Easy Fish Packets

Okay since it’s practically Spring now(on the calendar, not really outside yet) I am offering up a lighter recipe for those of you(and me) that are shedding for Summer! This is one of our favorite recipes as you can customize it with what you have in your fridge and pantry and it’s quick with minimal cleanup! To me that’s the trifecta of a great recipe. I usually serve this recipe with a side of rice. I used catfish for this recipe as it’s pretty easy to get the good stuff here in Mississippi! You can use any white fish I just want to stress how important it is to buy products grown in the USA or fresh caught off of our own coasts!
Easy Fish Packets
  • Fresh fish fillets(2)
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • 1T Greek seasoning
  • 2 cups Spinach
  • 2 teaspoons Olive oil
  • One sweet onion cut in rings
  • Aluminum foil
  1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Cut a 12 in piece of foil and lay one cup of spinach on the bottom
  3. Lay your fish fillet on top of the spinach
  4. Season your fish with half of the Greek seasoning
  5. Sprinkle one teaspoon of oil on top of fish and spinach
  6. Add the tomatoes and the onions
  7. Close up the packet and put on top of a cookie sheet with the folded side of the packet facing up to allow some steam to escape.
  8. Prep your other packet and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Your fish should be cooked through and it should be flaky.
  9. Serve on a plate and enjoy!

Favorite Winter Recipes

I find myself home again for another ‘snow day’ although I see none of the white stuff and I do not think I will this year! I am enjoying the two days off to break up a long winter week here in February! Here in Mississippi temperatures start to increase after February so I am getting antsy for Spring. If it’s going to be cold though I love to have a hot meal for dinner to fill me up and keep me warm! Here are some of my personal favorite winter weather recipes that are super easy and hearty! Click on a picture below to be linked to the recipe! Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I do!

Super Bowl Party for Two: Cake Batter Cookies

Unless you were hiding under a rock you probably tuned into the Super Bowl last night! We of course did even though we are the opposite of NFL fans. This is the south and there is only one type of football and that’s SEC! Anyway, we have hosted SB parties before and were invited to a couple but we decided to stay at home and have our own little party. I whipped up some fresh salsa , French onion dip and cocktail weenies. Mike made chicken wings which were phenomenal and since I wanted something sweet I decided to try something a little different. I have been seeing different recipes for Cake Batter Cookies all over the web and I settled on working around this recipe. I did tweak it a bit and I think that made all of the difference! These were amazingly delicious and tasted like a cookie, cake and a brownie all in one. They would make the most fabulous whoopie pies! You can customize these anyway you want by adding nuts, candy or chocolate chips. I decided to make them plain since this was my first time. These are an easy and inexpensive homemade dessert anyone will love! 

Cake Batter Cookies


  • One box of cake mix; any flavor(I used double fudge)
  • One egg
  • 1/2 Cup softened butter
  • 3 Tablespoons water
  1. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
  2. Beat together all ingredients with an electric mixer in a large bowl(this mixture will be super sticky)
  3. Use a melon baller to drop 2 inch balls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. 
  4. Bake 8-9 minutes and remove from oven. Let cookies cool on pan for 2 minutes and then move to rack. 
  5. Enjoy!
These really are an amazing texture that reminds me of an ice-cream sandwich wafer! 

Chicken Tortilla Soup

With this super cold Winter we have been having so far this year I have been craving stews and soups to keep me full and warm. This recipe is perfect for a quick weeknight meal that your family will enjoy. It can be customized to your spiciness preferences pretty easily and it is ready quickly. The ingredients make a beautifully colorful and tasty dish. I topped mine with shredded sharp cheddar, sour cream and garnished with tortilla chips that I crushed on top! Don’t let the long list of ingredients deter you as you should have most of this in your pantry! The recipe was husband approved so you know what that means…this soup is going in our dinner rotation!


  • 2 cups of shredded chicken(I used white meat from a rotisserie chicken I picked up at the store or you can quickly do this at home using this tutorial)
  • 2 cans of Rotel
  • 1 can of black beans; rinsed 
  • 1 Small can of Tomato sauce(8 oz.)
  • 1 cup of corn(I used frozen)
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic;minced
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro; chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder(omit if you do not like spicy foods)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • Black pepper to taste(I use fresh ground)
  • 1Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Sour Cream, cheese and tortilla chips(optional)
  1. Heat up olive oil in the bottom of a large pot and sauté onions until translucent
  2. Add garlic and sauté around 2-3 minutes. 
  3. Add broth, chicken, beans, tomato sauce, corn, Rotel and all spices. Stir well.
  4. Simmer on low-med covered for 30 minutes. 
  5. Remove from heat and add lime juice and cilantro. 
  6. Garnish and Enjoy!
What I love about recipes like this is that you can easily customize it to add or subtract whatever you’d like! I hope you enjoy this as much as I did and that you stay warm in the “polar vortex: part 2.”

Ranch Pork Loin with Sweet Potatoes

I wanted to try something a little different when I decided to whip up this easy pork loin roast last week. This recipe was seriously so easy and delicious. I love just throwing ingredients I have together and seeing what happens and this is exactly what I did! All you need is a 2-3 lb pork loin roast, two sweet potatoes, one large onion and some ranch powder to make a flavorful and easy weeknight dinner. I served mine with a side salad and a glass of red wine!
Ranch Pork Loin with Sweet Potatoes

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon ranch dressing powder(store bought or use this recipe for a healthier, homemade version)
  • 2-3 lb pork roast
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes cut and quartered
  • 1 large sweet onion sliced
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • Garlic powder to taste
  • Onion powder to taste
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Heat up a cast iron skillet to med-high heat. Add 1 Tablespoon olive oil and allow the pan to heat up! DO NOT grab the handle with your bare hand(speaking from experience).
  2. Season pork loin with garlic and onion powder. Rub it into the meat on all sides.
  3. Brown the meat for 1 minute on each side until the sides are brown.
  4. Remove pork loin from skillet and add to 9×13 baking dish.
  5. Add onion, potatoes and 3/4 cup of water. Sprinkle ranch powder all over. 
  6. Place the pan in the oven uncovered and bake for around 40-45 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and let the meat rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting into it.
  8. Enjoy!

Homemade Pizza Dough

I thought it was high time I started using this fabulous Ninja more often! I was super excited to get one when we got married as I love making smoothies, frozen drinks and salsa. I have used it to make all three and they were super easy and quick so I am loving the Ninja thus far. 

When I first opened the box of the system I found a recipe book showcasing exactly what you could make with this thing. Needless to say I was super excited to see that it could be used to make bread/dough. I watched a few of the online videos about how easy it was and lets just say that I was skeptical…but it was amazingly easy and painless! I decided I would use the pizza dough recipe provided by Ninja and it turned out great! I cannot wait to experiment more with this recipe and add my own twist to it. 

  • 2/3 cups warm water (105 to 110 degrees F)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of active dry yeast
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  1. Place yeast, salt, sugar and water in blender and Pulse for 10 seconds.
  2. Add the oil and flour 1 cup at a time, pulsing until dough is smooth and in a ball.
  3. Transfer dough to lightly oiled bowl and cover with towel to let rise(about one hour).
  4. Spread on pan the best you can! This is tricky and I need to practice! This much dough can be used to make a medium thick crust or a large thin crust pizza!
  5. Cover with pizza sauce.
  6. Top with your favorite toppings such as cheese along with meat and veggies and bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes
  7. Enjoy!
This is my favorite picture of this whole experiment…look who was creeping down there!

Easy Hoppin’ John

Last week I shared the collard greens I prepared for our New Year’s feast and today I am sharing the recipe for the Hoppin’ John that we had to go along with the greens! This recipe is as simple as it is tasty! Hoppin’ John is considered a Low Country food and I have grown up eating it all my life in South Carolina. I am not really a fan of blackeyed peas but the rice and the seasoning that the bacon gives really accompany them so well that I do not mind them at all in this dish! As you make this dish your home will smell delicious as the scent of bacon reminds me of home! Feel free to try your hand at some traditional South Carolinan food!

Hoppin’ John

  • 2 Tablespoons bacon drippings
  • 1 cup cooked white rice
  • 2 cups cooked and drained black eyed peas
  • 3/4 cup diced sweet onion
  • 2 tablespoons chicken stock(reduced sodium)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. In a large skillet fry 3 slices of center cooked bacon. Remove bacon (crumble to use on a salad or something later or you can just eat it). 
  2. While you’re frying the bacon cook the one cup of rice in a rice cooker or on the stove.
  3. After the bacon is removed, saute the onion in the bacon drippings for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the peas and cooked rice until heated through and add the chicken stock and stir
  5. Salt and Pepper to taste
  6. Enjoy!

Crock-Pot Collard Greens

Sorry for my absence these past few days! It seems that if you travel for 9 days straight in cars and on planes and are around thousands of people you have a really good chance of getting sick! I am feeling better and am back with a recipe I prepared on New Years Day! 

Around the country there are many traditions as to what should be your first meal in the New Year! Here in the south we are no different. Legend is that you should eat collard greens(which represent cash money), blackeyed peas(representing change and cents), corn bread(representing gold) and ham hocks or pork(representing positive motion forward since a pig cannot turn his foot anyway but forward). The saying goes “Eat poor on New Year’s, and eat fat the rest of the year.” So I wanted to try my hand at making this traditional southern meal for my husband as he had never heard of this tradition that I would never miss at my Meme’s house growing up! 

These turned out good and they were super easy. I love the Crock-Pot so much because it’s a set it and forget it appliance. Mike was a good sport and tried them and he responded with just how I thought, “they’re bitter.” Well that’s exactly how they’re supposed to taste! Next year I think I’ll cook cabbage instead since it is a green that I actually love! Here’s the recipe if you’d like to try your hand at easy collards!

Crock Pot Collard Greens

  • 3 slices bacon
  • 1 large onion; chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic; minced
  • 3 bunches collard greens; cut
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups water

  1. Add bacon to pan heated to Med/High and fry until crisp. Remove bacon and crumble.
  2. While bacon is frying, chop and wash greens. I used my salad spinner to get them clean and dry.
  3. Add onion to pan that bacon was cooked in. Sautee for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add: chicken broth, water, salt and peper and the bacon back to the pan. Heat up for about 3 minutes.
  4. Add clean greens to Crock Pot and top with mixture from the bacon pan.
  5. Cook all day(8-10) hours on Low. The greens will cook way down in the pot!
  6. Enjoy!
I hope you had a fabulous New Year and that 2014 will be filled with health, wealth and prosperity!

Crock-Pot Mulled Wine

During the holiday season I love to try to make recipes that I have had at holiday parties(and loved, of course)! A couple of years ago at a work party at my director’s home he served some mulled wine that he had made in the crock-pot. What I noticed first was the intoxicating smell coming from the kitchen which filled the home with a cinnamon and cardamom aroma that was amazing. After trying it, I was hooked! 

Mulled wine is also known as Glögg which is Scandinavian. It is traditionally made with raisins and mulling spices and heated over a fire. It is also very popular in Germany and Austria where they refer to it as Glühwein.

This year I finally got around to making some of my own! I searched around the web for recipes and tips and came up with a recipe that is a conglomeration of several. I have now made it on three different occasions since Thanksgiving and I think I have finally mastered it! Beware that this is an adult drink and the alcohol definitely does not cook out of it! Here is the recipe I will be making every year from now on! Enjoy


  • 1.5L Bottle Red Wine(I recommened Cabernet Sauvignon; use the cheapest possible, no need to waste the good stuff here!)
  • 3/4 cup spiced rum or brandy(here again I stress the cheap factor)
  • 1 cup Orange juice
  • 3/4 cup white Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Allspice
  • 5-6 whole Cinnamon Sticks
  • 1-2 peeled and pulled apart Oranges or Tangerines
  • 8 whole Cloves
  • 5 Cardamom Pods
  • Oranges for Garnish


  1. Place all ingredients(except garnish oranges) in crock-pot. Stir. 
  2. Heat on Low for 4 hours or High 2 hours then switch to warm.
  3. Strain out pods and serve with a cinnamon stick and orange for garnish!

Crock-Pot Potato Soup

This time of year is when I crave stews and soups for lunch and dinner to fill me up and keep me warm. I have loved potato soup since I was a kid and I’d get my fix at Bennigan’s in my hometown! My mom and I both loved it. I had never attempted to make potato soup from scratch before and it turned out so hearty and delicious that I wanted to share the recipe as it was super easy as well! I hope you enjoy!

Crock Pot Potato Soup

  • 3 lbs potatoes cubed 1/2 inch (I left the skins on)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 garlic cloves; minced
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 cup half & half
  • 6 cooked bacon strips crumbled
  • shredded sharp cheddar 
  • fresh chives
  1. Combine: potatoes, onion, chicken broth, pepper and garlic in crock pot with lid on. Cook on low 7 hours or high 4 hours.
  2. Open crock pot carefully as it will be hot and using potato masher or immersion blender mash some of the potatoes until the liquid becomes white in color. Make sure to leave some chunks of potatoes as you want your soup to be hearty.
  3. Add half & half and sour cream while stirring. Cook on low 1 hour.
  4. Ladle soup in bowls and add shredded cheddar to the top with crumbled bacon. Using kitchen shears cut chives to add to the top.
  5. Eat!!
Cut potatoes in 1/2 cubes
Potatoes, broth, seasoning and onion added to Crock-Pot
Delicious final product
Stay southern,