Tuesday, December 9, 2014



It is so expensive to buy, so I've learned how to make it. And if I was able to make it, so can you!

First you have to make the sushi rice. 
You will need:
  • Sushi Rice 
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Sugar 
  • Salt 
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Plastic wrap 
  • Bamboo mat 
  • Toasted seaweed
  • Filling (whatever you want to put inside the sushi rice) I used avocado and crab meat which is a California roll but there are many different combinations
Combine 3 cups of rice with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Pour into a different bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, sugar, salt, and vegetable oil and pour over the warm rice and stir it in. Let the rice cool enough so that you can handle it.

Over your bamboo mat with plastic wrap so that the rice doesn't stick to it. Then place a sheet of seaweed on top of it and put a layer of rice on top of the seaweed. Next, put your filling at the end of the end seaweed, and wrap up the roll using the bamboo mat. Finally slice up the roll, starting in the middle for even pieces.

The more you do of these the better you will get, don't worry!

Chicken & Dumplings

Crockpot Meal

An easy meal that your family will love!

I like to make this meal on days that I don't have much time to spend preparing something. 

Things you will need:

  • boneless skinless chicken breast (5) I used 5 small pieces 
  • 2 cans of cream of chicken soup 
  • peas 
  • carrots
  • 1 can of biscuits 

Combine 2 cans of cream of chicken soup,chicken breast, peas, and carrots into a crockpot and cook for at least 5 hours 
Then turn crockpot on high and add biscuits to the top, make sure to cut up the biscuits into smaller pieces
Serve and enjoy! :) 

My Inspiration

My Mother

The best cook I've ever known! 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Great Appetizer

Spicy Garlic Ranch Chicken Tenders

Spicy Garlic Ranch Chicken Tenders

I used Koch Foods Cravers Whole Grain Breaded Chicken Breast Strips, 24 oz. bag from Wal-Mart for my chicken tenders. I was very happy with these tenders, they were very big and meaty compared to most tenders I've purchased in the past. Although, you may use whatever brand you prefer, and I chose the whole gain as a healthier choice. I cooked them per the instructions on the bag. Then I made of the Spicy Garlic Ranch Sauce.(See ingredients below, for a small batch of sauce) I then tossed the cooked tenders in the sauce and baked them at 400 degrees for about 5 more minutes. Then served with Ranch or Bleu Cheese, and enjoy! :)

Spicy Garlic Ranch Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
  • 1/2 Frank's Red Hot Sauce
  • A pinch of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of melted butter
  • Cook on a stove top in small sauce pan, or microwave 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Village Tavern, Lock Haven, Pennsylvania

Mine & My Mothers Favorite Restaurant

I can't even express what I wonderful place this is to eat! I highly recommend it to anyone visiting the Lock Haven area. Not only is everything homemade and absolutely delicious, but everyone that works there is family. When you go there often, they treat you as though you are part of their family as well. Also. my favorite part of my meal at The Village Tavern is before my meal even comes out. As soon as you sit down they give the table a basket of homemade Italian bread, and a small dish of homemade peppers that are GREAT! You can purchase a quart or a pint to take home with you.

Please visit and like their Facebook page at the link below:

Contact Information:
525 E Bald Eagle St, Lock Haven, PA 17745
(570) 748-6128

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Simple Dinner Side

Shells, Cheese, and Broccoli

My best friend sometimes asks me what to have for a side with salmon, or pork chops. I know its sometimes a struggle to come up with new things to have. Most people resort to a potatoes of some form, but that can get old after awhile. So I tried this last night for a side with just sandwiches.

I had fresh broccoli left over from something else that I had made, so I boiled that until it was tender. Then I added the cooked broccoli to a box of Velveeta Shells & Cheese and little bit of extra cheese.

The World's Healthiest Food

The Avocado

I sometimes try to work avocados into dinners and lunches. Cooking for two guys that never want to try anything new or healthy it's hard to do, it's like tricking a little kid into eating their vegetables.

What you can put avocado in:
  • Sandwiches
  • Salads
  • Burgers
  • Guacamole

They have several health benefits being a super food.
  • Promote heart health
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Carotenoids
  • Cardiovascular
  • Regulates blood sugar
  • Anti-Cancer benefits
How to select the right avocado at the store:

A ready-to-eat avocado should be slightly soft, and the color should be green in color with hints of a dark purpleish/black color. Another way to tell is the top of the avocado , if you take the little stem off and it looks light green underneath then it is ripe.

Hours after you cut on an avocado they start to turn a yucky brown color there are several things that you can do to prevent this from happening but what I found that works the best is lemon juice. If you rub or squeeze a lemon on the avocado it will prevent it from getting brown so quickly.

Preparing an avocado:

I usually make a cut evenly the whole way around the avocado, and then twist it so it comes apart from the pit. Then I take a spoon and scoop it out away from the skin, and scoop out the pit the same way, then you can slice it however you wish to.

Favorite Mexican Restaurant

El Jalisco Mexican Restaurant

2105 N Atherton St, State College, PA 16803
(814) 826-2362

Authentic Mexican Cuisine

It is very inexpensive for the amount of food you get, your meals always come out quickly, and they are always steaming hot and delicious.

For Lunch Today!

Spicy Black Bean Burgers

Most grocery stores carry the Morning Star brand of Spicy Black Bean Burgers
Low fat chipotle mayo
Cheese of your choice, I prefer pepper jack
Pepperidge Farm Deli Flats

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Classic Family Dinner

Homemade Meal


This may be a very time consuming to make but it will definitely be both it because your entire family enjoy it.

  • Ham
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Scallop Potatoes
  • Cole Slaw
  • Dinner Rolls

French Onion Dip

French Onion Dip

Perfect football game snack!

Easy and cheap to make for a football game snack.

~Follow the instructions on the package

Honey Mustard Dip/Dressing

Honey Mustard Dip

Perfect for football game parties!

Simple to make & delicious

~Follow the instructions on the package

Healthy Egg Salad

Egg Salad
For lunches this week, I am making healthy egg salad sandwiches.
Items you will need:
  1. Place 8 eggs in a large saucepan and cover with cold water 1 inch.
  2. Bring them to a boil and cook for 1 minute
  3. Cover saucepan and remove from heat
  4. Set aside for 8-10 minutes
  5. Drain eggs and let them cool completely before trying to peel
  6. Slice up peeled eggs and mix them with 2/3 of the low fat mayo
  7. Slice up the onions, tomatoes, and avocado
  8. Finally, prepare your sandwich.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Kitchen Table Center Piece

Decorate with mason jars

Simple Stromboli

Fast, Easy Dinner Idea

This meal was just enough to feed my teenage brother, my father, and myself.

*Listed below are the ingredients that I used, but you may use your favorite pizza/Stromboli toppings
  • Roasted red bell peppers
  • Hot pepper rings
  • Provolone cheese 
  • Ham
  • Salami
  • Pepperoni
  • Marinara sauce
  • Preheat over to 375 degrees
  • Pull apart crescent rolls, but leave them in the small rectangular pieces
  • Form a circle with the pieces on a greased pizza pan (you can lay some of it out over the edge because you will be folding it up later)
  • Layer your toppings towards the middle of the circle you made with the crescent rolls
  • Then fold the ends towards the middle to cover everything up, you may need to pinch some of the seems together to keep it from coming apart
  • Bake for about 20 minutes and serve with marinara sauce


Asparagus Fries

Yummy twist on asparagus


I usually purchase a large bag of asparagus from Sam's Club because it's less than anywhere else and you get more.

  • 2 large beaten eggs
  • 1 cup of Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup of  grated Parmesan cheese, I used Kraft
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Cover large baking sheet with oil olive
  3. Combine bread crumbs and cheese on a large plate*
  4. Beat eggs in a large bowl
  5. Dip asparagus in eggs and then in bread crumb and cheese mixture, coat well
  6. Place asparagus in a single layer on the baking sheet
  7. Bake for 15 minutes until asparagus becomes crispy
*Cover large plate with plastic wrap before putting bread crumb and cheese mixture on it to make clean up easier.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Need A Cake?


Sweet Tooth Bakery  in State College, Pennsylvania makes fantastic cakes!

Craving Sweets?

A place you must visit!

If you like frozen yogurt, you will LOVE Sweet Frog!

Visit http://sweetfrogyogurt.com/ to learn more

Chicken Noodle & Cheesy Vegetable Soup

My Favorite Soup!

Chicken Noodle & Cheesy Veggie Soup

This soup is very inexpensive, super simple, quick to make, and absolutely delicious!

         What you will need:
I normally cook the vegetables separately, let the cheese melt on them, and then add them to the soup. You may cook the soup per the directions on the box.
**Helpful Hint: Be careful not to heat the soup to a boil after adding the cheese and vegetable because it may burn or taste burnt.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

One of my favorites :)

Chicken Alfredo with Fresh Asparagus

This meal can be made in about 30 minutes or less and it delicious! :)


*you can serve this a garden salad and garlic bread

What's for dinner tonight!

Pork Chops, Roasted Baked Potatoes, & Asparagus

What you'll need to make it:

  • Pork chops
  • Red skinned potatoes
  • A bundle of fresh asparagus
I like to marinate my pork chops in Lawry's Steak & Chop Marinade, and then boil the potatoes whole for a few minutes until they become soft. After that I roast them in the oven at 400 degrees, lightly sprayed with olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and cut slits in them. I do the same exact thing with the asparagus.


Hot Chocolate

Inexpensive, cute gift to hand out to family & friends during this cold weather

Supplies that you will need:

  • Wide mouth mason jars
  • Hot chocolate mix
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Baileys

Visiting State College, Pennsylvania?

You must stop and try the Waffle Shop!

It's one of the best places to eat in State College, but you better get there early they only serve breakfast, bunch, and lunch.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Quick & Healthy Dinner Idea

Steak Salad

When my family is busy, and I don't know what else to make, this is my go to meal.

All you will need is:

  • Your favorite cut of steak (seasoned or marinated as you like)
  • Lettuce of your choice (iceberg, romaine, spinach)
  • Shredded cheese of your choice, I used sharp cheddar cheese
  • Your favorite salad toppings (olives, peppers, onions, bacon bites, cucumbers etc.)
  • Your favorite dressing
  • French fries

Steak Salad

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What's for dinner tonight!

Marinated Steak, Alfredo, and  Roasted Asparagus

Items you'll need:

  • your favorite cut of steak
  • your favorite marinade for the steak (I like to use Kraft's Italian Dressing Mix)
  • I used Knorr Pasta Sides alfredo to save time, adding a little extra garlic powder to it can make a world of difference
  • and then a bundle of fresh asparagus tossed in olive oil and lemon juice, seasoned
Steak, alfredo, & asparagus


  • you may prepare the steak however you prefer, I like it grilled it to medium well
  • there are instructions on the package to make the Italian dressing, if its your first time making it be sure to purchase the bottle to make it in
  • you can also just follow the directions on the Knorr pasta side package to prepare the pasta
  • I like to roast my asparagus in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Wine Recommendation


Fantastic Fall Wine

Seven Mountains Wine Cellars

Another one of my favorites from Seven Mountains that only becomes available in the Fall.

Homemade Stuffed Shells


  • 1 box of large shells


  • 1/2-1 pounds ground beef and/or loose Italian sausage
  • your favorite red sauces (I like to use DelGrosso's sauces)


  • 2 containers of cottage cheese (16oz)
  • mozzarella cheese
  • parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • garlic
  • parsley
  • oregano 


  1. Brown the ground beef in a frying pan and drain off the grease.
  2. Combine the cooked meat with the red sauce into a crock pot and cook as long as you would like, the longer it cooks the better it will taste :)
  3. While the sauce is cooking you can stuff the shells, it may take awhile
  4. Cook the shells per the directions on the box, be sure to add some salt so they do not stick together or break.
  5.  I don't like to drain them because they stick together sometimes that way, so I use tongs to pull them out one at time and put them on wax paper
  6. In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients for the stuffing and mix well. 
  7. Then stuff all the shells with about two spoonfulls of the mixture 
  8. Place stuffed shells in a deep baing dish and cover with the meat sauce 
  9. Bake at 350 degrees, covered
Cook for 30 minutes to an hour
Serve with garlic bread and a salad
**Make it healthier by using lean ground beef (90%) and use low fat or fat free cheeses**

Homemade Stuffed Shells

Warm Up When It's Chili

Homemade Chili


  • 1 pound of ground beef, browned & drained
  • yellow onion finely chopped
  • green pepper finely chopped
  • fresh garlic clove, finely minced
  • 2 can of your favorite beans, I like to use 1 can of black beans & 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can of tomatoes juice
  • 1 can of stewed tomatoes (I like to smash these up so you're not biting into a big piece of tomato)
  • 1 can of tomato paste


  1. Combine all ingredients in a large crock pot
  2. Cook for 6-8 hours
The longer it cooks, the better it will be! :)
I like to top it with shredded cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

What's for dinner tonight!

Family Dinner

Bacon wrapped chicken with asparagus

You will need:

  • a bundle of fresh asparagus
  • a piece of bonesless skinless chicken breast for each person
  • about 3 strips of bacon for each piece of chicken
  • some finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • red bell pepper


Carefully cut open chicken breasts with a long thin knife. You’ll want to butterfly them, but be careful to not cut yourself or pull the knife up or down to get an uneven cut. 
Cut pepper into long strips that lay flat. Lay into chicken with the cheddar cheese, fold chicken back up.
Carefully wrap chicken with bacon. If you are having a hard time, you can use a toothpick to keep the chicken closed and the bacon from sliding off.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, check chicken’s internal temp. When chicken is cooked thoroughly, set to broil and crisp bacon under broiler for about 2 minutes.

The Best Fall Dessert

Caramel Apple Cheesecake



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

Cheesecake Filling:

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • 2 Honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar


  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender (or 2 forks) until mixture is crumbly. Press evenly into a 9x13 baking pan, spray well. Bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  3. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with 3/4 cup sugar in an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth. Then add eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Pour over warm crust.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together chopped apples, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon. Spoon evenly over cream cheese mixture.
  5. For the topping: In a small bowl, combine all ingredients.
  6. Sprinkle topping over apples. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until filling is set. Drizzle with caramel topping and let cool. Serve cold and enjoy!

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

Monday, September 15, 2014

Game Day Snack

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Perfect for football nights!


  • 1 pound of ground chicken
  • 3/4 cup of Panko plain bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1/2 cup of chives finely diced 
  • 3/4 cup of Franks Red Hot Sauce 
  • Ranch or Bleu Cheese dressing (personal preferences of guests) 


  1. Preheat over to 400 degrees. 
  2. Spray a large cookie sheet and set aside 
  3. In a large bowl combine the ground chicken, bread crumbs, egg, onion and garlic powder and chives. Using your cleans hands combine the mixture well. Roll into 1/2 inch meatballs or use a small cookie scoop.
  4. Place meatballs onto cookie sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until you see them start to brown.
  5. Place meatballs in a slow cooker on low heat, add the buffalo sauce, toss them, cover and cook for two hours.
  6. Serve with your favorite dressing and enjoy!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Veggie Pizza

Things you will need:

  • two packages of crescent rolls
  • two 8ounce packages of cream cheese
  • one packet of dry ranch dressing mix
  • your favorite veggies (be sure to cut into small pieces) 
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • taco sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (or follow the direction on the package of crescent rolls)
  2. Roll out the crescent roll dough onto a 9x13 inch baking sheet, and pinch together edges to form the pizza crust.
  3. Bake crust for 12 minutes in the preheated oven. Once finished cooking, remove crust from oven and let cool 15 minutes without removing it from the baking sheet.
  4. In a small mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, and dry Ranch dressing. I like to add a spoon full of sour cream for flavor. Spread the mixture over the cooled crust. Arrange veggies, and cheddar cheese over the cream cheese layer. Chill for one hour, slice and serve.
  5. Serve with taco sauce if desired.

Wine Recommendation

The Best Wine In Central Pennsylvania

Seven Mountain Wine Cellars

The black raspberry is by far my favorite! :) It is very sweet and goes very well with desserts.

Dream Kitchen

Maybe someday...

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Baked Ziti

A super simple, quick, delicious meal that people will think you spent hours making.

I like to use Barilla veggie pasta to make it a little bit healthier, for this recipe you will only need one box. My favorite sauces to use are made by Bertolli. You will need one 24 ounce jar of marinara and one 12 ounce jar of alfredo. I have found that for the marinara the organic olive oil, basil and garlic sauce give the dish the most flavor, and for the alfredo I like to use garlic alfredo. Then you will also need 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese and 1 cup of shredded parmesan cheese. You may use whatever brand of cheese you wish for this. I like to use low fat cheese to make it more figure friendly.
  1. Cook the pasta
  2. Mix both jars of sauce and cheeses together in separate bowl
  3. Drain the pasta
  4. Put the pasta into a 13X9 baking dish
  5. Pour sauce mixture over pasta and mix up
  6. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes
  7. Enjoy! :)
If you wish to make this a meatless meal you may. It is recommend that you have one meatless day per week. If not this dish goes great with grilled chicken breast or sausage. I also always serve it with a small tossed salad, and some garlic bread. Wegmans has the BEST garlic bread in their bakery if you don't feel like making your own.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Homemade Pizza

Cheap, Fun to Make Meal

A yummy, simple, cost friendly dinner that I made for my family recently was a Chef Boyardee cheese pizza kit cost about $3-4 dollars. The previous week we had Italian subs. This is perfect for getting rid of the leftover lunch meat as well. Also, if you have any veggie in your fridge like green pepper, and mushrooms you can use them as well.