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Tag Archives: Easy

Recipe: Chicken with Goat Cheese & Sun-dried Tomato Sauce

I wanted to make something different. I also didn’t want to fail. I love chicken. I love goat cheese. And I love sun-dried tomatoes. So I gave this recipe a go … I mean, how can you really go wrong with chicken, goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes??!


Yield: 2 servings


  • 2 chicken breasts, pounded thin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (and drained, if packed in oil)
  • 2 oz herbed goat cheese
  • salt and pepper


  1. Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat skillet over medium-high heat and add oil. When oil is hot, add chicken breasts. Cook through, about 6-8 minutes per side, depending on the thickness. Set aside and keep warm.
  3. In the same skillet, add the wine. Cook over medium-high heat until reduced by half, being sure to scrape up the browned bits from the chicken.
  4. Add the chicken broth and reduce that by about half too.
  5. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and heat through.
  6. Remove skillet from heat and stir in the goat cheese.
  7. Top the chicken breasts with sauce and serve.

Source: Annie’s Eats


Oreo Layer Dessert

A while back my work team decided to have a little potluck lunch. Um. I’m going to go ahead and say we knocked it out of the park:
Our spread was siiiiiick. Everyone really stepped up — needless to say I was impressed.
As we were eating, I kept hearing this buzz about my teammate Kelsey’s oreo dessert. Words in line with “to die for” “seriously don’t miss this” “i went back for seconds … then thirds” were being thrown around repeatedly. So I jumped on board and the comments were accurate.
Oreo Layer Dessert
1 pkg of regular Oreos
1/2 c. of butter
1 lg box of instant chocolate pudding
2-8 oz cool whips
8 oz. of cream cheese, softened
1 c. powdered sugar
  1. Crush the whole package of cookies either with a food processor, or in a bag and a rolling pin.  Save a 1/2 c. to sprinkle on top of dessert when it’s done.  Pour remaining crumbs in a 13×9 pan.
  2. Melt butter and pour into crumb mix.
  3. Stir it up good and press crumbs in bottom of pan to make a crust.
  4. Make chocolate pudding according to package directions and let it setup in the fridge.
  5. In a mixing bowl blend cream cheese until nice and smooth and then add powdered sugar, mix.  Then fold in 1-8 oz thing of cool whip.
  6. Top oreo layer with cream cheese mix, then pudding, then your last 8 oz thing of cool whip, and then sprinkle remaining Oreo’s on top.
  7. Cover and refridgerate until ready to serve.

Bruschetta Chicken Bake

A few years ago I stole some of my cousin Shelley’s favorite recipes. A few weeks ago I decided it was time to dust the recipes off and test them out. Great idea.

Bruschetta Chicken Bake


  • 1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Chicken
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 tsp. dried basil leaves
  • 1 cup KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Mix tomatoes, stuffing mix, water and garlic just until stuffing mix is moistened.
  3. Layer chicken, basil and cheese in 3-qt. casserole or 13×9-inch baking dish.
  4. Top with stuffing.
  5. Bake 30 minutes or until chicken is done.
Makes 6 servings.

Christmas Eve Brunch Casserole

Ever since my brother and I have lived in the city, we’ve moved our Petersen Annual Christmas Eve morning celebration here as well. I host our fam for presents and Christmas Eve Brunch.

Christmas Eve morning has been a tradition all of my 26 years and it’s the only time throughout the Christmas season where we celebrate just us 4

This year I’m more excited than ever to host as I’m going to put a new spin on our traditional Egg Casserole recipe — adding bacon!



  • 8 slices white bread (buttered and cut in cubes)
  • ½ lb. American cheese (grate)
  • 3 c. milk
  • 6 well-beaten eggs
  • ¾ tsp. dry mustard
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • Some onion (diced)
  • 10 pieces Bacon (cooked and crumbled)


  1. Alternate bread, bacon and cheese in buttered casserole dish.
  2. Mix all other ingredients together.
  3. Pour milk and egg mixture over.
  4. Let stand in refrigerator overnight.
  5. Bake 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Serves 6.

I apologize for no photo but trust me: This recipe does not fail. And it’s so easy.


THE challenge: thetwentysixthyear vs. The Thread Affect

The time has come…

THE challenge, 1st edition

vs. The Thread Affect

December 1, 2011


(5) Wine. The ol’ standby and my go-to for any gathering (holiday or not). However, this holiday season I’m raising the bar … no more Three Buck Chuck in cheap gift bag. Nicer wine, appropriately festive:

(4) Baked Goods. My stand-by #2. Not just any baked goods either … f’ing delicious baked goods, also in festive packaging:

(3) Crate & Barrel Wine Charms. These little suckers are cute! Plus they’ll help keep your hostess gift #5 away from anyone else’s #5.

(2) Bath & Body Works Icing Candle Sleeve + Candle. The candle sleeve and candle are sold separately but seriously … so bomb. Stylish, festive and smells good? No brainer. I actually recommend taking a look at all their candle sleeves and candles here.  All winners in my book.

(1) Peppermint Stick Cocoa. I recently have become a fan of any gift that is edible and comes in a jar. Cookies, bread mix, stew … and now, hot cocoa. They really hit the holiday nail on the head with this peppermint stick cocoa. In my home, this wouldn’t last 24 hours in the jar after receiving. Maybe pair with a cute holiday mug or two? Yum:

Not ready to be done with this riveting post? Ok …

Honorable Mention: Garrett’s Popcorn Holiday Gallon. Not only is this holiday-oriented and a great gift idea, but it’s also soooo Chicago.

And here officially ends the post.

So what did The Thread Affect come up with for the Top 5 Holiday Hostess Gifts? Check it out here!!

Thoughts? Anything we missed?

Be sure to check back January 1, 2012 (umm … where did 2011 go?!) for the next thetwentysixthyear vs. The Thread Affect challenge. Topic TBD.

Special Edition: Pumpkin Carving

Special Edition.  That’s right.  Halloween is literally 3 days away.  Which means it’s time for my favorite Halloween tradition:


Sometimes I wonder, who seriously had a pumpkin sitting in their home one day and thought “Hmm I want to cut into that random fruit, dig out the innards and carve a face into it.”  Apparently it’s an old tradition from Ireland and Scotland  that the immigrants brought with them to America.  But whatever … it’s genius.

Every year I contemplate carving a happy pumpkin, a silly pumpkin or a spooky pumpkin OR thinking outside the box with one of those fancy designs like a sports logo or something else intense.  This year, the answer seemed clear: SPOOKY!

We got our pumpkin where all city folk do — the nearby grocery store.

Gave it a quick bath then it was time for carving.



Being a self-proclaimed “pumpkin carving pro” I enjoyed every minute of it.  Sticking my hand in the pumpkin’s guts, digging out the innards, and carving his spooky face … eyes then nose then mouth, the same order I used to do with my dad growing up.

Introducing … (drumroll please)

Our 2011 Halloween Pumpkin EGOR!

If you haven’t carved your 2011 pumpkin, there’s still time and I’m willing to freelance a creative face for you to carve.  My rates are reasonable.

Top 5 reasons to participate in this tradition stat:

5. It’s family-friendly.

4. It’s seasonal.

3. It’s affordable ($4.99 for the pumpkin, $3.49 for the optional carving kit).

2. It will enhance your enjoyment of Halloween.

1. I did it (everyone’s doing it) … you should too.

What’s your fave Halloween tradition? Did you carve a pumpkin this year?  Give me the deets!

Sunday Night Dinner: Chicken Tortilla Soup

The crock pot. Slow cooker. Whatever you want to call it … I love it; however, I’ve always used my crock pot on a Sunday so I can monitor its cooking.  I’ve also only ever made chili (really good chili) in my crock pot.  This past week, I made 2 life progressions:

  1. Got over my fear of leaving my crock pot on all day while I’m at work.
  2. Finally made something other than really good chili … really good soup!

The result: a weeklong lunch and dinner phenomenon, also known as Chicken Tortilla Soup made in the crock pot.



  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with green chilis
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 2 cups cooked chicken
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. chili powder
  • 10 corn tortillas (I used flour and did not make tortilla strips per the original recipe)
  • Cheddar cheese

Instructions (the way I did it):

  1. Cook and shred the chicken. 
  2. Mix all the ingredients in the slow cooker.
  3. Stir ingredients.
  4. Cook on low in the slow cooker for about 8 hours, stirring occasionally.
  5. Turn off heat and let sit for 20-30 minutes to thicken before serving.
  6. Enjoy!

This recipe took me about 5-10 minutes to toss into the crock pot before work then was ready when I got home.  Convenient, delicious, and simple.  What more could I ask for?  I usually ate it with a couple flour tortillas or crushed chips and Lin added some shredded cheddar cheese — both versions were good.

The verdict: Highly Recommended