Click to Enlarge / Copy and Paste / Size as You Wish / Print and Enjoy!

Search Recipes

Friday, April 29, 2022

Italian Wonderpot: a one-pot winner!

Since Cori introduced me to this recipe, it has been a staple in our meal rotation.  And it's so versatile, because you can make substitutions easily and deliciously.  

  • I have used fettucine, penne, bowties, and even angel hair as the pasta.  
  • I have made it with shrimp, cooked it with canned clams, used with rotisserie chicken, I've prepared it with Italian sausage and with smoked sausage, and I have even *GASP* served it without any meat (though technically, it's cooked in chicken stock: homemade chicken stock instructions below).  
  • Speaking of which, you can swap out the stock for vegetable broth and make it vegetarian
  • Use nutritional yeast instead of the parmesan and make it vegan
  • I have used frozen spinach instead of fresh--you just add it with the broth instead of at the end (and actually, the original recipe called for 8 ounces of frozen spinach)
  • You can use fresh garlic or minced from a jar
  • You can leave out the red pepper flakes if your kids don't like "hot" spices
  • I have used Italian seasoning blend when I've been out of dry basil (a problem in our house)
  • Speaking of basil, the photo below has fresh basil in lieu of spinach, because I had neither fresh nor frozen on that day

Once you have made it a few times, you'll be substituting your own favorite ingredients according to your family's tastes.  Every person in my house is excited when I make Italian Wonderpot, and I usually double the chicken stock and the pasta so there's more to go around. 

I make chicken stock in the InstantPot and freeze until I need it--place a rotisserie chicken carcass in your InstantPot, add water until just covered, and pressure cook for 20 minutes.  Pour stock through sieve, let cool, and freeze in a Tupperware container until you need it for Italian Wonderpot.

I am so glad I finally got the motivation to make a recipe card--this is an easy, delicious, satisfying meal  that needs to be shared!

Monday, April 25, 2022

Best Carrot Cake & Cream Cheese Frosting

It's an Easter tradition!  Except this year, I made it the week after Easter, because hashtag-life-happens!  I wouldn't have even made it, but Mollie and Calvin were disappointed aaaaaaaaaaand Allen's parents came to stay for the weekend . . . so a special dessert was just the ticket.

This is a NO FAIL recipe--it's always moist and delicious.  I keep it fully frosted in the fridge (or, let's be honest, in my cake carrier in the garage, because who has room for a cake in their fridge?) and serve it cold--it's just the best spring time dessert.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake

If the number of bowls you dirty is an indication of how yummy a recipe is, then this one takes the (pun intended) cake!  THREE bowls, all your measuring cups and spoons, rubber spatulas, classic Bundt pan, and beaters will fill your sink . . . but the most moist and delectable chocolate cake you've ever had will fill your mouth.

Worth it, people.

For this chocolate cake (which recipe originally comes from America's Test Kitchen, but was introduced to me by my dear friend, mellifluous Melanie) you don't want to use Dutch-processed cocoa.  Natural cocoa is gonna give the cake a fuller chocolate flavor, and won't compromise the cake rise like Dutch-processed cocoa will.   You can dust it with powdered sugar when it's done, but I think it's perfect as is.

The recipe also came with the best Bundt cake advice ever: instead of greasing your Bundt pan with shortening and then dusting with flour (which doesn't really work and makes your cake look ugly and floury), make a cake release cocoa paste and brush it on the inside of your Bundt pan--it's just equal parts cocoa and melted butter.  I have NEVER had a Bundt cake slide out of the pan so perfectly!
This is the classic and original Bundt Pan design--I think it's perfect
for any cake.  You can get them for a great price on Amazon.

I am proud of myself for getting a photo of the cake before we started devouring it.  It is rich and moist and turns out perfectly every time, as most America's Test Kitchen recipes do.  I think these pictures speak for themselves.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Taco Soup

This is one of my mother-in-law's signature dishes and it is so satisfying.  The first time I had some, I knew I needed the recipe.  It's also one of the first recipe cards I ever made, and look how horrible it used to be:
Do not print this card--scroll down for new and improved recipe card.

The best thing about this taco soup is that you can have it in the crockpot (or in a regular large pot on your stove--I love making mine in my Amazon basics Dutch oven, one of my favorite Christmas gifts from my mom and dad!) in ten minutes.  It's fast and easy and the envelope of Ranch makes it so zesty.  Just be sure you buy a packet of Ranch DRESSING and not Ranch DIP.  I have made that mistake more than once, and believe me, they are not the same thing.

I really like to use elk burger or venison burger in taco soup, because the seasonings flavor the meat so well--no one can tell it's not beef.  I prefer frozen corn, but you can totally used canned corn. I also substitute other kinds of beans--usually Great Northern beans, sometimes black-eyed peas or garbanzo beans; Allen's mom always makes it with kidney beans.  I've added leftover rice, too--it's such a versatile, hearty soup!  I make it at least once a month, and always for hosting a large crowd.  The recipe makes a lot.  It feeds our family of six easily, and I freeze whatever is left (usually half) for a night when I don't feel like cooking.

My husband likes to crumble corn chips in his taco soup, but I prefer to DIP my chips.  Our kids each have their own style, too.  Leave a comment and tell me what your favorite brand of corn chips is!

Friday, April 1, 2022

Nutella-and-Marshmallow-Stuffed Brownies

I used The Baked Brownie recipe to make these Nutella-and-Marshmallow-stuffed brownies, because it is the last brownie recipe you'll ever need.  I just spread half the batter in the pan, drizzled Nutella over it, then drizzled Marshmallow Cream (which I purchased for the first time specifically for this recipe), then covered with the remaining half of the brownie batter.

I was expecting them to be "too much."

But, um, hello.  They were amazing.