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Crispy Mini Jalapeno Popper Egg Rolls

As if a classic case of the Mondays wasn’t hard enough to to beat already, it’s also rainy. And it’s supposed to be rainy for most of the week. Talk about a lack-luster start to the week. But I’m not letting that stop me from bringing you this snack recipe.

I know, I know, such dedication. I mean it, I’m putting off my nap for it ;) I kid, kinda.

Mini Jalapeno Popper Egg Rolls 2

These are everything you love about jalapeño poppers, but cleverly tucked into a mini fried egg roll shell. Talk about having a surprise hidden inside!

Mini Jalapeno Popper Egg Rolls 3

They’re creamy, they’re cheesy, bacony, and spicy with just the right amount of crunch. These are great party appetizers, and they’re also great grub for game day.

Crispy Jalapeno Popper Egg Rolls

Mini Jalapeno Popper Egg Rolls

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and diced
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 green onions, finely sliced
1 package wonton wrappers
canola oil, for frying


  1. In a large skillet or medium-large pot, heat the oil to 350 degrees.
    2. Stir together the cream cheese, cheddar, jalapeño peppers, garlic powder and green onions until evenly combined.
    3. Place each wonton wrapper diagonally (like a diamond) and add 1 tablespoon of filling. Brush a little bit of water on the edge of the wrapper and fold in half pinching to seal. Fold the sides in and roll the egg roll ensuring it is completely sealed.
    4. Drop each egg roll into the hot oil for about 3 minutes, or until brown and crispy.
    5. Remove the fried eggrolls to paper towels to drain. Let them rest about 5 minutes before serving.

recipe adapted from Spend With Pennies

Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken

I was so productive last weekend. I packed away all the shorts and t shirts and swapped them out for everybody’s jeans and sweaters. It was a cool 50 degrees all weekend and we were cozy and oh-so happy. And damn if I didn’t pat myself on the back for checking that giant task of our seasonal to-do list. Aaaaand then this weeek rolled around bringing us 70 degrees and you’d have thought I was trying to torture my boys.

My bad.

Any who, it may not seem like Winter is coming from the weather, despite what our wardrobe (and the local weatherman) says, but I can tell– especially as we shift from using the grill, and move firmly into oven and crockpot territory.

Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken

This recipe is easy to throw together, and you let the crockpot do all the heavy lifting. Serve it over a warm bed of freshly cooked white rice, and make sure to ladle a generous scoop of sauce overtop the chicken. Because, this sauce. This sauce will have you smackin’ your lips and licking your plate clean. Shamelessly.

Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup ketchup*
1/2 cup soy sauce*
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp fresh parsley
1/2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds


  1. Place the chicken thighs on the bottom of the crockpot.
    2. In a separate, medium sized bowl, combine the minced garlic, honey, ketchup, soy sauce, oregano and parsley, and stir them together until the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
    3. Pour the sauce over the chicken thighs.
    4. Cover the crockpot with its lid, and cook for 6 to 7 hours on LOW, or 4 to 5 hours on HIGH.
    5. Remove the lid and transfer the cooked chicken to a serving plate.
    6. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
    7. Serve the chicken over a bed of white rice.

*Use low-sodium options if diabetic or of you have other health sodium-related health concerns. Similarly, this is just as tasty without the rice, or served over a bed of brown rice or quinoa for healthier options.

‘Tastes Just Like’ Pizza Soup

On the heels of Thanksgiving ( and our Tryptophan carbohydrate-induced post coma ) we needed something light, but still packing that flavor punch. We couldn’t stomach more than one course (shoot one whole meal seemed a struggle) so soup seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

Pizza Soup

And not just any soup, but pizza soup, a soup that’s a soup but still really not a soup since it encapsulates one of our most beloved dishes (and all its flavors) in one dish, without all those dastardly carbs. Who needs to hibernate in a carb coma two days in a row? Am I right, or am I right?

We’ve found most people frown at the name, but after one taste they get it. It really does taste just like pizza, but better for you. And who can’t get behind that?!

Pizza Soup

Pizza Soup 2

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 green bell peppers, seeded and chopped
8 oz. fresh, washed, sliced baby bell mushrooms (optional)
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. Italian sausage, browned and drained
4 cups chicken broth
2 (24 oz) jars of marinara sauce or spaghetti sauce
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
4 oz. sliced pepperoni, quartered (or use mini pepperonis)
shredded mozzarella cheese
fresh basil, roughly chopped or chiffonade


  1. In a large skillet heat the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add in the prepared veggies and saute until they’re tender and slightly browned. Add the minced garlic during the last minute or two of cooking time. Transfer the veggies to a large pot. Brown the sausage in the same skillet and drain it well after cooking, then add it to the soup pot along with the stock, sauce, red pepper flakes and most of the pepperoni, saving a few to use as garnishes. Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover the soup pot with the cover slightly askew so some of the steam can escape while it cooks. Simmer, stirring frequently, for 20 to 30 minutes.
    2. Ladle the hot into bowls. Top each bowl with some of the Mozzarella, a few slices of pepperoni and a little basil. Let the bowls rest for just a few minutes before serving. Serve with garlic bread or breadsticks.

Cajun Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

The fun doesn’t stop when we’ve finished painting, carving, decorating, whatever-ing our pumpkins, and have packed everything away. Hell, who am I kidding, yes it does. But everybody loves Mom’s homemade pumpkin seeds so they have to just suck it up and help me through the painfully slow process of rinsing and completely separating the seeds from every last bit of pumpkin goop.

Despite the dragging feet, and whining the whole way, in the end they’re always happy to be able to enjoy the finished product.

Cajun Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

And this seasoning blend did not disappoint. They were toasted to perfection with the perfect blend of bold Cajun spice and a solid savory with hints of paprika and Worcestershire.

Think pumpkin seeds aren’t your thing? Think again, or at least you’ve got to give them another try. With the proper seasoning, pumpkin seeds are an amazing snack. And this blend is one of our Fall favorites.

Cajun Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Cajun Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Seeds 2

1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 scant teaspoon Cajun seasoning, or to taste
1/4 tsp paprika
salt, to taste
2 liberal dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp melted butter


  1. Rinse the seeds well and remove as much of the pumpkin pulp from them as possible. Some of the small pieces are going to adhere, but they won’t hurt anything. Think of those teensy, tiny pieces as flavor booster. Pat the cleaned seeds dry with paper towels. Do this quickly so they don’t stick too much.
    2. Toss the pumpkin seeds with the seasonings. Stir together the melted butter and Worcestershire, and then stir them into the seeds until they’re evenly coated.
    3. Roast the seeds at 300 degrees, stirring & turning from time to time, like every 20 minutes, for about 45 to 60 minutes, or until nicely browned and crunchy.

Not Your Mama’s Green Bean Casserole

I feel like most people have heard of green bean casserole by now. It’s been around as long as I can remember, and it’s a Thanksgiving & Christmas dinner staple for us. And who’s had it who doesn’t just love it, with its creamy veggies and crunchy onion topping?

 Not Your Mama's Green Bean Casserole

But the version I serve my family, with my own indulgent spin on it is definitely not my Mama’s classic recipe. Don’t let the looks of it fool you, it packs some secret ingredient punches that will make it an instant hit with any crowd, holidays or not.

Everybodys gonna want your recipe. You know what? Just go ahead and bring extra copies, that way everybody leaves full and happy.

Not Your Mama’s Green Bean Casserole

1 can (10 1/2 ounces) cream of mushroom soup
1/2-3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp soy sauce
1 pinch of black pepper, 1/4 tsp garlic powder
4 cups cooked, cut green beans
1 1/3 cups crispy French Fried Onions
1/4 cup shredded parmesan
6-8 slices of bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh (washed and scrubbed) mushrooms


  1. Stir together the soup, cream, soy sauce, spices, beans, cheese, bacon, mushrooms, and 2/3 cup of the onions in a 1 1/2-quart casserole.
    2. Bake the casserole, uncovered, at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes , or until the bean mixture is hot and bubbling. Stir the beans. Sprinkle the remaining onions evenly over top of the casserole.
    3.  Return the dish to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes, or until the onions are golden brown.

Crab Rangoon

These little fried ‘dumplings’ are an American ‘Chinese’ take out favorite. They’re stuffed with a mixture of cream cheese and flaky crab meat. Real or imitation meat both work just fine, depending on your inclination and your budget.

crab rangoon 2

We love these little appetizers, especially since we discovered that they can be deep fried or baked, giving us some options convenience and calorie-wise.

Crab Rangoon

Best of all? We can get all the same flavors we love from our favorite take out, but whipped up at home in under 30 minutes, and that’s a generous estimate– in reality it’s more like 20 minutes.

This is everything you’ve ever imagined in an incredibly creamy crab filling that you can easily seal up into a triangle (or square) of delicious wonton wrapper casing.

The finished crispy wontons are loaded with cream cheesy crab goodness that’s sure to be an irresistible hit at any dinner or dinner party.

Crab Rangoon

crab rangoon 3

1 block, 8 oz, cream cheese, softened
2 oz crab meat or 2 sticks imitation crab meat, finely diced
1 tbsp confectioners sugar
pinch of salt
20 wonton wrappers
Oil, for deep frying


  1. Mix all the cream cheese, crab meat, sugar, and salt in a bowl, stirring to evenly incorporate. Place about 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese filling in the middle of a wonton wrapper. Dab some water on the outer edges of the wonton wrapper and fold the two ends of the wrapper together. Fold the other two ends to make a tiny parcel pictured below. Pinch to seal tight and make sure that there is no leakage.

2. Heat up a pot of oil for deep-frying and fry the crab rangoon until golden brown. Dish out with a strainer or slotted spoon, draining the excess oil by laying the crab rangoon on a dish lined with paper towels. Let the crab rangoon cools down a bit before serving them with sweet and sour sauce.


While we try to keep things ‘PG’ rated at best around these parts, occasionally (just occasionally, promise!) things may change. Like now.

Once upon a time, a quesadilla and pizza got together. They had a very lovely, love child. The Pizza-dilla.

And tummies and tastebuds rejoiced throughout the land and we all lived happily ever after!


Everything you love about a crispy, crunchy quesadilla oozing melted, cheesy goodness, but instead of stopping there it’s topped off like a pizza with tomato sauce, more cheese, and a few pepperonis for good measure.

These are a perfect thing to make with the kids. They’re easy to assemble and easy to cook, without a lot of parental assistance required. Helloooooo, Sous Chef Sunday!


2 tortillas. Regular size
1 cup cheddar or mozzarella, shredded
3 tbsp pizza sauce
1/2 cup cheddar or mozzarella, shredded
3 slices pepperoni
1 tbsp sliced black olives (optional)


  1. Heat a large pan over medium heat.
    2. Place one tortilla in the pan, sprinkle One cup of cheese evenly out over it, and top it with the second tortilla.
    3. Cook until the quesadilla is golden brown on both sides and the cheese is melted, about 2-4 minutes per side.
    4. Spread the pizza sauce over the top of the quesadilla followed by the mozzarella, pepperoni and olives.
    5. Bake at 400 degrees just until the cheese on top has melted, about 5-10 minutes.

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