Main Dishes

30 Minute Meals: Rice & Beans with Sausage

I used to enjoy spending time in the kitchen, trying new recipes, and creating fabulous dinners. These days, my goal is to get a homemade dinner on the table in the shortest amount of time possible, and ideally, during that elusive window when all three kids are home at the same time. Who can relate?

I know this is just a season in life that will soon be a distant memory, and one day I’ll miss the busyness and have time to enjoy cooking again. But now? I need easy, yo!

I’m sure many of you are in the same boat so I asked Colleen for a delicious and EASY weeknight meal idea, and she came up with this Rice & Beans with Sausage recipe.

30 Minute Meals: Rice & Beans with Sausage

We’re huge fans of sausage and beans and rice, but I’ve never thought to put them all together. I made this earlier this week, and the whole family LOVED it. Best of all, it’s super easy. You just prepare your favorite rice. (Or, if you don’t want to wait, I love Colleen’s tip about picking up rice at a local Chinese restaurant. Brillz!)

Then you sauté some onions and garlic in olive oil and butter, add the beans and sausage, give it a toss, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the rice, toss again, and remove it from the heat. Finally, add some parsley or cilantro and give it a final toss. I definitely went with the cilantro…. YUM!!! Continue reading “30 Minute Meals: Rice & Beans with Sausage”

Main Dishes

One Pot Chicken and Rice Casserole

The ultimate comfort food in one pot -- chicken and rice casserole, ready in 20 minutes!

I’m going to interrupt the fashion fest we’ve been having here on the blog lately to post this mouth-watering one pot chicken and rice recipe that Colleen has concocted for us. This one-pot chicken and rice dish is creamy and comforting! Plus, one pot. YAY!

If you use a rotisserie chicken, you can have this dish ready in 20 minutes. I usually prefer to cook my own, but if you’re in a rush, picking up a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store can be a great time saver. Pair this dish with a nice salad, and you have a delicious and nutritious weeknight meal!

I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for new easy recipes that my family will enjoy. I’m definitely adding this to my menu plan this week.

One Pot Chicken and Rice Casserole Recipe

P.S. You can actually serve this one pot chicken and rice casserole straight out of the pot! There’s no need to scoop it in a fancy casserole dish. Less dishes to wash. Score!

Here’s a printable recipe. Enjoy!

One Pot Chicken & Rice Dinner
Recipe Type: Main Dish
Author: Colleen Kennedy
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
  • 1/2 cup olive or grapeseed oil
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped carrot
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt & pepper
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups Jasmine or Arborio rice
  • 1 cooked rotisserie-style chicken, shredded (or see notes below)
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  1. In a large skillet with deep sides or a dutch oven, heat the oil and butter until hot but not browning.
  2. Add the carrots and onion, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and sauté for 7-8 minutes or until they begin to brown and caramelize. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute more, stirring the whole time.
  3. Add the wine, stir, and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the broth and bring back to a boil.
  5. Add the uncooked rice. Stir, cover, and simmer until the rice you chose to use is done.
  6. Turn off the heat. Add the shredded chicken, parsley, and Parmesan.
  7. Season liberally with salt & pepper. Taste & adjust.
  8. Stir to combine.
  9. Top with additional parsley and Parmesan. Serve immediately.
If you wish to use raw chicken for this, you can add bite-sized pieces of chicken just before you add in the wine. Add it in and cook just until the chicken has some color. You don’t want to cook it through here, or it will end up being dry. Then add the stock and continue on with the recipe.[br][br]You can also spice this up a bit by adding some red (Cayenne) pepper, if you like.


Breakfast Recipes
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Easy Breakfast Pizza Recipe

Have you ever made a Breakfast Pizza? If not, I have a delicious and easy breakfast recipe idea for you.

Hi! Colleen here today with one of my family’s favorite meals for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

Breakfast Pizza Recipe: Asparagus, Bacon, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Pizza

Everyone loves pizza… right? We all have our favorite flavor or topping, but this Asparagus, Bacon, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Pizza is about to become your new favorite.

Breakfast Pizza Recipe: Asparagus, Bacon, Egg & Cheese Breakfast Pizza

Breakfast pizzas are wonderful for a few reasons. First, they are easy… especially if you buy the pizza dough. Let’s talk about that for a second. I am a skilled cook. I can easily make anything I want. However, sometimes cutting corners is spot on, like buying my pizza dough. I love popping into my local pizza place, asking for a couple disks of dough, and knowing I can do anything I want with it over the next 24 hours. It costs me $2.50 per disk, and it’s better than anything I’d whip up since, ya know… they make it for a living. No mess this way either. What’s not to love?! Continue reading “Easy Breakfast Pizza Recipe”


Rustic Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

Do you have leftover ham you are looking to use up, or do you just love the smokey deliciousness that ham lends to a dish?

This is a tasty way to use up some of the Easter ham you may have left over!

Rustic Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

Scalloped potatoes are one of those decadent dishes often reserved for the holidays or for when company comes over. They are just SO good, we should all make them more often! The addition of ham brings them to a new level, adding texture and smokiness. Continue reading “Rustic Scalloped Potatoes and Ham”

Main Dishes
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Fig & Bourbon Glazed Ham Recipe

The title of this ham may sound fancy, however, it is so easy!

Hi! Colleen here today with another delicious dish that is sure to impress! Between you and me…no one needs to know that this scrumptious ham glaze only calls for 4 ingredients!

Fig & Bourbon Glazed Ham Recipe: Perfect for Easter dinner!

A well-made ham is always a hit around the holidays, especially on Christmas or Easter. This Fig & Bourbon Glazed Ham recipe would also be a hit for Mother’s Day, a brunch, or whenever you are feeling the urge for an easy yet special dinner.

I usually go for spiral hams. The saying “go big or go home” applies here. If I’m going to do it, I’m going for the best (however, this glaze will work with any ham). Plus there are SO many things you can do with leftover ham…. one of which I will be posting next week, so stay tuned!

What is your favorite side dish to accompany a ham? I’d love to find something new to try that may be one of your family favorites! 

I have been in love with fig jam from the moment it first crossed my lips. I use it on cheese, in paninis and grilled sandwiches, as part of a delicious bruschetta, and so much more. My 10-year-old plops a spoonful on a plate, adds crackers and grapes, and calls it an after school snack. You can usually find fig jam in the cheese area of your market.

I know most hams come with a packet to use, however just what is in that packet? I say, toss it and make your own. This Fig & Bourbon Glaze is easy to make, plus it’s thick, and rich, and gives your ham a wonderful flavor with a nice light-crisp crust. Continue reading “Fig & Bourbon Glazed Ham Recipe”

Dessert Recipes
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Irish Cream Brownies

Who is feeling festive? As they say…everyone is Irish on St Patrick’s Day!

Hi! It’s Colleen here today with a boozy treat for celebrating all things Irish!

How does a boozy brownie bite sound? These Irish Cream Brownies are super easy with a boxed brownie mix, and they're the perfect festive treat for St. Patrick's Day!

To keep it easy, I simply made mini cupcakes with my favorite boxed brownie mix, dipped them in a chocolate ganache, and topped them with Bailey’s Irish Cream Buttercream frosting.

If you want, you can even make your own Irish Cream. I did, and I used it in this recipe. You won’t believe how easy, inexpensive, and delicious homemade is compared to store-bought!

Depending on how intense of an Irish Cream flavor you want, you can choose to make the brownies according to the box directions, or substitute the water portion with Irish Cream.

I like to under-bake them just a bit to give them a more gooey center, but that’s up to you.

Irish Cream Brownies: How does a boozy brownie bite sound? These Irish Cream Brownies are super easy with a boxed brownie mix, and they're the perfect festive treat for St. Patrick's Day!

Irish or not, however you are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this year… Sláinte mhaith!!

Irish Cream Brownie Recipe

Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Colleen Kennedy
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 12 mins
Total time: 27 mins
Serves: 36 mini cupcakes


  • 1 box fudge brownie mix (or homemade brownies)
  • 5 oz bittersweet chocolate (60% cocoa)
  • 3 TBS cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 TBS Bailey’s Irish Cream or homemade Irish Cream
  • For the Irish Cream Frosting
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 TBS very soft butter
  • 1/4 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream or homemade Irish Cream


  1. Make your brownies according to your box’s directions.
  2. Bake 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees or until done to your preference. For this, I like them just a little gooey in the middle. Pop them out of the pan, and allow them to cool.
  3. To make the ganache, break up your chocolate squares into a small sauce pan, add the cream and butter, and stir over medium heat until smooth. Turn off the heat, and add the Irish cream, stirring until smooth.
  4. One by one, dip the tops of your brownies into the ganache; place on a cooling rack to allow them to set.
  5. For the Irish Cream frosting, combine the powdered sugar, butter, and Irish Cream in a small bowl; stir until smooth but not runny. If dry, add additional Irish Cream. If too wet, add a little more powdered sugar.
  6. Scrape the icing into a small pastry bag or plastic baggie (snip off one small piece of a corner) and ice each brownie in a zig-zag pattern.
  7. Garnish with mini chocolate chips, festive sprinkles, or both. Enjoy!
Appetizer Recipes
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Buffalo Hummus Recipe

Buffalo wings seem to be just about the most popular food there is the U.S. And hummus…well, hummus has always been delicious, however, lately I am seeing it on appetizer menus everywhere. I’m thrilled to see it getting more and more popular and mainstream. Have you noticed how many varieties there are now at your market?

And do you know what’s better than store bought hummus? Well, homemade hummus, of course! Hi, it’s Colleen here today with a delicious Buffalo Hummus recipe that I know you will fall in love with!

Buffalo Hummus Recipe

I’ve been making hummus for years. When I first decided to try a “Buffalo Wing” version, I actually put chicken in it as well. I was experimenting, and my mind was saying, “buffalo chicken wings,” so that’s what I did, and it was delicious. However, over the years, I phased out the chicken. It’s not really necessary for the flavor or the texture. If you are looking for a protein boost, by all means, add some grilled chicken, but you really don’t need it.

My girlfriend Molly always puts out a container of buffalo hummus when we hang out at her house, and we lick the container clean! And do you know what?? Not once…not even once…have I found the hummus she buys at the store! I am convinced that she clears them out. She probably has a hidden mini-fridge stocked with containers of that hummus.

Hummus is one of those appetizers that I never feel guilty about dipping into…inhaling…devouring, and when it’s a buffalo wing flavored hummus, you better watch your fingers around me! This is a great appetizer choice as we roll into spring since it’s more on the healthy side than most dips.

Lucky for all of us, hummus is SO easy to make at home. Ten minutes, and BAM… you have some delicious, crowd-pleasing hummus in front of you!  Continue reading “Buffalo Hummus Recipe”

Drink Recipes

Raspberry Margarita Recipe

Hi! Colleen here today with some really good news… Tomorrow is National Margarita Day…Woot!!

That means it’s almost against the law to not have at least one margarita!

Celebrate National Margarita Day with this raspberry margarita recipe, made with Chambord. You will never go back to a classic margarita after you try this!

Did you know that there’s a website devoted to celebrating National Margarita Day on February 22nd every year? They actually have over 10K Facebook followers that will globally be having a margarita (or 6) on Sunday… strange but true!

Speaking of margaritas…salt or no salt? How do you like your margarita?

A traditional margarita is a treat, of course, but today I’m sharing MY favorite margarita recipe…a raspberry margarita…made with my favorite liqueur, Chambord.

Chambord lends such a delicious flavor to cocktails, sangrias and chocolate. I use it all the time…the people at Chambord should know me and love me (hellooo, anyone listening?). I use it in everything from cookies to cocktails.

When I am out and want to order a margarita, I always ask for a Chambord Margarita. 25% of the time, my server/bartender gets it. Half the time, they have no clue what I am talking about. The rest of the time, they give me a margarita AND a shot glass of Chambord, side-by-side, lol! So, I just take a huge sip of my margarita and pour the Chambord in, and it’s heaven in a glass. Trust me!

Celebrate National Margarita Day with this raspberry margarita recipe, made with Chambord. You will never go back to a classic margarita after you try this!

Here is a printable recipe, for your convenience.

Raspberry Margaritas

Recipe Type: Cocktail
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 1
  • 2 ounces Tequila
  • 1-2 ounces Chambord
  • 1 ounce Triple Sec (optional)
  • 1 ounce simple syrup (or limeade)
  • Squeeze of fresh lime
  • Garnishes:
  • Lime wedge
  • Raspberries
  • Kosher salt
  1. Combine Tequila, Chambord, Triple Sec, simple syrup, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker or in a tall glass; shake or stir to combine.
  2. Fill a margarita glass (or any glass) with ice, and pour in the cocktail.
  3. Garnish with a few raspberries and a lime wedge.
  4. If rimming the glass with Kosher salt, simply dip the rim of the glass in water, then dip it onto a plate of Kosher salt. Cheers!
To make a simple syrup, combine equal parts water and white sugar, heat in a pot until sugar is melted. Refrigerate until ready to use. Simple syrup keeps for 2 weeks in the fridge in a sealed glass container (like a mason jar).
Taste and adjust. If you like a stronger drink, add more tequila. If you like it sweeter, add more simple syrup or limeade. Chambord is sweet, so if you like a stiff drink (which the ice will mellow out) leave out the simple syrup/limeade altogether.

Salt or no salt, frozen or on the rocks, let’s all raise a margarita this Sunday and toast to how fabulous we are…Clink!!

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Dipped & Sprinkled Ice Cream Cones

Hey, it’s Colleen here today. Valentine’s Day is almost here, and the stores are laden with candy as well as every possible gimmick for us to show our love. I, for one, have never really embraced the whole run-to-the-store-and-grab-all-the-V-day-paraphernalia-you-can-find-and-give-it-to-those-you-love kinda gal. I also have no interest in booking a table at THE restaurant of the minute only to be either elbowed to death by everyone else or let down if the service or meal isn’t what I wanted it to be due to a big crowd.  

I guess I’m a Valentine’s Day Grinch, lol. Well, until my kids came along anyway.

Dipped & Sprinkled Ice Cream Cones

Because of my kids, with each holiday, I channel my inner Willie Wonka and make a crazy amounts of candies and treats for my children’s classrooms, and I have to say that I love it. (I’ve got lots of ideas posted on my site!)


I’ve always enjoyed making people happy through food, so making all kinds of fun treats for “my babies” is my thing!

These Chocolate Dipped & Sprinkled Ice Cream Cones are such a fun treat to whip up for your kids. You can use any type of ice cream cone, dip ’em, decorate ’em, and fill ’em with ice cream or chopped fruits. The way my kids like them best is with whipped cream and strawberries. Continue reading “Dipped & Sprinkled Ice Cream Cones”

Main Dishes

Quick & Easy Homemade Tomato Soup

The delicious aroma of something baking in the oven or simmering on the stove can instantly transport you back to another time. Maybe you were 5, and it was the first time you licked the beaters helping your mom or grandmom make a cake. Or maybe you were 18, and it was the ramen noodles you were scarfing down at 3 AM as you crammed for the big test. Whatever the memory…we all have them!

Easy Homemade Tomato Soup in 20 Minutes or Less!

Hi, it’s Colleen here today, and for me, both a chicken roasting in the oven and a steaming bowl of tomato soup bring me back to the past in a big way! I’m pretty sure that every single Sunday during the winter and fall of my childhood, my parents had a chicken roasting in the oven. Back then we just called it “a Perdue”.

Nowadays, as soon as I get a whiff of a chicken roasting, I am magically transported back to my childhood home. The house is warm and steamy, I hear football on the TV, my mom is smiling, and I am trying to pinch a few black olives from the olive dish in the fringe before dinner, afraid someone will notice, yet knowing a back-up can awaits because my parents were in-the-know about my pre-dinner olive thievery, and I feel loved.

When I was about 22 and out on my own, I would go home for Sunday dinner. I wanted anything but that chicken, which became a standing joke with my siblings. However, now I would do anything for that chicken and the company of all the people who sat around the table that my father built for our family and to have it be just like it was.

Tomato soup transports me as well.  Continue reading “Quick & Easy Homemade Tomato Soup”

Appetizer Recipes
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Game Day Recipe: Honey Sriracha Wings

Did you know that Americans devour eat over 1.5 billion chicken wings each year on Super Bowl Sunday??

That’s 100 million pounds of wings!  

Game Day Recipe: Grilled Honey Sriracha Wings

Annually Americans eat over 25 billion wings! The thought is mind-blowing!

Hi, it’s Colleen here today, and I personally know quite a few people who help make those numbers a reality (and I am sure you do too.) My husband, for one, is always on the hunt for the next great wing! Besides the original Buffalo Wing, his favorites are Cajun (I make a mean Cajun Chicken Wing… just sayin‘,) Asian, and his newest obsession… Honey Jalapeno, but he says these Honey Sriracha Wings are right up there!

When it comes to wings, you can bake them, grill them, or fry them. I save the frying for when we are out… I will let someone else get their fry on. At home I usually grill ’em, and they are always a crowd-pleaser!

If you’re looking for a new flavor chicken wing to try for this game day or any day, you must try these Grilled Honey Sriracha Wings. You may just lick a finger or two or ten… but definitely not a billion! Continue reading “Game Day Recipe: Honey Sriracha Wings”

Drink Recipes

Two Fresh Fruit Flavored Water Recipes for a Healthy New Year

Hi, it’s Colleen, Jo-Lynne’s recipe contributor, back today with what I hope is a New Years Resolution for 2015 that will stick with me this time and maybe inspire a healthier you!

fresh fruit flavored water recipes

Last year my only resolution going into 2014 was to drink more water. Simple enough…right?

I almost never drink enough water, even knowing how good it is for me. What about you? Is it hard to get enough water down the hatch each day? I get so bored with the taste. Unless I am hot and sweaty or had a few too many cocktails the night before, it’s not happening, so I decided to make all sorts of variations of fruit-flavored water recipes to help me along.

I made about 10 different flavors, rotating them every other day or so until I found a some favorites. (My kids have their favorites too). They were delicious and easy to prepare in batches. Sadly, however, somewhere around March I forgot all about it and went back to my iced tea and occasional black cherry soda ways.

Well, its a new year and I have a few new goals…and water, my friends, is back on the table for me. Flavored waters, especially when made with organic fruits, are so good for you!  You do want organic for these since the whole fruit, skin and all, is often floating in what you are about to guzzle.

Here are 2 delicious combinations of fruit flavored water recipes for you to try. Continue reading “Two Fresh Fruit Flavored Water Recipes for a Healthy New Year”

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