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Baked Spaghetti with Cream Cheese

February 2, 2016


This recipe is a new spin on the spaghetti pie that was once in our dinner rotation. I found I had everything on hand to make it, so no grocery run required! That makes the recipe even better in my opinion. It is also easy to freeze, either before you bake it or as individual portions with the leftovers.


  • 1 lb ground beef (or turkey, italian sausage, etc)
  • 1 28oz jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 box spaghetti noodles (I used 12 oz box of bucatini – spaghetti with hole in the middle)
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 t garlic
  • 1 t italian seasoning
  • 1 t basil
  • Mozzarella cheese, shredded (I always use fresh mozzarella now but any will do)


  • Brown beef in skillet and drain fat. Stir in spaghetti sauce.
  • Cook pasta according to directions. Once done, drain and add back to pot or a mixing bowl.
  • Add cream cheese, garlic and herbs and stir until the cream cheese is melted and coats the spaghetti. I didn’t want it to be overly coated so I only used 4oz cream cheese, but use more if you prefer.
  • Spray a 13×9 baking dish with nonstick spray. Spread a thin layer of spaghetti sauce on bottom. Add spaghetti mixture and make sure it is evenly distributed. Top with remaining sauce.
  • Top the casserole with mozzarella cheese and bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes, or until heated throughout and the cheese is melted.

Cheesy Bacon Potatoes

January 31, 2016


I’ve seen versions of these floating around Pinterest and decided to give them a try tonight. The online versions seemed overly complicated as they wanted you to boil the potatoes after slicing, pat dry and then bake. I decided to try my own way and they turned out pretty tasty. I did think they would be more like a chip we could dip, but with the cheese melted they all stuck together and it was just easier to use a fork.

I used 2 smaller potatoes for just two of us and it was more than enough – I’d say probably 4 servings. For the future, I would estimate serving one small to mid size potato for two people.


  • Russet potatoes
  • Colby jack cheese, shredded
  • Bacon, crumbled
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil


  • Preheat oven to 400.
  • Scrub potatoes clean and slice into approximately 1/8″ slices. I used the thickest setting on my mandoline. I placed my mandoline over a bowl of cold water and sliced directly into the water, but if you can’t do that just put slices into cold water to prevent from browning.
  • Once you have sliced all potatoes, drain from water and pat dry.
  • Place potato slices into a mixing bowl and toss with 1 to 2 teaspoons (or more if needed) olive oil to coat.
  • Cover baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. If foil, spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place slices in a single layer – they can overlap a little. Top with salt and pepper.
  • Bake for 10 mintues then remove from oven and flip potatoes. Bake for another 10 minutes on the other side. Depending on the thickness of your potatoes, you may want to adjust this baking time. (You could probably skip the flipping step if desired, just bake longer on the one side)
  • Once the potatoes start to look lightly golden brown, remove from oven and top with shredded cheese and bacon. Bake again for a few minutes, until cheese is hot and bubbly.
  • Serve with your favorite dipping sauce or sour cream.

Note: these would probably be ok made in advance if you baked the potato slices and waited to do the last cheese/bacon step until just before you are ready to serve.

Blueberry Crumb Bars

July 15, 2015

photo 1Kris recently went blueberry picking so I figured I needed to bake something new. This is a very easy recipe and tasted great!

Blueberry Crumb Bars ( recipe from Smitten Kitchen)


  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 cup cold butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 t salt (I omitted as I used salted butter)
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • 4 cups fresh blueberries (I think I used closer to 6)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 4 t cornstarch


  • Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 9×13 pan.
  • In mixing bowl, combine 1 cup white sugar, flour, baking powder, lemon zest and salt. Blend in butter and egg with a pastry cutter or fork (I took a shortcut and used the food processor). Mixture will be crumbly. Pat half of the dough into the baking pan in an even layer, saving the other half for the topping.
  • In another bowl, stir together 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Gently mix in blueberries. Sprinkle the blueberries in an even layer over the crust, and then crumble the remaining dough on top.
  • Bake for 45 minutes (mine took 55 min) until top crust is golden colored.
  • Cool completely and cut into squares. I allowed them to chill in the refrigerator first and they cut perfectly.

photo 2

Italian Drip Beef

September 14, 2014

photo 1

Fall is here so I figured it was time for a slow cooked meal.  I made these sandwiches yesterday and they were pretty good and extremely easy.  You just put it in the oven and forget about it for 6 hours.  My only complaint was it didn’t produce a lot of extra au jus for dipping, so you could probably add more liquid to the recipe or just make a separate saucepan of au jus.

Italian Drip Beef


  • 3 lb chuck roast
  • 1 package Good Seasons Italian Dressing
  • 1 can beef broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 jar of pepperoncinis (I had 16oz jar)
  • Salt/pepper as needed


  • Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
  • In a dutch oven, mix together broth, water, Italian dressing.  Add in 1/2 the jar of pepperoncinis and 1/2 of the juice.
  • Place roast in liquid mixture and cover.
  • Bake for 6 hours.
  • Once done, meet will be fall apart tender.  Shred with two forks.
  • To make sandwiches – I placed rolls on baking sheet, filled with meat and topped with mozzarella cheese.  Put under the broiler just until cheese melts.

photo 2

This can be made in advance and actually may even be better that way.  After refrigerating, it will be easier to remove any excess fat, but mine wasn’t too fatty as I trimmed the roast well. You could also do in crockpot – I would probably do the low heat option.

Key Lime Pie Bars

July 15, 2014


It has been way too long since I added a recipe to the blog! I’m going to blame it on the fact that sewing dominates most of my free time.  Plus, I don’t think I’ve made anything new for 6 months…guess I’ve been in a food rut.

This all changed when I needed a dessert for an office birthday last month.  Being a Floridian, I thought I would try out a key lime recipe.  Everyone enjoyed these bars and they were extremely easy to make.  I highly recommend them for your next summer party.  The picture isn’t very pretty, but the taste more than makes up for it!

Note:  I doubled this recipe for a 9×13 pan

Key Lime Pie Bars


  • 5 oz graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 T light brown sugar
  • 4 T butter, melted
  • 2 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 T grated lime zest
  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup key lime juice
  • pinch of salt


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, allowing the extra foil to hang over the edges of the pan. Lightly coat with non-stick cooking spray.
  • For the Crust: Stir together graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and salt in a bowl. Drizzle the melted butter over the crumbs and stir until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom of the pan. Bake until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Allow the crust to cool while you prepare the filling.
  • For the Filling: Stir together the cream cheese, lime zest and salt in a medium bowl. Add the sweetened condensed milk and whisk until completely incorporated and no lumps remain. Whisk in the egg yolk, then add the lime juice and whisk gently until incorporated. Pour the filling into the crust and smooth into an even layer.
  • Bake until the filling is set and the edges are beginning to pull away slightly from the sides of the pan, 15 to 20 minutes. Allow the bars to cool to room temperature, 1 to 2 hours. Cover with foil and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • When ready to serve, run a paring knife around the edges of the pan and lift the bars from the pan using the foil overhangs. Cut into squares and serve.  Keep any leftovers refrigerated.


Pumpkin Bars with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing

October 9, 2013


It is that time of year that pumpkin food items appear everywhere.  I decided to try a new pumpkin bar recipe, as I usually just stick with my go to Pumpkin Gooey Cake.  These were a hit and even my anti-pumpkin husband liked them.  I really think adding cinnamon to the cream cheese icing is what makes these extra special.

Pumpkin Bars
(best if made a day in advance)


  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 to 1/2 t nutmeg


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • In large bowl, beat eggs and add sugar.
  • Mix in oil and pumpkin.
  • Add remaining ingredients and mix to combine.
  • Pour into greased jelly roll pan.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Allow to cool and then frost.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 1 8oz package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 t cinnamon


  • Cream together butter and cream cheese.
  • Mix in remaining ingredients (start with 1 t cinnamon and add more to your liking).  Beat on high for a few minutes to make it light and fluffy.

Biscoff Gooey Cake

October 1, 2013


I am a huge fan of Biscoff spread and can’t believe I didn’t think to make a gooey cake version before now! Biscoff cookies are the cookies you get when on Delta flights. They are super tasty, with a cinnamon background…could maybe be classified as part of the gingerbread family.  About a year or so ago they introduced Biscoff spread, which is the consistency of peanut butter and is made with the cookies. It is very addicting and perfectly acceptable to eat by the spoonful. In my area I can only find the cookies and the spread at Walmart, but I know they sell it at Publix for my Florida friends. I hear Trader Joe’s has their own version as well called Cookie Butter. Hope you give these a try!

Biscoff Gooey Cake


  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 sticks of butter – melted separately
  • 8oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup creamy biscoff spread
  • 1 box (16oz) powdered sugar
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 t cinnamon


  • Preheat oven to 350
  • In large mixing bowl, combine cake mix with 1 stick melted butter, 1 egg and 1 t cinnamon. Press into the bottom of a greased 13×9 cake pan.
  • In a large mixing bowl (I always use the same one that I just did the cake mix in without cleaning it) mix together the cream cheese and biscoff spread.  Stir in 3 eggs, 1 stick melted butter, vanilla and 1 to 2 t cinnamon.  Mix in powdered sugar until smooth.
  • Pour cream cheese mixture on top of cake mix crust and spread evenly.
  • Bake for 40 to 50 minutes – trying not to overbake. Mine usually take exactly 40 minutes but think I did this one for 45 min.

Variations for next time: Spread a thin layer of the biscoff spread on top of the cake base before adding the cream cheese mixture. It would maybe help add more biscoff flavor as I think it was pretty mild.


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