Creamy Fruit Dip



Things sure have been busy around here and I’m looking forward to some cooler weather.  I’ve been one of the not so lucky ones that had the Note 7 phone. It was a nightmare trying to exchange it for a S7 edge and when I went to pick up the new, non exploding Note 7, they told me I owed $76 dollars! Uh. I don’t think so! So I left without a new phone while the worker said she’d talk to her DM and try to work it out. For one time in my life I wish I had an Apple phone.  I’ve always been team Android, but this Note 7 mess has definitely left a sour taste in my mouth.  But on the bright side, at least my phone didn’t explode and cause us harm.

So what do exploding phones and fruit dip have in common? Anyone?? Yeah, I have no clue either. 😆

Moving on..

This recipe is one of our favorite things to eat with fruit! I’m lucky and have kids that will eat fruit without dip. But let’s be honest, and just between us,  it’s better with dip 😉

I’ve been making this delicious dip for many years now.  I believe I found it on

I always put this Creamy Fruit Dip in my Pampered Chef container. Whenever the kids see me pull it out they know what’s coming 😊

After you fix it, I bet you’ll be sneaking bites even without fruit, it’s that tasty!!


Creamy Fruit Dip
  • 16 oz. Cream cheese, softened
  • - Large jar Marshmallow creme, 13 oz.
  • -2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Mix well with mixer. Store in fridge.




Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup



Another soup recipe, but it’s still hot outside you say.  Yes, I know that, but you will thank me when the temperature drops and you have this quick and easy Chicken Noodle Soup to fix! Cool weather is just right around the corner.  I love fall, it’s the only time of the year I want to clean and bake.  I bake all the time but it’s strange for me to want to deep clean the house.  I won’t even begin to tell you how many messes the kids make.  I thought it got better when they were older, I was sadly mistaken, deceived, whatever word you want to use.  As of right now the living room floor is totally picked up!  I want to take a picture and send it to my friend Amber who dropped some books off the other day when we were purging all the kids clothes.  Like ALL their clothing was on the living room floor. She has been scarred for life 🙂

Why is it noone ever shows up when your house is clean? Oh wait, because my house is only clean like 1 hour of the day!  Seriously, it’s scary what the kids can do to our house in less than 24 hours, and since we homeschool, they’re always here to make messes.  Maybe I should spend less time blogging and more time teaching my kids to clean since obviously I have failed at that.  Sorry for the rant.  I try to control myself and be positive, but sometimes Negative Nelly comes out.  She busted out and is loud today, so blame her.  LOL!

Moving on to the recipe……

 This is LittleChef2’s most requested soup and lucky for me it’s fast if you use already cooked chicken.  He can eat the whole pot all by himself!  I use homemade chicken broth that I keep frozen.  The flavor is amazing!

Quick Chicken Noodle Soup

The thing I love most about fixing anything at home is the customization.  You add what you want, take out what you don’t want.  So please feel free to add celery, more vegetables, different herbs, or take out the carrots.  One thing you’ll never see on this blog is a recipe with celery, unless it’s a typo. I hate, detest, loathe, despise, dislike celery, even the smell of it makes me gag.  I think you get the picture here…. I’m still trying to recall what horrible recipe I ate celery in to make me have such hatred against it.  Wish I had a hatred for french fries, my waist would thank me. 🙂

If you have an amazing recipe that INCLUDES celery, please let me know in the comments and I’ll actually try it.  Yeah, I’m fearless like that, LOL!

Quick and Easy Chicken Noodle Soup
In a pinch you can use leftover chicken, rotisserie chicken, or pre-cooked, seasoned bag chicken
  • 2 TBLS butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 cups chicken broth (48 oz)
  • 1-2 cooked chicken breast, cubed
  • 2 cups egg noodles
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ¼ tsp thyme
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  1. Saute onion in butter, around 4 minutes; add garlic, cook a couple minutes - do not burn garlic
  2. Pour in chicken broth; stir in rest of ingredients
  3. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes till noodles are done.



I’m working on some special desserts, so keep checking back!

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Honey Oatmeal Bread (Bread Machine recipe)

Honey Oatmeal Bread-Bread Machine

I can’t even begin to tell you how many bread recipes I have made in my lifetime! Kneading the dough by hand, bread machine, mixer and even a food processor!  I used to love trying out new bread recipes. Having Celiac Disease certainly but a damper on my bread obsession, who am I kidding, it put a halt, a complete stop to it for a long time!  But regardless, whenever I discovered a new blog the first place I searched would be for the bread recipes!  There’s nothing like homemade bread and apparently my kids feel the same way.  The other day my oldest son, LittleChef1, was talking about when he was grown and moves out (I did a good job of pretending I didn’t care about that talk, I know it’s inevitable and a normal progression of life, it just pulls at your heartstrings a little thinking about it), he asked how much a bread machine was, I told him. He said he was gonna buy one and bake bread in it everyday because he loves homemade bread so much! This is coming from the kid who said he was going to eat out for all of his meals when he’s on his own. Yes, his plan is to eat fast food every single day!  So I was kinda shocked when he told me this new information.

I’ve had a Zojirushi Bread Machine for almost 8 years now, and it’s been greatly used.  But since I got my bigger Kitchen Aid mixer early last year,  the bread machine took a back seat. It even lost it’s spot on the counter and got moved to the appliance graveyard!

I sat there processing this information while I was feeding one of the twins and an ideal hit me.  The kids will start using the bread machine, daily.  Each one will be responsible to make bread that morning.  You guessed it, LittleChef1, aka Nathan,  was up first. We went through the recipe together and he measured everything out. I showed him the ins and outs of the machine. He was somewhat perplexed it wasn’t his favorite Pullman Bread Recipe.  That one has taken center stage the past few years.  But when it started to bake, the amazing aroma filled the house and he was smiling! So it worked out good.  Plus my Dad gave me a bag of rolled oats he got from the Amish store, what a perfect recipe to help use up over 14 pounds of oats!  Yes, 14 pounds. Who buys a bag that big? Apparently my Dad does, LOL!  So whenever we use the rolled oats I always think of him and that big bag 🙂


The loaf had a few slices taken out of it by the time I thought I should snap a pic and blog it because it used to be my kids favorite sandwich bread.  It really is a simple, delicious recipe.  I remember eating this one and it’s a definite keeper!

Honey Oatmeal Bread (Bread Machine recipe)
*Always check dough after it's been kneading a couple of minutes to see if it's too dry or wet. Add additional flour or water if needed.
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 TBLS Veg Oil
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • 2⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  1. Put ingredients in bread machine according to your machine's suggestions. (Usually all liquid, then add dry last)
  2. Select Basic setting, medium crust


Pizza Stromboli

Pizza Stromboli

This is one recipe that all the kids agree on, they love it.   If you like pizza, then you’ll love this recipe too! I’m always met with smiles whenever the kids find out Pizza Stromboli is on the menu.

What is a stromboli? Well I’m glad you asked 😉

Stromboli is a type of turnover filled with various cheeses (typically mozzarella) and Italian meats or vegetables. The dough used is either Italian bread dough or pizza dough.

Stromboli was invented in the United States in the 1950s. It was named after the Italian film Stromboli.

A stromboli is somewhat similar to a calzone. A calzone is a baked turnover stuffed with pizza ingredients. A stromboli is usually made by rolling up dough that has been topped with pizza ingredients and then baking it. A calzone is crescent-shaped, and a stromboli is usually shaped like a long rectangle. A calzone is served with tomato sauce on top of it or on the side, while a stromboli generally has the tomato sauce inside it. The question is complicated by the fact that there is some variation in what constitutes a stromboli.     Source: Wikipedia

So you see there’s even discrepancies in the stromboli world!!


I don’t even remember where I found this recipe,  but I’m glad I did and the kids are too. I’m still not 100 % convinced this is an authentic stromboli because it’s not rolled.  But what else are you gonna call it? A braided pizza bread maybe? Either one, it’s sure to become a favorite at your house too.

After I started making this recipe I stopped making calzones.  This feeds the kids more because of the shape and they love helping with the dough.

This recipe starts with my Artisan Pizza Dough.  You could easily use your own recipe or store bought crust. Trust me folks, pizza dough is one item that is sooo easy and cheap to make.  In fact, the kids make it all on their own! Once you start making your own crust, you won’t ever go back to the sad store bought pizza crusts ever again!

I took step by step photos of the little kids making it. I thought it would’ve been handy to see a visual.  But my stupid camera messed up and it ate the pictures?? Don’t ask me how that happened. It’s the same way the computer does weird stuff that it’s not supposed to. LittleChefsDad calls it something strange, user error,  I call it stupid technology. Yes, I’m aware I used the word stupid, twice. Technology irritates me….



Give this recipe a try. It’s super fun for the kids to do. My kids just love playing with dough.  This would also make a great mummy, a centipede, snake, or something else that’s wrapped .


Pizza Stromboli

Serves: 2 strombolis

Fill dough with your favorite pizza toppings. Heated pizza sauce served on the side makes a great dip!
  • 1 cup pizza sauce, divided
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided
  • toppings of your choice
  • 4 TBLS butter, melted, divided
  • Italian seasoning
  • garlic powder
  • Parmesan cheese
  1. Make Artisan Pizza Dough
  2. -divide in half
  3. -roll out to fit baking sheet (use parchment paper)
  4. -use ½ cup pizza sauce, put in the middle all the way down, do not spread to the edge
  5. -add toppings and cheese on top of pizza sauce in the middle
  6. -cut 1" diagonal strips up to the filling only, on each side
  7. -alternate laying strips of dough on each other
  8. -melt 2 TBLS butter, add Italian seasoning and garlic powder.
  9. -brush over Stromboli dough, sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.
  10. -Bake 375° for 20 minutes


Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Fudgy Brownies


Mmmmm, Fudgy Brownies! My kids love brownies and I love that they are fast and easy.  As you may have noticed before,  those are my favorite recipes! I have a regular brownie recipe, but I was on the hunt for one that tastes like the one on CiCi’s pizza buffet (gasp). I haven’t eaten there in over 4 years and when I did,  I didn’t care for the brownies, nor the pizza for that matter.  But my kids love it and eat there whenever they go shopping alone with their Dad (LittleChefsDad).  They don’t get it alot so it’s a very special treat to them. Trust me when my crew goes there, they lose money that night. LOL 😀IMG_2403


LittleChef3 has asked and asked for me to try and duplicate their infamous brownies. Who knew I’d have so much trouble doing that?? He said this recipe didn’t taste exactly like CiCi’s, but was still awesome.

When my other kids had to stop eating them because they were too rich, I suspected they were very fudgy.  I can’t begin to tell you how incredible the house smelled and how bad I wanted to be the one biting into those brownies! I may have to try some out with GF flour so I can sample this recipe!


I asked the kids if they liked the Fudgy Brownies better than our old stand by recipe, they all agreed this one was excellent too.  LittleChef2 said he didn’t know, he didn’t remember exactly what the old one tastes like. Yeah right!  I guess I will have to do our old one and let them compare. Nice play my little food lover. Score one for the kids!!

Fudge Brownies


LittleChefTip: To get a clean cut on brownies, use a plastic knife.  Yes, seriously! It really works, even on hot brownies.  I don’t know why, but I’m glad it does:-)




Fudgy Brownies
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish.
  2. Combine the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl.
  3. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each, until thoroughly blended.
  4. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a bowl.
  5. Gradually stir flour mixture into the egg mixture until blended. Stir in the chocolate morsels.
  6. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking dish.
  7. Bake in preheated oven until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.
  8. Remove, and cool pan on wire rack before cutting.
  9. Recipe source:



I love my brownies with walnuts in them, do you have any special add-ins that you just love? Tell me in the comments below, I’d love to hear 🙂



Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Grandma’s Macaroni and Cheese


I love mac ‘n cheese, seriously I just love it! In fact before LittleChefsDad and I were married I’d eat that along with corn for my complete meal! As complete a meal can get when you’re 20 years old. LOL!  It was one of the few items I knew how to fix and I loved it, still do. Even the gluten free mac ‘n cheese still has a place on my plate, thankfully.  I ate it a couple times a week when I was pregnant with the twins.  It accompanied fish and vegetables.  I had to have a starch to balance my meal you know 🙂

Grandma's Macaroni N Cheese

I grew up eating macaroni and cheese from a box, always a box!  So when I first tasted my Mother-in-law’s mac and cheese it was love at first bite!! So cheesy and creamy, the perfect gooiness.  You know any food that is described by gooiness is a must have!!   In fact, gooiness should be a real word! 😉Grandma's Mac N Cheese

Now whenever I make macaroni and cheese for the kids, this is the only recipe I use. The blue box got kicked to the curb when she told me how to fix this.

As with any great cook, Grandma, aka Cathy, doesn’t measure anything out.  I hope I do her recipe justice because I  just throw stuff in there till it looks good and gooey, yummm!

 Cathy doesn’t look like a Grandma, at least not the one that comes to my mind.  When I say Grandma, I think of an older person with gray hair up in a bun and glasses on. She looks much younger but is all Grandma, she loves her Grandsons! How blessed they are to have her!

Grandma's Macaroni and Cheese
Start with ⅓ cup milk and add more depending on your personal preference. If it looks dry, add more. Remember you can always add more but you can't take away so easily!
  • 12 ounces dry macaroni, elbow shaped
  • 10 ounces Velveeta Cheese, cubed
  • ½ stick butter (4 TBLS)
  • ⅓-1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain
  2. Add rest of ingredients and mix well
  3. Cook on low heat to melt cheese


Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


Tuna Patties



This is the only recipe I have for tuna that my kids and husband will even eat!  The secret is the Lawry’s Seasoning Salt.  It totally covers up the fishy tuna taste.  What I LOVE about this recipe, other than it’s super quick and easy, it’s so frugal.  It’s perfect for the times you have more month than paycheck 🙂  It’s also great for when you need a meat to go with dinner but only have frozen options.  Just go to your pantry and grab a can, or two!

Quick & Easy Tuna Patties

I serve this with mashed potatoes, Cheesy Garlic Buttered Noodles, and peas. Although I’m the only one that eats peas here, I try to add some color!  In a pinch you can ground up some croutons in place of the bread crumbs.

Obviously if eating gluten free, sub GF bread crumbs, or I have even ground up oats and used those to make it GF.  If you do just add some Italian seasoning. It’s an easy to change recipe.


Tuna Patties

Serves: 8 patties

Makes great tuna burgers too!
  • 2 cans tuna,(6oz), drained
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbls Lawry's seasoning salt
  • veg. oil for frying (small amount)
  1. Mix all ingredients well
  2. Form into patties (mixture will be soft)
  3. Fry in skillet for 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked

I realize the picture quality isn’t great. I took pictures inside and at night. The twins have their first illness, a bad cold, and I was trying to be as quick as possible while they were happy sitting on their own. Let’s just say having 1 sick baby is bad, having 2 sick babies is very bad!! I’m praying they continue to get better and don’t develop any other infections.

Anyway, try out this recipe, even tuna hating folks love it!

Herbed buttered Potatoes (Stovetop)

Herbed Buttered Potatos

Oh potatoes, how I love thee, let me count the way…..

you all would be here a long time 🙂

I LOVE potatoes, in any form or any recipe! The humble spud packs a special place in my heart for my favorite comfort food!  You really can do so many tasty things with a potato!

My mind immediately goes to the great potato famine of Ireland. Here’s an excellent short read if inquiring minds want to know. Small snippet:

What was the Irish Potato Famine?
The famine was a devastating moment in Ireland’s history, when the failure of the potato crop led to mass hunger during the mid-19th century, a famine that killed one million people and crippled the country.


Famine memorial_0The haunting memorial to the Irish Potato Famine in Dublin

Bet you didn’t expect a little history lesson about a potato today, did you??

I have warned you all repeatedly that it’s kinda scary up in here (brain), and I blog what I think 🙂

Moving on…

The potatoes cook about 30 minutes on the stovetop in a Dutch Oven.   It’s quick and tasty and no boiling water to mess with. I found this recipe a couple years ago on the internet by Ina Garten. Normally I don’t care for her stuff, she just seems to pretentious.  Not to offend anyone, I just never liked watching her shows on Food Network.

Herbed Buttered Potatoes

 Anyway, last weekend we had our church anniversary service, and I had the biggest cake fail of my life! It was pinterest fail worthy! I’ve baked many cakes and followed the recipe to a tee and it was still a disaster! I didn’t find the recipe on some blog, no, it was an award winning baking cookbook!  Now I’m afraid to try other recipes from it.

I know I was absent last week, but I did fix two of our favorite quick appetizers and meals.  But didn’t have time to photograph or blog.  So that will give me an excuse to fix them again soon 🙂

After a great weekend of guest preachers,  we get to hear another preacher from Mexico tonight. I’m very much looking forward to that!!

Herbed buttered Potatoes (Stovetop)
Make sure you use a Dutch Oven or an equivalent pot.
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2½ pounds small white or Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt, use less if of butter is salted
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh green herbs, such as parsley, chives, and dill. (I use dried)
  1. Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot.
  2. Add the whole potatoes, salt, and pepper and toss well.
  3. Cover the pot tightly and cook over low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on size,until the potatoes are just tender when tested with a small knife.
  4. From time to time, shake the pot without removing the lid to prevent the bottom potatoes from burning.
  5. Turn off the heat and allow the potatoes to steam for another 5 minutes.
  6. Don't overcook! Toss with the herbs, and serve hot.

I usually always peel my potatoes, I just don’t like getting the peel off in my mouth, so if that doesn’t bother you, then this recipe is even quicker!




Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.



Cheesy Garlic Buttered Noodles



If LittleChef2 had to pick one favorite thing I fix for him,  then hands down it would be these noodles!  This kid has been happily eating them for over 10 years now! He even ate these during a bout with a stomach virus. I tried my best to convince him to let me fix something else, but he begged for the noodles as they’re affectionately known here.  I cringed with each bite he took, but thankfully he kept them down and he was comforted.   I fixed them for dinner last night and as I was photographing the picture, he stepped out onto the back deck and told me the noodles and mashed potatoes were the best ever and he could eat the whole thing.  Exaggeration I thought, so I told him to eat as much as he wanted.  Hmm, that kinda backfired on me because when I came inside and fixed me a plate, there were barely any food left and LittleChef1 still hadn’t eaten, nor LittleChefsDad!  I said Nicholas I can’t believe you ate the whole thing!!  He said I just ate half (not exactly!) and you did tell me to eat what I wanted.  Indeed I did!  Lesson learned…

Buttered Noodles

One thing I love about LittleChef2 is that he enjoys food, not just loves to eat, no, he takes the time to sit and enjoy food.  He immediately noticed the change in the mashed potatoes , he picks up on the faintest ingredients.  I look forward to see what career he chooses in life.  I’m thinking he’d make a fantastic chef, but you never know what the Lord has in store for him.

Even from a baby he has always had a voracious appetite. He would gum his food because he was a late teether and he would sit and cry for food. Forget the baby food, he wanted meat and potatoes!  Now at the age of 13 the boy can put the food away!  Trust me, it is scary having teenage boys and even scarier having all boys to feed!  No dieting here!  There’s no need to convince me my grocery bill isn’t higher because I have all males, I would never believe you.  You do not get in the way of a boy and his food!



Cheesy Garlic Buttered Noodles
Note: recipe will need to be doubled or tripled to feed a family. This makes enough for four small servings or one teenage boy :-)
  • ½ stick butter (1/4 cup)
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ tsp garlic salt
  • ½ cup Parmesan Cheese & additional for sprinkling on top before serving
  • 2 heaping cups dry egg noodles
  1. Cook noodles according to manufacturers directions
  2. When noodles are almost done boiling; Melt butter on low heat,
  3. add milk and garlic salt
  4. cook till warm; stir in parmesan cheese
  5. Do not Boil; Remove from heat
  6. Pour over cooked and drained noodles, mix well. Enjoy!





Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Delicious Cinnamon Toast

Cinnamon Toast

Where was this amazing toast all my life??? I only discovered it about 6 years ago when I was flipping through a cookbook I bought called The Old-Time Brand-Name Cookbook. I remembered it the next time I had some leftover bread that needed to be eaten up. The kids loved it!  I didn’t eat any because at the time I was doing Weight Watchers. Fast forward a couple months and I fixed it again. This time my willpower was basically null and I ate it and oh my goodness was it ever good!!! No wonder the kids loved it, it was delicious! I have since then modified the recipe, not much, and they love it even more!

Growing up my Mom would fix us apple butter toast, but the toast was soggy,  always soggy. Who likes soggy bread? Not me! So even though I loved the taste of hot apple butter, I didn’t like a sink hole in the middle of my bread!
Delicious Cinnamon Toast!

So you can guarantee the cinnamon toast I fix the kids is not soggy! To ensure toastiness (possibly could be a made up word), please, please, bake your bread in the oven till crisp before slathering on the cinnamonny sugar butter! I promise you, you won’t regret it!

I feel like I’m just making up words today, just play along 😃

Delicious Cinnamon Toast

Serves: 12 slices

Note: Use thick, firm white bread. If you have homemade bread, slice pieces about ⅓ " thick.
  • 12 slices white bread
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • ⅔ cup white sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix all ingredients together,minus the bread.
  3. Toast the bread slices on cookie sheet till crisp.
  4. Remove from oven and flip over; spread butter sugar mixture on one side of each bread slice, covering as much as possible.
  5. Place back in the oven and broil until the mixture melts and the bread is bubbly all over.
  6. Serve immediately.

There’s several approaches to cinnamon toast, but I think this one is the most delicious way! Sure, you could just melt some butter and sprinkle on some sugar and cinnamon, but that won’t leave your mouth singing with joy. No! You need to try it this way and taste the difference!

The smell is so tantalizing and is real torture for a person that can’t eat bread. The only people that say, oh it would be so easy for me to give up bread, are the ones that don’t have to worry about not giving it up! And they say that with bread crumbs on their face 😉

So to all my gluten eating friends, do yourself a favor and fix this delicious cinnamon toast today!

Sidenote: You gotta love a boy in a camo robe posing for a picture for his crazed food blogging Mom!


Disclaimer: Little Chef Within is not to be held accountable for anyone becoming addicted to this toast. 🙂

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.