was hit by a car and although he can no longer survive on his own he is used as an educational tool to teach people about owls, and conservation. In human terms he would be considered retarded because of his brain injury.

Isn’t he beautiful? It is illegal to possess any of the birds above without having a permit to do so. I was lucky enough to be in the presence of some of the world’s finest bird trainers and educators.

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday

We are linking up at:
        Carrie with Children
        Cooking for my Captain
        Twinkle in the Eye

Come Join Us!

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Nov 13, 2012

As an XM Radio Subscriber I get access to a digital version of Martha Stewart's Thanksgiving cookbook every year. I wanted to share the link with you. If you are still in limbo as to what you are making for Thanksgiving maybe you can get some ideas from Martha! Recently I tried her Butternut Squash with Brown Butter Recipe! It' was fantastic!!

Download here: Martha Stewart Thanksgiving Cookbook (pdf file)


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Nov 10, 2012

This recipe was just OK. I think the concept of the recipe is a great one especially if you are using leftover spaghetti sauce. The sauce in the recipe is truly its downfall. My family liked the recipe but no one was overly impressed with the sauce. This is one of those recipes that you take the idea behind the recipe and simply replace the sauce. The Italian season was just over the top that’s all I could taste.

I think I will make this recipe in the future, but instead of this sauce I will use leftover Nana’s Spaghetti Sauce instead, or worse case scenario a jarred sauce would work. I think it would be fantastic using a bunch of different cheese’s like, parmesan, mozzarella, asiago, and even some provolone. Yum.

This is a great base idea/recipe but “fixing” the sauce would be a great improvement.

  • 2 cups canned diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt pepper combo
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons seasoning salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 small bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 8 ounces uncooked pasta
  • 1 cup grated cheddar
  • 1 cup grated Monterey Jack

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a stockpot, combine the tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, onions, peppers, garlic, parsley, seasoning mixtures, sugar, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce the heat and let simmer, covered, for 1 hour. 
  3. Crumble the ground beef in a large skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until fully cooked, with no pink color remaining. Drain the fat from the meat, and then add the ground beef to the stockpot. 
  4. Simmer for 20 more minutes. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. 
  5. Cover the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan with sauce. Add a layer of pasta and then a little less than 1/2 of each cheese; repeat the layers, ending with the sauce. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. 
  6. Top the casserole with the remaining cheese, return it to the oven, and continue to cook until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 5 more minutes. Cut into squares before serving.
Original Recipe Source

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Nov 9, 2012

At this time of year my favorite find is Pumpkin Spice anything. I love pumpkin spice latte’ and any kind of hot chocolate.  When I found a pumpkin spice hot chocolate I knew I had to give this recipe a try. It’s what I consider the best of both worlds. The recipe certainly lived up to my expectations. It’s thick, creamy and has an amazing pumpkin pie flavor.

The smell in the house while this is cooking on the stove is incredible. This would also work great in a slow cooker. Try serving this recipe throughout the day on Thanksgiving. Your guest will be very happy I know I was!!

This is the doubled recipe. One recipe wasn’t even close to enough I had to double it!

  • 5 cups milk
  • 2/3 cup hot cocoa mix (no marshmallows)
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • Whipped cream or marshmallows optional

  1. In a medium sauce pan over medium low heat whisk together your milk and hot cocoa mix. 
  2. You will want to keep your heat no higher than medium. It's important that all of your spices to have a chance to mingle in the hot chocolate.
  3. Add canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice.
  4. Heat until desired temperature is reached.
  5. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream and/or marshmallows

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Nov 7, 2012

Each year My Husband and I go to the Texas Renaissance Festival for our anniversary, or maybe I should say the first time we go each year is always for our anniversary then we go again on closing day.  We were married right before Halloween so it’s always the Halloween celebration at the Ren. 

We have been so many time I have lost count. Each year it only get’s better and each year I get more and more excited to go. We have the largest Renaissance Festival in the country. 

 I love the shopping, food, and entertainment, and of course you can’t help but love the people watching. The costumes are always incredible, outlandish, and most are in the spirit of the festival. It’s a fun day had by all, and I must say it’s one of my favorite things to do in the fall. We will be going for the last time this fall in a few weeks I can’t wait!!

I think the look on the guys face says it all LOL

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday

We are linking up at:
·        Carrie with Children
·        Cooking for my Captain
·        Twinkle in the Eye

Come Join Us!

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Nov 6, 2012

I was super excited to try this recipe and now I sure am happy I did. I actually took a few different recipes I found and combined them into this one. This recipe is right on the money (at least to me) so to speak when it comes to making  Starbucks Frappuccino Chilled Coffee Drink.

I have always loved getting a bottle of their chilled coffee drinks, but the prices keep going up and my conscience won’t let me buy them too often. I made this recipe which made a gallon of this delectable drink and it didn’t cost much at all. I had all the ingredients on hand so I didn’t have to go out and buy anything.

I used cheap creamer, some old Godiva ground coffee that needed to be used up, and cheap sugars. Nothing special!!

The coffee turns out incredible!! No brewing necessary but you certainly can to speed up the process. 

It's simple,  just place the coffee grounds in a pitcher of water, cover, and wait 24 hours.

I run the coffee and grounds through either a towel or cheesecloth to remove the grounds, then add the remaining ingredients to the pitcher, mix and chill. 

It’s just that easy and certainly worth the wait. It may take a little time but its worth the price you pay for a great cup of chilled coffee. No ice is necessary as a matter of fact I wouldn’t add any ice because you don’t want it to water down your amazing Frappuccino!!

  • 1 gallon of water (16 cups)
  • 4 ounces of ground coffee (any of your choice)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup nondairy coffee creamer vanilla or plain
  • Press and seal or plastic wrap
  1. To a 1 gallon pitcher add 4 ounces of ground coffee, and then fill the pitcher up with cool tap water
  2. Mix well
  3. Cover the pitcher with Press and Seal or plastic wrap and allow pitcher to sit on the counter for at least 8 hours uninterrupted. I usually allow it to set 24 hours. You can skip this step by just brewing up 16 cups of coffee. I only have a Keurig and hate to use up 16 over priced K-cups.
  4. Strain the coffee grounds out of the coffee using either cheesecloth of a clean damp towel.
  5. Once the grounds have been strained out of the coffee mix in sugar, brown sugar, and coffee creamer into the coffee. Mix well!
  6. Recover with Press and Seal and refrigerate overnight or until coffee is cold.
  7. Pour, no need to use ice, Enjoy!
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Nov 4, 2012

I have a few Christmas gifts that I have already bought for some family members. I decided instead of spending extra money on boxes that are just going to be thrown away I would make my own gift boxes using the Silhouette machine. To stay ahead on the gift wrapping I decided to go ahead and make the boxes up.

I visited the Silhouette store and found this adorable Christmas Tree box. Aren’t they cute?

In just a matter of minutes and a little glue I made these boxes that are just the right size for the earrings and necklaces I purchased.

I added a little tissue paper and I stuck a gift take on them, and now they are residing in a bag at the top of my closet. Hum I sure hope I can find them when I go looking for them again.

Have you tried making your own gift boxes? Did you have any luck? I love the idea of making my own boxes and love how cute they turned out!!

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Nov 3, 2012

I wasn’t really sure what to expect with this recipe. The original recipe serves 2 so I had to double the recipe. The one you see below is doubled. It distressed me when I realized this one recipe was going to empty almost an entire honey bear container of honey. LOL silly huh?

Initially when I could smell this recipe cooking I wasn’t all that impressed. Don’t get me wrong it smelled good if you like the smell of soy sauce. I was had a terrible feeling that this was going to taste like soy sauce and nothing else.

I made it, let it cool and put it away for the next night’s dinner. I was afraid my husband wasn’t going to like it, but I was wrong BOY was I wrong. He not only liked it but he loved it. He was actually exited because he said it tasted just like something he loved  at a restaurant he ate at all the time when he was stationed in Washington at Fort Lewis.

I really liked it too. I was afraid I had over cooked it because my slow cooker is the opposite of slow it cooks extremely fast. It actually turned out perfect. To me it’s a cross between sweet and sour chicken and teriyaki chicken. Either way it was a real winner!!

Serves: 4

  • 1.5 pounds boneless chicken breast
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. dried onion flakes
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

  1. Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper, put into crock pot.
  2. In a small bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic and pepper flakes. Pour over chicken.
  3. Cook on low for 3 hours or on high 1 1/2 hours. Chicken into bite size pieces, then return to pot and toss with sauce.
  4. Serve over rice.

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