Bewitching Week Begins!!



The Bewitching Week is upon us. I cannot believe this week is already here, I feel like I just started planning the party at the start of summer!!

Whats is store this week?

Some witchy movies, dishes, crafts, and a sneak peek into the party before the witches arrive.

only 1 week until the witches fly!




xo Jo

Vegetables from Martha.

It’s Martha Stewart. Need I say more?


I was extremely excited to find out I get to review this book, I know that its been out a little over a month, but it’s still exciting. I am a huge huge huge Martha Stewart lover. I used to watch her show all the time, I said used because we don’t have “cable” anymore and my DVR is gone.  So while I miss her show and a bunch of others, I at least get to enjoy the outdoors, reading, and cooking more. This book is by Martha & her team, and is filled with recipes for all the veggies you can think of. The photos are beautiful, and are exactly what you’d want to see. Its much easier to compare to a photo if something looks completely different.

Martha is known for, well, everything I suppose. Cooking, cleaning, crafting, and even her “jail stay.” She truly is the figure of Homemaking. I used to aspire to be just like her when I grew up and got married. Turns out, I do not have that much talent in those departments.

The book has this great recipe for spaghetti with mussels, lemon & shallots. I will more or less not spend the money on fresh mussels but have recently found a frozen option, that has 3 different types of mussels in sauces. I would swap the fresh for the frozen, unless I can splurge. 

I like that the categories in the book are labels based on the type of vegetable. It ranges from the generic root, bulb, and greens to others likes shoots, flowers, leaves.  Its a learning experience to see which category my favorites fall under.

The recipes in the book can be difficult or easy. I am looking forward to making the kale chips, onion rings, and corn soup. There are also recipes for things like pad thai, salmon chowder, and rutabaga apple mash. ( which sounds delicious)

 I must say the first recipe from this book that I am going to try is he braised celery. It seems simple but looks incredible. 

Each recipe has a photo to go with it, which I love! 
Buy the book!


Penguin Random House



I received this book through Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest review.
Happy Cooking! 

One Pot Meal: Tomato Pasta

This is one of those one pot meals that really hit home. Its filling, and the cream cheese adds just the perfect amount of creaminess. The recipie says to serve immediately and there is no joke about it, the pasta soaks up all the water and broth and it becomes a sticky mess. Still delicious, just very sticky.  I’m sure if you add a little more water/broth maybe it would help. I didnt  have time to try it  since everybody had their plates full of the pasta. Needless to say there were no leftovers.

Adapted From: Diet Hood


    • 12-ounces fettuccine
    • 2 cups water
    • 2 cups vegetable broth
    • 1 large onion, sliced
    • 1/2-cup fresh basil leaves
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced
    • salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
    • 4 oz cream cheese
    • 1-1/2 cups tomato sauce
    • 1/4-cup grated parmesan cheese, or to taste


  1. In a stockpot, combine pasta, water, vegetable broth, onions, basil leaves, garlic, salt and pepper.
  2. Cover, cook over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
  3. Remove cover and continue to cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until pasta is cooked and almost all liquid is absorbed; stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in cream cheese and tomato sauce; mix until combined.
  5. Stir in grated parmesan cheese; taste for seasonings and adjust accordingly.
  6. Serve immediately.



xo Jo

What Is That? HPBBQ Chicken

Lets just say the photos do not do the chicken justice. It was moist, delicious, and so tasty.  My family likes to BBQ ribs, chicken, beef, you name it. But while sitting around the house trying to figure out what the heck to do with this chicken breast I realized I could just make a  sauce and cook the chicken in it myself. We bought HP sauce, which is like A1 sauce, but better.  While we love our beef as well, steaks are not something commonly on the menu.

So I threw together a little sauce and set some aside to dip the chicken in.


You’ll Need:

3-5 chicken breast

1/4 cup of Hp sauce ( or A1)

3/4 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce. We love Sweet Baby Rays

Dash of Pepper

If this is too tangy for you add a small pinch of sugar.




Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix sauces, sugar, and pepper in a bowl. Set aside

Set chicken into 9×11 baking dish and pour/ brush sauce over the chicken.

Cover with foil and bake 20-25 minutes.

Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes.

Take out of oven, make sure chicken is cooking through and serve.




xo Jo



Eating: Poppyseed Chicken Casserole.

Here is another recipe I found on Oh Sweet Basil, for some poppyseed chicken. I didnt put too much poppyseed onto the casserole, not many people like it, and those little balls get stuck in your teeth……It is also my no means a health option. You can always half the recipe so it’s not so “rich” or only use 1 can of cream of chicken soup


  • 3 Chicken Breasts, cooked and diced
  • 2 Cans Cream of Chicken soup
  • 1 Tub (16 oz) Sour Cream
  • ½-1 Tablespoon Poppy Seeds (optional)
  • 1 Package Ritz Crackers
  • 1 Cube Butter, Melted (Used a half stick of butter)
  1. Heat Oven to 350
  2. Mix soup, sour cream and chicken together. Pour into a 9×13 in pan.
  3. Break up the crackers and mix with the melted butter . Sprinkle over the chicken mixture and place in oven. Sprinkle poppyseed over that if using.
  4. Bake for 30 min and serve over rice or just as is.






xo Jo

Feeling Veggie?

Vegetable soup is one of those soups that are versatile. Chicken soup must have chicken, tomato soup has tomatoes, the list can go on. BUT, vegetable soup can have meats in it, different broths, different vegetables, added tomatoes, spices, and herbs. Its a never ending list.

This soup was fun to create, and easy to make. Throw it in a crock pot, and let it get warm. If you add noodles let it cook for 30 more minutes.





1 Tbs tomato paste

1 can of diced tomatoes (14.5oz)

3-4 cups chicken broth ( or which ever broth you have on hand)

Random spices and herbs

1 bag of frozen mixed vegetables You can always get the family bag and leave out the noodles

1 cup of cooked noodles ( I used these cute little tube noodles)

Directions: Throw it all in a crockpot EXCEPT THE NOODLES let cook on low for 3-4 hours add noodles and let sit until hot. Feel free to cook it on high but keep an eye on it.

No one wants mushy noodles.



xo Jo

The Spicy Bite: Jalapeño Bites

Need an appetizer for a party? or maybe something to snack on? These bites are perfect. You create the sizes so if you want a lot of bite size pieces cut them smaller. Simple. I have made these a dozen times and can finally make them without looking anything up like th amount of cream cheese to use.

If your not a fan of spice use some chopped green chilis which are much milder. I prefer the spice so i use a lot of Jalapeños. Check out the original recipe at Tasty Kitchen . I love the way she post exactly whats going on in her head as she types. My kind of lady.



  • 8oz package Cream Cheese, cubed
  • 4 ounces Canned, Diced Jalapenos or Green Chilies
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  •  Tube of Refrigerated Crescent Rolls


These can make anywhere from 18-32 bites depending on size.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.

Throw about 3/4 of the cream cheese into a bowl. Add 3/4th (more/less) of thecan of diced jalapeños. Add sugar.

Take your fork and mash it all up really well. I used a spoon to smash it up and make sure it was mixed well. Set aside.

Open up your tube of crescent rolls and place on your cutting board. Separate them into two rectangles. Now pinch together the perforations to create two rectangles.

With a spoon spread half of the cream cheese mixture onto one of the rectangles and the remaining onto the other.

Once you’ve spread your half portion of cream cheese on one of your rectangles, start with the LONG end of the roll, and get to rolling.

Cut each roll into approx. 16 pieces..

Place your pieces, cream cheese laying face up on a sprayed baking sheet. Bake 11-13 minutes. Serve.





xo Jo

Busy Day? Tell me about it.

It seems that the moment Autumn hits, so do invitations, appointments, and birthdays.  My calendar is the most filled during the months of September and October. It seems that dinners are either on the go, or something simple at home. I found a way to cook something delicious, and do it on a busy day. You throw it all together then cook it and done!! The recipe I use is from Oh Sweet Basil. It has a lot of delicious dishes to choose from!! This recipe alone has 3 options, homemade, semi homemade, and not homemade at all. I used the not homemade one, but really want to try the others as well. Ricky the Picky ate this, and had no idea that it contained cream of mushroom soup.


You’ll Need:

  • 1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 Cup Long Grain White Rice
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 Cup Carrots, sliced
  • ½-1 lb Ground Beef, cooked
  • Cheddar or colby jack cheese, sliced about 9 pieces


  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8×9″ baking dish with nonstick spray.
  2. Stir together the soup,rice, water, carrots, and beef. Place in the baking dish and bake for 90 minutes. Top with cheese slices and bake a few more minutes or until melted.
xo Jo

Cherry Cheesecake Bars & Young Frankenstein.


After watching all these movies cooking food I did realize that none of them are themed or matched up well. I have found some Christmas movies that are easy to pair food, snacks, and drinks with.


I think it should be a theme week!!


I’ll get on that the day after Halloween.


Then it is right into turkey tinsel town.  It’s a place. In my mind.


Looking for a sweet treat? Sure you are. I am not a cheesecake fan. Ive tried and keep trying but cannot get into it. But when it’s homemade cheesecake, I tend to have a different view ( if it has some fruit or chocolate in it.) Bring on the cheesecake bars!


I found this gem on Life with the crust cut off  cute site, check it out.

  • 1 bag (1 lb 1.5 oz) sugar cookie mix
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons  flour
  • 1 egg ( for cookie mix)
  • 2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs ( for cheesecake mix)
  • ¾-1 cup cherry preserves ( any fruit you’d like or have on hand)
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line bottom of 8×8, thick, or 13×9-inch pan, thin,with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  2. In medium bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, flour and 1 egg until soft dough forms. Press evenly in pan.
  3. In large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and 2 eggs with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread evenly over crust in pan.
  4. Drop spoonfuls of the preserves onto the cheesecake filling. Use knife to pull spread from side to side through cream cheese mixture to create swirls. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until filling is set, should wiggle slightly in middle.
  5.  Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours. For bars, cut into 8 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.



xo Jo