Monday, September 10, 2012

Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings

Lately, I have been trying to use my crockpot at least once a week. Last week I made chicken and dumplings in the crockpot. This chicken and dumpling recipe is very easy and is definitely a winner!

 I only used 4 biscuits and broke them up into 9 pieces each.

Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon butter
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 (10 ounce) package refrigerated biscuit dough, torn into 8-9 pieces
1 can of green beans, drained
1 onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 tsp of pepper
Sprinkle of Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp of Onion Powder
1 can of chicken broth
pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients, except biscuits, in slow cooker. Cook on low 5-6 hours. Break dough into 8-9 pieces and drop in cooker. Cook for 1 hour on high, then serve.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

So, Darren and I have really got into making our own pizza lately. We like it so much we are going to try to make a different type each week. Our favorite one so far is the buffalo chicken pizza.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Pre-made dough from store
2 chicken breasts
1 cup buffalo wing sauce
1-2 tsp. hot sauce
1/4 cup blue cheese dressing
1/4 cup ranch dressing
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 pkg. blue cheese crumbles

Place chicken in a small baking dish. Cover chicken with buffalo sauce, hot sauce, blue cheese dressing and ranch dressing. Bake chicken at 250 degrees for 2 hours (or you can cook in crockpot). Take chicken out of the oven and shred. Roll out pizza dough and place on a floured pizza pan. Turn over temperature to 400 degrees. Spread buffalo sauce over pizza dough. Then, spread chicken evenly over the sauce. Sprinkle mozzarella and blue cheese crumbles on top of chicken. Bake for 20 minutes on until crust gets golden brown.

I can't wait to try our next type of pizza, I'm thinking a grilled supreme pizza. :-)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pencil Cup Re-do

So the school year is getting ready to start and I am frantically trying to get my classroom together. I chose to do my room in school colors, red and black. I have an old pencil cup that doesn't go with my room and is rather ugly, so, I decided to give it a makeover.

Old pencil cup

New pencil cup :-)

This is only one of many classroom projects I decided to take on the week before school starts. :-)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Stuffed Bell Peppers

I have been wanting to make stuffed bell peppers for a long time and figured since I started weight watchers that would be my opportunity to make them. The recipe turned out great! I can't wait to make these again!

Stuffed Bell Peppers
1 lb. ground beef (or turkey)
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 can black beans
3 green bell peppers
2 cup mexican rice, cooked
1 cup shredded mexican blend cheese
1 jar salsa
Sour cream
Brown ground beef and drain. Add taco seasoning and black beans. Cut bell peppers in
half and remove seeds. Grease a baking dish and place peppers in dish. Fill peppers with  
ground beef mixture. Top beef with rice, salsa and cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until cheese is melted. 
Serve with sour cream.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Anniversary Cruise

Our one year wedding anniversary is vastly approaching. In order to celebrate our anniversary, we went on a 9 night cruise over spring break. The cruise stopped in St. Maarten, St. Thomas, St. Kitts, Puerto Rico and Haiti. We have never been to any of these islands before and they were all gorgeous. Our favorite stop was St. Thomas. It was clean and the water was gorgeous. We took about 300 pictures are a few of them.

Metal we won for competing in different competition.

Our ship, Navigator of the Seas.

St. Maarten
 Hard Rock in St. Maarten.

St. Kitts

Romney Manor, St. Kitts.

St. Thomas

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Labadee, Haiti

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mini Garlic Monkey Breads

Tonight I made meatloaf for dinner so I decided to try a new recipe that I found on Pinterest to go with it. The recipe was for garlic monkey bread. The monkey bread was delicious, add some cheddar cheese and they would taste just like Red Lobster's biscuits.

Mini Garlic Monkey Breads
2 (7.5 oz) cans buttermilk biscuits
6 Tbsp. butter, melted
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
    plus 2 Tbsp. to sprinkle on top
Cut biscuits into 4 pieces and place in a bowl.  Combine remaining ingredients and pour over biscuit pieces.  Gently toss to evenly coat.  Use a greased 12-cup muffin tin and place 6-7 pieces in each cup.  Sprinkle remaining 2 Tablespoons of cheese over the top.  Bake at 400 degrees for 12-14 minutes.  Serve warm.  Makes 12.  

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Salsa Chicken Nachos

I came across a recipe for salsa chicken a couple weeks ago and I have been itching to try it out. I couldn't decide whether I wanted to eat it in a taco, on a salad or by itself, so instead, I decided to make nachos with it. It was great! After trying it with nachos and loving it, I would like to try it other ways also. I love good, easy recipes and definitely found a keeper.

Chicken in the crockpot after I shredded it.

Chicken made into nachos.

Salsa Chicken
3-4 chicken breasts
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 jar salsa
1 jalapeno, chopped
3/4 cup lime juice
1 tsp. cilantro

Combine all ingredients in a crockpot. Cook on low for 6 hours. Makes nachos, salads or tacos.

Spicy Sausage Spaghetti

If we can't decide what we want for dinner, spicy sausage spaghetti is always our first choice. In the short time we have been married, I can't even count how many times we have made's just that good.

Sausage browning on the left and vegetables on the right.

Finished product. So easy and yummy!

Spicy Sausage Spaghetti
1 lb. spicy sausage
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 pkg. mushrooms, chopped
1-2 tbsp. butter
1 pkg. spaghetti noodles, cooked and drained
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 pinch salt and pepper

Remove sausage from casing and brown. Saute onion, bell pepper, mushrooms and butter over medium heat until onions become clear. Add spaghetti sauce, seasonings and sausage. Simmer on low for 15 minutes. Serve over spaghetti noodles.

Valentines Day!

Our computer charger broke so I haven't been able to post anything lately....time to catch up since my last post.

This year was our first Valentine's Day as a married couple and it was great! I had a class that I had to take for my job (I'm a high school teacher) until 6pm on Valentine's Day. When I came home my wonderful hubby had cleaned our house, bought me flowers, a card, and champagne and cooked me an amazing dinner.

Picture of the flowers, card and champagne.

Here is a picture of our dinner. Hubby smoked steaks with blue cheese, sauteed onions and mushrooms, sauteed fresh green beans and made baked potatoes. There was so much food, the baked potato didn't even make it in the picture. Best Valentine's Day dinner EVER!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Baked Cajun Potato Chips

So as we were waiting for our beer can chicken to finish smoking...I decided to make baked cajun potato chips. These were really easy, a little spicy but very good served with ranch.

Baked Cajun Potato Chips

Nonstick cooking spray 
2 large russet potatoes (about 1-1/4 lb. total), unpeeled 
1 Tbs. olive oil 
1 tsp. Tony Chachere's Cajun Seasoning
1 tsp. Paprika 
1/2 tsp. salt 

Heat the oven to 400°F. Spray two baking sheets with cooking spray.
Slice the potatoes into very thin (1/16-inch) rounds. Rinse the potatoes well under cold water, then spread them on paper towels. Dry them completely using more paper towels.
In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, cajun, paprika, and salt. Add the potatoes and toss to coat evenly.

Spread the potatoes in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake until the potatoes are crisp and browned and release easily from the baking tray, 12 to 30 minutes. Since small variations in slice thickness can make a big difference in cooking time, check the trays after 12 minutes and every 5 minutes thereafter to remove any chips that are already done, then return the rest to the oven if necessary. The chips will crisp further as they cool. Once cool, store in a paper bag for up to 3 days.

Triple Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes with Homemade Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing

So the other day I got this chocolate cream cheese icing recipe from one of the teachers at school and I have been itching to use it since. I figured that Valentines Day was the perfect excuse to try this new recipe. I made triple chocolate fudge cupcakes from a box and then made my own homemade chocolate cream cheese icing. Delicious!

Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing
1 box powdered sugar
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tbsp. milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 drop almond extract

Blend all ingredients together on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until smooth.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Surprise! Darren turns 25!

For my husband's 25th birthday, I decided to throw him a surprise party. I had his brother-in-law take him fishing at Cocoa Beach on Friday night and Saturday so that I could prepare the house for the party. I spent Friday and Saturday grocery shopping, cleaning, decorating and cooking. I later found out that he had guessed there was a party but nonetheless he still had a great time hanging out with family and friends. The two biggest hits of the party were the buffalo chicken dip and the spiked apple cider.

I wish I had up close pictures of the food but it was too crazy getting everything ready for the party. Here are the recipes!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

1 cup cooked chicken (rotisserie or chicken tenders work best)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/4-1/2 cup blue cheese or ranch dressing
1/2 cup buffalo wing sauce
3-4 dashes hot sauce
Mix all ingredients together in a baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips and celery. 

Spiked Apple Cider
1 gallon Apple Cider
3/4 gallon Apple Juice
4 cups sugar
6-8 cinnamon sticks
750ml grain alcohol (or spiced rum)

Mix all ingredients except alcohol in stockpot. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low for 2 hours. Add alcohol and serve.

Monday, January 23, 2012


I finally finished all three books in The Hunger Games series. The books were all great and very addicting, just ask my husband. I had all three books read in a matter of 6 days. Sad that it is over but excited to see the movie!

If you haven't read them I suggest that you do.


Thursday, January 19, 2012


Yay! Today I finished the book Hunger Games and also got my Kindle in the mail! Hunger Games is a great book and I can't wait to see the movie! I recommend it to anyone who enjoys to read. I got the Kindle just in time to download the second book in the series, Catching Fire. If it's anything like the first book i'll have it read by this weekend.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Last night I ordered a Kindle and literally can't wait for it to get here before I start reading the ebook I purchased, Hunger Games. It's been awhile since I've gotten lost in a good book and was surprised how quickly I was intrigued by this one. I'm only on chapter 3 and  don't want to put it down. I can't wait for the movie to come out on March 23, 2012! I will let you know how to book really is once I have finished reading it (probably before I actually get my Kindle).

Monday, January 16, 2012

Stuffed Shells

Last week my mother-in-law was on a cooking spree. We were over at her house three nights last week. She made spaghetti, fajitas and chicken with yellow rice. That being said, I didn't get the opportunity to cook much last week. When my dad and step-mom decided they were coming over last night, I jumped at the opportunity to make something I had never made before...stuffed shells. Buca di Beppo has the best stuffed shells my mouth has ever tasted and my goal was to make them as close to their stuffed shells as possible. I found a recipe online that looked similar and decided to try it out. It was delicious. One of my favorite meals that I have made so far.

Here are all the ingredients (excluding spices).

We were so anxious to try the stuffed shells that I forgot to take a picture
when they came out of the oven but took a picture of the leftovers I had for lunch today.
Still just as good the next day!
I will definitely be making this again. Here is the recipe I used.

Spicy Stuffed Shells
1 lb spicy Italian sausage (turkey or pork)
1 box of large pasta shells
1 32 oz carton of low fat Ricotta cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
12 oz frozen spinach with the water squeezed out
4 cloves garlic minced
2 cups Italian blend shredded cheese
1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper
2 quarts of your favorite pasta sauce
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to boil. Add the shells and cook for 15 minutes. The shells will not be done completely. Drain the shells and run cold water over them.
2. Put a large frying pan over medium heat, add the sausage and crushed red peppers (depending how spicy you want it you can use as little or as much red pepper as you desire) and cook sausage thoroughly, breaking into very small pieces.
3. In a large bowl combine the Ricotta cheese the shredded Italian cheese blend, garlic, basil, sausage and spinach then mix well.
4. Place 1/2 cup of pasta sauce into a 9x13 inch baking dish. With a spoon coat the bottom of the pan with the pasta sauce.
5. Take each pasta shell individually and stuff with the cheese mixture, it will take approximately 3-4 tablespoons of the mixture for each shell. Lay the shells into the pan coated with sauce, open side up. Continue until the baking dish if full. Pour what remains of the first quart of pasta sauce over the top of the shells. You will have enough ingredients to fill another pan so repeat the above steps.

6. Cover each baking dish in foil and place into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Fish Fry

Two nights ago Darren went shrimping with the boys. Although the shrimping wasn't very good, Darren caught a 20 pound black drum.

Tonight we fried the fish and it was delicious! Thanks hubby for catching dinner. :-)

Sticky Bun Ring

  So for breakfast this morning I made a sticky bun ring. It is very easy and only uses a few ingredients.

Here are all the ingredients. I didn't have any pecans at the house but I suggest using pecans if you decide to make this.

  All the sticky goodness is in the bottom of the pan so don't forget to flip the pan over onto a plate.

Here's the recipe that I got from pinterest.

         Sticky Bun Breakfast Ring
            2 small tubes refrigerator buttermilk biscuits OR 1 tube Pillsbury Grands buttermilk biscuits
            3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
           1/2 C. syrup
           1/3 C. packed brown sugar
           1/2 tsp. cinnamon
           1/4 C. chopped pecans, opt.
           1/4 C. chopped almonds, opt.
  1. Spray a fluted pan with non-stick spray. Combine the melted butter and syrup in a small bowl and set aside. In another bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nuts (if desired).
  2. Place about half of the syrup mixture in the bottom of the pan. Then sprinkle half of the brown sugar mixture on top.
  3. Lay the biscuits on the bottom of the pan, overlapping edges (closely together) to form a ring
  4. Top with remaining syrup and sugar mixtures. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


So I was watching a makeover show on tv the other night and was inspired to dye my hair. I figured that since it was winter, going back to brown/auburn would be a good idea. Here is how it turned out...a little more red than I was expecting but I still like it.


Our names are Darren and Lyndie Bateman. We are a newly married couple who just bought our first house in Osceola County. We have a collie mix puppy, Maggie Mae, and a kitten, Mona. I created this blog to document and share the adventures of our crazy life. Hope you enjoy!