i always taste and tell

Monthly Archives: June 2012

This easy little treat I took to a gathering with friends and it disappeared.  Everyone there called it Crack Popcorn.  Even my health and fitness freak friend indulged in a few bites.


1 bag low fat microwave popcorn
1/2 cup peanut buter
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Combine sugar and honey in a saucepan, bring to a rolling boil.  Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter until smooth.  Add vanilla.

In a large bowl, pour the mix over the popcorn and stir together until mixed completely.

Spread onto a cookie sheet to cool.



I have been majorly slacking on putting up a new recipe lately.  so I apologize.  Mostly I am just too busy to cook.  But then I realized, that is one of the main points of my blog – that anyone can make time to cook a simple dinner every night.  So I’m trying to prove it  🙂

This was so delicious, I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out but I really loved it.  I had leftovers for a few days, and I seriously ate this for every meal until it was gone!  The more time went on, the better it got as well! I am wishing I could have it as I write this!


1 1/2 – 2 pounds stew meat, or beef.  Cubed. (I used a super cheap flank and its as still delicious)
2 10 ounce cans enchilada sauce
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 can refried beans
6-8 large flour tortillas
a bag of shredded cheese


If you have a crock pot – this is for you.  If you don’t….GET ONE!  It will change your life in the kitchen.  I can’t tell you how many times I throw a bunch of somethings in there before going to work, and come home to have a perfect dinner ready.  Okay, now that I’ve said that — I will give directions for both ways.

Put cubed beef, enchilada sauce and beef bouillon cubes in your crock pot on low for 7-8 hours.  I didn’t think about this until a little last minute, so I put it on high for 4 hours.  Whatever works!

If you don’t have a crock pot you can cook it in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover.  Let it cook for probably 2 hours likes that.  I didn’t try this way – so thats a guess on time. but probably close.

Like I said, I put this on the fast track – I didn’t give the meat enough time to flake and shed, but it was delicious no matter what.

Now all you have to do, is warm up your refried beans.  Spread a generous amount of beans on the middle of each tortilla, spoon in the meat mixture, top with shredded cheese, and roll it up!  Top with the sauce from the pan and some shredded cheese.

Put in your oven on broil for a few minutes, until the cheese is melted and enjoy!

I didn’t eat those all, so they were perfectly fine to reheat the next day!  I just kept all the rest of the ingredients on hand, and made one every time I wanted a little lunch or dinner.


I knew I had to post some kind of sweet treat on my blog, since I have yet to tackle the desert area.  I am not much of a baker, but I went searching for a recipe that sounded good and when I found this one – I knew it was the perfect first desert recipe.

It is so easy, and so delicious.  What I love about this recipe is it is very light.  Not nearly as rich as it looks.


This recipe made 12 of the pastries, but I doubled it. SO I recommend making them for when you have friends to share with.  I did not think about this, so I ended up taking them in to work to share.  Everyone seemed to be crazy about them.  Someone even commented that I had to bring in a weekly treat from now on – so I think that is a pretty good stamp of approval!

1 package frozen puff pastry
1 cup cool whip
1 cup milk
1 cup vanilla instant pudding
1 teaspoon almond extract
sliced strawberries
sliced almonds
powdered sugar – just for garnish


The pastry is so delicious and it comes from a box!
Start by heating the oven to 400 degrees and defrosting the pastries for 20 minutes.


This recipe is as if you only use one of the sheets, but since I didn’t know what I would use the other one I made them all, and doubled the recipe for the cream filling — you can do whichever you like, but remember the recipe is only for half the pastry package.

Open the sheets and cut along the folds, then cut each section in half.  Space onto a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes until they are lightly browned on the top.  They puff up all on their own, I thought it was so cool!Image

In the meantime, you can prepare your fillings.

for the cream filling – combine the package of pudding mix, one cup of milk, and your almond extract.  Whisk together for two minutes, then stir in your cup of cool whip.  Then put in the fridge until you are ready for it.

Really the reason I doubled the recipe for the cream was because I spilled too much extract so I had to even it all out.  Careful!

Slice your strawberries. and set aside.

I just bought sliced almonds, don’t think i was about to try to chop those things!


Now you are ready to fill your pastries!  Simply cut each square in the middle, cover bottom half with almonds, followed by the pudding mix, top with a layer of strawberries and put the top of the pastry back on!

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!  I could hardly finish putting on the powdered sugar before I had to stuff the first one in my mouth!

I just made this a few nights back for a little dinner party of four.  It seemed to be a huge hit, and we ate it all up!



4-6 large chicken breasts (how many ever will cover the size of your pan)
2 tablespoons olive oil
red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves – crushed or you could use dried minced garlic.  whatever you have, will work
italian seasoning
1 bag shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 5 oz package of garlic croutons
2 cups marinara sauce


Preheat your oven to 350

in a large baking pan, cover the bottom with your olive oil and a very healthy sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes.  I put a lot, and it added a nice kick.

layer your chicken breast in one layer on top of that.


Next, cover the chicken with your marinara sauce – I just used about 3/4th’s of the jar.
Then cover the marinara with a healthy sprinkling of your italian seasoning.  Fresh Basil would be delicious too – but I didn’t feel like getting any.
Cover that with half of your mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

Then you cover that with your package of croutons, and finally top with the rest of your cheese and you are ready to pop it in the oven!

bake for 35-45 minutes.  It depends on how thick your chicken breasts are.


I served it with a ceasar salad and a delicious meal was had by all!

I had some of that fancy bread left over from when I made the french toast, so I decided to put it to good use with this awesome sandwich.

I love tuna melts already, but I will never go back to the way I did them before – this was just too good.  It is just a few extra easy ingredients, but they really add that extra flavor to make it so delicious!

This recipe can easily be either cut in half or double depending on who you are making it for.



4 cans tuna – drained
1/3 cup mayonnaise + extra for spreading
4 teaspoons capers – rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
4 slices of some delicious crusty bread
8 slices tomato
4 slices of your choice of cheese – I used Chedder, Provolone would also be really good.


Turn your oven onto the broil setting, and make sure the rack is set at the highest position.

In a small bowl mix together tuna, mayonnaise, lemon juice, capers, salt, pepper, and oregano.

I do realize that capers are a pretty obscure ingredient.  I went for it just to get the full effect of the recipe – and I liked it, but I don’t think the recipe would be any less delicious if you want to leave them out.


Spread a little mayonnaise on the top of each slice of bread, top with tuna salad, two slices of tomato, and finally a slice of cheese.



Broil until cheese is bubbly – 3-5 minutes!

Enjoy!  You will never go back to a plain old tuna melt again.

I seriously think this is the most delicious thing I’ve ever made.  I can’t say that for certain, but it is DEFINITELY the best french toast I’ve ever had.

This is an overnight recipe,  So you have to prepare it the night before – but in the morning all you have to do is wake up and put it in the oven –  it’s so perfect for a lazy sunday!


1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp corn syrup
1 loaf French bread cut into thick slices
5 eggs
1 1/2 cups half-and-half cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Dash of cinnamon


In a saucepan melt butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup over medium heat until smooth, stirring occasionally.

Pour the mixture onto a large, greased pan. Spread around to cover surface. Place your slices of bread in a single layer to cover the sauce on the pan.

Mix together eggs, cream, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon. Then just spoon or pour that mixture completely over each piece of bread.

Cover and refrigerate overnight!

The next morning when you wake up all you have to do is bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes.

As soon as I took it out of the oven I flipped each piece, so it didn’t stick to the pan.

Then I served it with whipped cream and fresh berries and it was heaven in my mouth!

NOTES:  I put this in the fridge and heated it back up a few days later, and it was still just as delicious as the first time – It wasn’t even soggy!

These Chicken Pockets are a favorite at my apartment!  I have made them a few times for my boyfriend dan, and he loves it so much!  The next day he actually looks forward to me going to work, so he can get to the leftovers before me!

This recipe and super easy and delicious, but what I like about it most is it makes me feel just a *little* bit fancy.  It seems fancy and looks fancy, but I don’t have to work hard at it.



2 chicken breasts
pack of shredded cheese
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
salt and pepper to season
1 can of crescent rolls
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup of milk to make the soup with


First you need to dice up your chicken into little cubes, throw it into a pan with garlic powder, onion powder, and salt and pepper to taste.  I always add more or less of these seasonings as I see fit.

Next, make the soup according to directions on the can – using milk instead of water.

Once those two things are done you are ready to start making your little “pockets” of chicken.

Roll out the crescent roll dough and separate each crescent, fill each crescent with a scoop of chicken and a big pinch of cheese.  Place all rolls in a 9×13 sprayed glass pan.  Finally, pour the cream of chicken soup on top of the pockets.  I had extra cheese and chicken so I just threw that in the pan as well.  Top with a little bit of cheese just for good measure!


Then you just bake it at 350 for 30 minutes!  The last few minutes I take it out and separate all the pockets to ensure the edges of the crescent rolls gets cooked all the way, but that’s totally up to you!