Category Archives: Recipe

Cheesy Ranch Chicken Recipe

I am in love with this cheesy ranch chicken recipe.

cheesy ranch chicken recipe

It was another night of coming home and having absolutely no desire to cook dinner.  I was hungry.  You know those days, right?  The ones where making it until 5 took the last bit of energy you had stored.  But I had made a promise to myself that I would workout at least 4 times that week.  So there was no backing down from going to CrossFit.  So right after work, I headed to the gym.  After getting done with my workout I started feeling pretty weak.

By that time I got home I needed something easy for dinner.  I wanted something that I could put in the oven and then walk away from it.  Those are my favorite types of recipes to be honest.  The least amount of work required with the best taste.  Those are the best!

I opened the fridge and thankfully I had some thawed chicken.  So the hard decision was already made for me.  I had seen a few recipes on Pinterest using chicken and honey mustard dressing.  I thought that sounded good, but I didn’t want to use what little honey mustard we had left.  So my light bulb went off and I swapped it for ranch.

I’m not going to lie… it was amazing!  It was so good that I didn’t even get a chance to snap a good photo before we scarfed it down.  All I have are these quick photos I took with my phone.  I told you I was hungry!

Here’s what you need for this easy cheesy ranch chicken recipe:

4 chicken breasts
4 Tablespoon of ranch dressing
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 cup of shredded cheese (I used fiesta blend because that’s all I had, but any kind will work)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, spray your dish with a cooking spray.

cheesy ranch chicken recipe

Season both sides of the chicken breast with salt and pepper.  Place the chicken in the baking dish.  Pour the ranch dressing on top and spread around with a pastry brush or spoon.  Make sure you cover the chicken evenly.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.

cheesy ranch chicken recipe

Add cheese to top of chicken and cook for about 2-3 more minutes or until cheese is melted.


4 chicken breasts
4 Tablespoons of ranch dressing
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/4 cup of shredded cheese (I used fiesta blend because that’s all I had, but any kind will work)


1) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, spray your dish with a cooking spray.
2) Season both sides of the chicken breast with salt and pepper.
3) Place the chicken in the baking dish.  Pour the ranch dressing on top and spread around to cover evenly.
4) Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.
5) Pull out baking dish and add cheese to top of chicken.
6) Place back in the oven for about 2-3 more minutes or until cheese is melted.

The Best Chicken Casserole Recipe

the best chicken casserole recipe


The best chicken casserole recipe is right here.

It takes a lot to declare something the best.  I realize that, but TRUST me.  This recipe fits the bill.  J even ate 3 plates.  It’s that good.

the best chicken casserole recipe

If you’ve ever had tuna casserole then it’s an improved version.  J loves my tuna casserole recipe, but I don’t like tuna.  So he rarely gets it, which is not fair to him.  This past week I had a late meeting and needed a quick recipe for dinner.  I thought about a tuna casserole, but quickly nixed that idea.  Then I thought about grabbing food on my way home, but J and I trying to stick more to our budget.  So that was out.

the best chicken noodle casserole recipe

I came home and was really thinking about this tuna casserole idea.  I wondered how it would be if I swapped chicken for tuna.  I found my old recipe and made some changes.  It came out to be the BEST chicken casserole recipe.


16 oz. of cooked chicken breast, shredded
1/2 bag of egg noodles, cooked and drained according to package
1 can of cream of chicken soup, you could use a cream of mushroom soup too
1 1/2 c. milk, I used unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. garlic pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup pita chips, crushed

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a square pan and set aside.

In a bowl, mix together cream of chicken soup, milk, chicken and seasoning.  Add cooked noodles and stir to combine.  Add 1 1/2 cup of cheese and mix well.

Pour mixture into greased baking pan.  Top with remaining cheese and crushed pita chips.  Bake in oven for 30 minutes.

NOTE: If you don’t have pita chips, any crackers will work.

the best chicken casserole recipe

We barely had any remaining.  I also wasn’t sure if this one would turn out so good.  That’s why the pictures were taken after we ate half of it.  Oops!

Trust me this chicken casserole recipe is amazing!

the best chicken noodle casserole recipe

I mean, look at all that cheese! Yummy!


Pizza Inn Chocolate Chip Pizza Recipe

Note: Some links in this post contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you make a purchase. Thanks for supporting my blog!

pizza inn chocolate chip dessert pizza recipe

I love Pizza Inn’s chocolate chip dessert pizza.

I have an obsession.  It’s not healthy, but I can’t stop myself.   It’s delicious.  I have to limit myself, it’s that good.

A few weeks ago J and I planned to go to my parents to watch a game.  Mom was making snack foods so I agreed to bring dessert.  Chocolate chip pizza was the only thing I could think of.  It had been awhile for me and I needed my fix.

I scoured online and found a few different recipes.  I decided to combine two recipes.  I feel my recipe is a legitimate Pizza Inn chocolate chip pizza recipe.

Pizza Inn Chocolate Chip Pizza Recipe

–  baking pan, you can use either round or rectangle.  Just make sure it’s on the large size.  I used this pizza pan set, which is a favorite because with a little Pam, nothing sticks to it and it’s super easy to clean.
–  1 THIN pizza crust in a can
–  2 sticks of butter, melted
–  1 box of yellow cake mix
–  3/4 bag of milk chocolate chips
–  1/4 cup brown sugar
–  1/4 cup granulated sugar

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Spray nonstick cooking  on the pan (I use one made with coconut oil).  Spread crust evenly on pan. Follow can instructions for pre-baking crust.  Mine said to bake for 5 minutes.

While your crust is baking, grab a bowl.  Stir together sugars with a fork to break up any lumps.  Set aside.

Remove crust from oven and set aside.

TIP:  If the crust has any air bubbles after pre-baking, poke with a fork.

Mix together melted butter and yellow cake mix.  There will be a few lumps in the batter.

pizza inn chocolate chip dessert pizza recipe

Spread cake mixture onto the crust.  Leave approximately ½ inch from the edge without any batter.

Sprinkle the chocolate chips on the batter.  Using the palm of your hand, lightly press chips into that batter.

pizza inn chocolate chip dessert pizza recipe

Sprinkle sugar mixture over pizza.  Cover batter and chocolate chips, but avoid the edges of the crust.  You may not need all the sugar mixture.  I used it all to make sure it was covered completely.

Bake for 7-12 minutes.  I would check at about the 7 minute mark and then keep an eye on it every 2 minutes thereafter.

pizza inn chocolate chip dessert pizza recipe

If after 12 minutes the top hasn’t browned then switch to broiler for 1 minute.

TIP: Do not walk away from the oven if you switch it to broiler.  It will burn!

Remove the pizza from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes.  Cut, serve and enjoy!

If you make the pizza ahead of time then heat the oven to 350 degrees before serving.  Place the pizza in for about 2-3 minutes until chips melt.

What is your favorite dessert to share?

Slow Cooker Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken Recipe

pineapple teriyaki chicken recipe

I love a good slow cooker recipe, which is why I’m a fan of pineapple teriyaki chicken.

Ever get in a food rut?  You know when you find yourself cooking the same dishes over and over.  When that happens you find yourself eating out more than you want.  Then your food choices start to slip back to bad habits.  That’s what was happening to J and I.  We were in a food bore.

I needed to shake things up.  I came across a few slow cooker recipes and  that’s when the light bulb turned on.  In the true-to-myself fashion I combined some recipes to make my own.  That’s how the crockpot pineapple teriyaki chicken recipe came to be.  I’m sure I’m not the first person to come up with it, but I’d like to think I’m special.

NOTE: This slow cooker chicken recipe is amazing and super simple.  

pineapple teriyaki chicken recipe

Here’s what you need to make this delicious pineapple teriyaki chicken recipe:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 bag of carrots (I used organic baby carrots)
  • 1 large can of pineapple in 100% pineapple juice, undrained
  • 1 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (optional, but makes it sweeter)
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper

Place the chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker.  Add the seasonings.  Pour the pineapple and juice over the chicken.  Be careful to not wash off too much seasoning from the chicken.

Add the carrots to the slow cooker.

In a measuring cup, pour out 1 cup of teriyaki sauce and mix in the brown sugar.  Pour over chicken.  Place lid on and cook on low for 7 hours.

pineapple teriyaki chicken recipe

NOTE: You could always use 1 small red onion and 4 garlic cloves instead of the powder.  But J does not like onion so when I do use it, I tend to cut it in big chunks so it can be removed.  I didn’t have any onion or garlic on hand so I substituted the seasoning.  It tasted fine to us!

Voila!  There you have it.  A simple chicken recipe that packs a load of flavor.

Whole30 Meal Ideas

I survived my first Whole30.  It was hard, it was rewarding and I will so be doing it again.  I learned a lot about food and my body during those 30 days.  I broke my diet coke habit and my need for chocolate after almost every meal.  Don’t get me wrong, I still plan on indulging from time-to-time.  I will keep it to small, infrequent indulgences.

I put together some meal ideas using some recipes I found or made.  I was pretty new to this whole clean eating thing.  So I thought I could pass along these recipes.  It’s hard to come up with easy dinner ideas when you work full-time.  It doesn’t help either when you have 100+ other things to do.

Whole30 meal ideas

Whole30 meal ideas

Avocado-lime salad dressing without added honey or sugar from merelynne.

Whole30 meal ideas

Grilled tilapia with homemade salsa from merelynne.

Italian Chicken Soup from Your World: Healthy and Natural.

Whole30 meal ideas

Taco chicken with homemade taco seasoning from merelynne.


Salmon cakes from Our Paleo Life.

Here’s to your #whole30!  May it be as great as my experience and just as hard to get through.

Whole30 Recipe – Crockpot Italian Chicken

The other day I was really struggling to think of something for dinner.  I had planned out our meals because of Whole30, but sometimes things don’t happen like you plan them.  So here I was standing in my kitchen at 7:45 in the morning knowing that I needed to leave in 5 minutes to get to work on time (yes it takes me less than 10 minutes to get to work – it’s amazing!), I kept thinking that I desperately needed to cook the chicken that was thawed before it went bad.  I looked around and realized I didn’t have much to work with.

I finally just threw some ingredients into the crockpot, set it to low and left for the day.  I kept my fingers crossed all day that it would turn out good and not be wasted like my first attempt at fried chicken was.  That was a bad, bad dinner.

Not only did my Italian Chicken turn out – it was probably one of the best meals I cooked on Whole30.  J gave me his seal of approval with an empty plate.  So that must mean it was good.

whole30 recipe, crockpot recipe, whole30 approved, chicken recipe, clean eating

Here’s what you need for this whole30 recipe – crockpot Italian Chicken:

4 chicken breasts, skinned and boneless
2 cups of chicken broth
1/2 white onion cut into chunks
1 cup organic baby carrots
2 Tbsp. Oregano
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. garlic powder

Put the onion and carrots on the bottom of your slow cooker.  Season both sides of the chicken with the salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and Oregano.  Pour Chicken broth on top until the chicken breasts are covered with the liquid.  Cook on low for 7-8 hours or until chicken is cooked through.

You could serve this with some cauliflower rice or zoodles or eat all by itself.


Homemade Salsa {Whole30 Approved}

I love salsa.  The chunky kind that’s really juicy and not too spicy.  I love it with chips, but on Whole30 that’s a no-no.  So I’ve found other ways to get my salsa fix.  Carrots are great and even on top of a potato is another good way, but I have a new favorite way to eat salsa.  … on top of tilapia.  It’s sooo good.

It all started on a day I ran home to make lunch during my break from work.  I had less than an hour and was pretty hungry.  I started the tilapia in the oven, but knew that was not going to be enough.  I scoured the kitchen and found some veggies laying out.  Boom!  The idea hit me.  Salsa.  I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out.  I kind of thought that it would end up being so bad that I would have to throw it all away and then I’d be starving by the time I went back to work.

I was so wrong.

The homemade salsa was perfect on the tilapia.  Plus it being Whole30 compliant was the icing on the non-existent cake.

homemade salsa, whole30

Homemade Salsa:

1 tomato
1 red onion
1/2 white onion
lime juice
yellow bell pepper
orange bell pepper

dice the tomato, red onion, white onion, cilantro, and bell peppers until they are very finely chopped pieces.  Mix in the lime juice.  Let sit in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to allow the juices to mingle.

Place on top of your tilapia, potato, carrot sticks, or whatever else you can think of.

What’s one of your favorite ways to eat salsa?

Avocado-Lime Salad Dressing, A Whole30 Recipe

So I’m a honey mustard and thousand island kinda girl when it comes to my salad.  I always say I could eat a big salad every single day and be perfectly happy.  And that’s the truth as long as I got one of my favorite dressings on hand.  Of course those dressings are not Whole30 approved and are so not healthy for my body.  So I nixed them.  They had to go.

I cannot eat a salad without any type of dressing on it.  Gross!  The thought of it just kind of sickens me a bit.  I need some more flavor on it.  Sure I can add tomatoes, red onions, peppers, chicken and so much more, but I need a little extra umph to get me through.  I went looking on Pinterest (the source of everything!) to find something that sounded good and would be Whole30 approved.

I found an avocado-cilantro one that sounded pretty good, but it had added honey in the recipe.  Well that was not going to work for me, so I switched some stuff around and made my own.

avocado salad dressing, whole30 approved salad dressing, whole30 recipe

Avocado-Lime Salad Dressing, Whole30 recipe


1 ripe avocado
2 Tbsp. of lime juice
the juice of 1 orange
1 Tbsp. cilantro
1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
water (for consistency)

Add all of the ingredients into a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Add water until the consistency you like is reached.  I like my dressing a little thicker (hence my love of honey mustard and thousand island dressings) so I didn’t add very much.  It’s probably not as sweet as the original since we left out the honey, which I’m okay with.  It’s still very tasty and the perfect topping to my salads.

whole30, avocado lime salad dressing recipe

Any leftover dressing can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

This Whole30 just got so much easier! Boom!

Whole30 Recipe {Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole}

whole30 breakfast casserole
So for my first week of following Whole30 I found this yummy looking casserole from From This Kitchen Table on Pinterest.  I added a few tweaks and voila – my very own breakfast casserole that’s Whole30 approved.

I went ahead and made a pan up on New Year’s day, let it cool then sliced it into 10 pieces.  I put two slices into the fridge and the rest I wrapped to freeze.  I figured knowing what I could eat for 10 mornings would really help me out.  You see, I’m not the best morning person.  I usually wake up late, watch too much tv, play with the dogs too long and dilly-dally getting ready.  I couldn’t depend on myself to get up and actually cook a healthy, Whole30 approved breakfast every morning for 30 days.  It was impossible.

whole30 recipe sweet potato breakfast casserole

Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole, a Whole30 recipe

1 pound ground meat (I used beef because it was what I had on hand, but you could use any)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 small white onion, chopped (you could use less or more depending of your love of onion)
2-3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 bell pepper, diced (optional and I used 2 smaller peppers)
8 eggs
1/2 cup coconut milk
additional salt and pepper


1) In a skilled combine meat with garlic powder, thyme, red pepper flakes, black pepper and salt.  Add onions about half-way through browning the meat.

2) place sweet potatoes in a separate pan in place in oven on broil for 8 minutes.  Stir the potatoes and place back in the oven for an additional 6 minutes.  Do not use the pan you’re going to bake this casserole in to broil the potatoes.  When you’re ready to add the eggs the pan will be too hot and it will immediately start cooking your eggs.

3) Turn oven to 350 degrees

4) Whisk together eggs and coconut milk together.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

5) Spread the sweet potatoes in the casserole dish, top with meat mixture and green peppers.  Add the egg mixture on top.

5) Bake on 350 for 30 minutes.

Once out of the oven, slice into 8-10 pieces.

If you’re going to freeze a portion of the casserole then let cool completely, wrap individual pieces in foil and place in a freezer bag.  To reheat from freezer, do not thaw.  Place directly into microwave for 1 minute or until heated through.

whole30 breakfast casserole

I have to tell you – this casserole is so yummy.  I’m excited it turned out so well.

Skinny(ish) Apple Pie Recipe with Cinnamon Roll Crust

apple pie recipe with a cinnamon roll crust
For Thanksgiving I wanted to bring an apple pie for two reasons:

1) I LOVE apple pie
2) I have been wanting to try a recipe for a cinnamon roll crust that I had seen on Pinterest.

The recipe was everything I had dreamed of and then some.  Yummy!  Plus, it wasn’t hard to make and didn’t require me to make a crust from scratch because we all knew that wasn’t going to happen this past week.  No way.  Then I had added a tried-and-true apple filling recipe I had used years ago from Weight Watchers.  These two recipes combined made for apple yumminess magic.  I promise you it was like heaven in your mouth – you could taste the orchard.

*I would like to go ahead and apologize for the poor photo quality. I forgot my nice camera at the office and only had my cell to snap photos with

apple pie recipe with cinnamon roll crust II

Cinnamon Roll Crust Recipe:
(adapted from Pure Wow)
1 package of 2 pie crusts (the refrigerated kind)
4 Tbsp. butter, melted (I used Brummel & Brown with yogurt)
1/2 c. light brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 egg white (for the actual baking process – see below)

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the two crusts until they are each 1/2″ thick.

cinnamon spread
In a small bowl, mix together the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and extract.  Spoon half of the sugar mixture onto each pie crust and spread evenly.

Roll up the crust, lengthwise.  Wrap in saran wrap and place in the fridge for about 20 minutes.  Take a serrated knife and cut the spiral into 1/2″ thick pieces.

cinnamon roll crust pieces
Take a rolling pin and flatten the spiraled pieces until they are about 1/4″ thick.

In the pie pan spread, lay out half of the flatten pieces so they overlap on the edges.  Press together.

You should be able to use all of your spiral pieces for the shell, however, if you have any remaining then you can make a pie topper.  Place Them together on top of the counter into a circle.  I didn’t have enough remaining pieces to make an entire shell to cover my pie, which I thought was fine!  Chill both pieces for about an hour before filling.


Lightened-Up Apple Pie Recipe
(adapted from Weight Watchers)

2 medium Fuji apples, cut into 1/4″ cubes
2 medium Granny Smith apples, cut into 1/4″ cubes
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 Tbsp. apricot jam

In a bowl combine the apples, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add apple mixture and cook until slightly softened.  You will need to stir every few minutes.  This should take about 10-12 minutes.

Remove the apple mixture from the heat and stir in the jam.  Set aside to cool.

apple pie recipe cooking
Once the pie crusts have chilled long enough, pour the apple filling into the bottom crust then top with the remaining cinnamon roll pie crust.  If your top covers the entire pie then cut 4-5 slits on top for it to breath.  Brush with egg white.

Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position and then place a rimmed baking sheet on the rack.  Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.  Once the oven is heated, carefully place the pie on the hot baking sheet.  Reduce the temperature to 425 degrees.  Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

Once the top is golden brown, turn the temperature down to 375 degrees and rotate the baking sheet.  Bake for about 30 minutes, until the crust is a deep golden brown.
skinny ish apple pie with cinnamon roll crust