kahlua cake

how does that picture make you feel?
mmmmnn, seeing all that chocolate gooey goodness makes me serenely warm and happy inside.
maybe it’s just because i am a girl and well, girls like chocolate.

i made this last week for girls night and it was DEvoured.
besides the taste of the cake that makes you weak in the knees, the great thing about this recipe: it’s suuuper easy. and it has a very short list of ingredients = doubly easy.

it is a super moist and flavorful cake, and is best served right out of the oven, while it’s still warm. serve it with powdered sugar dusted on top of the cake (and on each slice, of course) or a little bit of whipped cream. or, i’m pretty sure that it is best enjoyed with a big ol’ scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream on top of it.

is your mouth watering yet?

kahlua cake


1 package chocolate fudge cake mix (i used a dark chocolate mix)
1 package vanilla instant pudding
1/4 cup oil (i used grapeseed oil)
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup kahlua
1 pint (a large 16 oz container) sour cream
1 (12 oz) package semi-sweet chocolate chips


1. preheat oven to 350.

2. mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl; mix well.

3. pour into a bundt pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. bake at 350 for 1 hour (or until a toothpick comes out clean).

4. let the cake cool for 5-10 minutes then invert onto a serving platter. dust with a generous amount of powdered sugar.


photo via and recipe via

creamy baked chicken taquitos

for a long time, i was unable to find a really good taquito recipe that did not involve frying. they are always fried (traditionally) and i am just not the frying type.
no thank you.
so i came across this one and was excited to try it, although i was a little skeptical.
but it said “creamy” so i was in.
and i wasn’t disappointed. these are wonderful!
they disappeared pretty fast in my house.
there is an option to freeze extras at the bottom of the recipe. i froze about half of the taquitos and was thinking that they would be perfect for lunch for the next week.
they were gone within 24 hours.

creamy baked chicken taquitos


3 oz. cream cheese, softened (reduced fat is fine) – see note at the bottom
1/3 cup salsa verde
juice of 1/2 a lime
1/2 tsp chile powder
1/2 tsp cumin
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
3 cloves garlic, minced (or 2 tsp jarred minced garlic)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tbsp chopped green onions (i didn’t have these on hand, so i omitted)
2 cups cooked and shredded chicken (follow directions or use leftover chicken if you already have some)
1/2 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded pepperjack cheese
8-12 (6 inch) corn tortillas
salt & pepper
cooking spray


to prepare the chicken:
preheat the oven to 375. spread a piece of foil across a baking sheet, and arrange 2 chicken breasts in a single layer in the center. sprinkle both sides with salt & pepper, and season as you wish. fold the foil over the chicken and enclose to form a packet. bake the chicken on the baking sheet 35-45 minutes, or until cooked through.

to make taquitos:
1. preheat the oven to 425 and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. in a large bowl, combine the cream cheese with the salsa, lime juice, cumin, chile powder, cayenne, onion powder, garlic, cilantro, scallions, and 1/4 tsp salt. fold in the shredded chicken and cheeses. taste and season with additional salt & pepper if necessary.

3. working 3 tortillas at a time, stack them on a microwave plate or in between 2 paper towels and cook 30 seconds or until the tortillas are soft and pliable. spoon about 2 tbsp of chicken filling onto the lower third of each tortilla and roll tightly. place seam-side down on the prepared baking sheet. repeat with remaining filling & tortillas.

4. spray the taquitos lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with a bit of salt. bake 10-15 minutes, or until the tortillas are crisp and golden-brown. serve with salsa, guacamole and/or sour cream (my personal favorite one to dip them in).

**to freeze:
prepare the taquitos, but before baking, place the baking sheet in the fridge until the taquitos are completely cold. wrap 1-4 taquitos in a piece of plastic wrap  and freeze. to bake, unwrap taquitos and cook in a 425-degree oven for about 15 minutes (no need to thaw first).

**another note: i’m pretty sure i wasn’t paying too much attention that night for some reason and i put the whole block of cream cheese in, instead of just the 3 ounces. needless to say, my taquitos ROCKED. so my oops could be your gain. you are welcome.


photo & recipe via

homemade cheese crackers

something i am beginning to realize about myself is that i get in baking mode as soon as i see snow on the ground. i just want to hole up all day long and bake.
bake bake bake.
and this week, on the day we got a little snow, i did just that. i made these amazingly addictive cheese crackers and homemade honey graham crackers. i love getting time to do this because i much prefer the little she eating these homemade snacks rather than the store-bought, preservative-packed alternatives.

my husband asked me what i’d decided to call them and i told him they will henceforth be called lindz-its. more exciting than cheese crackers, no?
but i will let y’all call them whatever you like once you have made them and become addicted too.

homemade cheese crackers


8 oz grated sharp cheddar cheese
5 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup half-and-half (or 2% or whole milk)


1. preheat the oven to 350. line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. put everything except the half & half or milk in a food processor. pulse until the dough is in coarse crumbs. add liquid and pulse several more times to incorporate.

3. turn the dough out on a floured surface and press into a ball. dust the top of the dough with flour. with a rolling pin, roll out until dough is about 1/4 inch thick. cut the dough into 2-inch squares with a pizza cutter or sharp knife. poke a hole in the center of each cracker with a toothpick.

4. place crackers about 1/4 inch apart (they don’t really spread) on baking sheets. bake for 13-14 minutes, until the edges are just starting to darken. cool on a rack and let the crackers cool completely. keep in an airtight container and store for up to 1 week.

asian turkey meatballs

asian turkey meatballs | via she likes to eat

these little gems were a lovely surprise this week. i was skeptical, them coming – randomly – from the disney family website (i have NO earthly clue how i originally got this recipe, although i think the link was sent to me by a family member). i had read through the ingredients and the instructions and they sounded delicious. and they were. divine. they have all the flavors of a chinese dumpling and the sauce is heavenly.

the meatballs are served best over jasmine rice and a side of the sauce. it’s an easy meal and delightfully yummy.  also, the meatballs and the sauce save pretty well for a few days and are great reheated. oh and kiddos LOVE them. (both of the little shes are in a dipping phase right now – i know you mommies know what i’m talking about – so this was a HIT in the highchair this week.) these also freeze quite well, so they are a good option for make-ahead meals.

*updated march 2016
**to make whole30 friendly, see note at the bottom

asian turkey meatballs
makes about 2 dozen


1 lb ground turkey (you can use lean or dark meat)

2 green onion stalks, finely chopped (or snipped with kitchen shears)

1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp soy sauce (or you can use liquid aminos)

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/3 cup ricotta cheese (not skim)

for dipping sauce:

6 tbsp brown sugar

1/2 cup soy sauce (or liquid aminos)

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1″ piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated (or 1/4 tsp ground ginger, heaping)


1. preheat the oven to 400.

2. in a large bowl, mix together turkey, scallions, cilantro, oils, soy sauce, breadcrumbs, egg, and ricotta with your hands, then form meatballs by rolling 2 tablespoon-sized scoops between your palms.

3. arrange on a baking sheet covered with cooking spray or lined with parchment paper and bake for about 25 minutes, until browned on top and cooked through.

4. while the meatballs are in the oven, make the dipping sauce: in a small saucepan, stir the sauce ingredients together over medium low heat until the sugar has dissolved. simmer 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens a bit.

5. serve with jasmine rice + dipping sauce on the side.

**to make this recipe whole 30 friendly, make the following substitutions for the meatballs: sub coconut aminos for the soy sauce, replace panko breadcrumbs with guiltless superfoods’ 7 seed flour or raw almond flour, omit the ricotta cheese. then for the dipping sauce: sub pure date syrup (this one is my favorite and there is no added sugar) instead of brown sugar  (using 5-6 tbsp), and again subbing coconut aminos for the soy sauce. and don’t forget to skip the jasmine rice if you’re on whole30!

santa fe chicken tacos (crockpot)

i made this a few months back (and have made it several times since) and completely forgot to share it with y’all! a good friend reminded me of it yesterday and it just may be going in the crockpot this week.

now, if you know me, you know that in my past i have not been an avid crockpot user. just never really got into it. but in october, i dusted the thing off (seriously, it had been used twice since we got married in 2003, i think) and i am IN. the cold weather just made it sound so lovely… a warm meal cooking all day and making my house smell like i RULE???!! yes please.

crockpot santa fe chicken


1.5 lbs chicken breasts (about 3)
1 (14.4 oz) can rotel diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 (15 oz) can black beans
1 cup (8 oz) frozen corn
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
1 (14.4 oz) can chicken broth
3 scallions, chopped
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper (if you’re making this for kiddos too, omit this)
salt & pepper


combine the chicken broth, beans, corn, rotel, cilantro, scallions, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne (if using) and salt & pepper (to taste – i used 3-4 grinds on my s&p mill) in the crockpot. season chicken breasts with salt and lay on top. cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours.
half an hour before serving, remove the chicken and shred with 2 forks. return chicken to crockpot and stir in.
serve in tortillas or over rice (idea: make white rice and chop up some more cilantro and mix together). top with cheese, sour cream and/or salsa.

recipe via
photo via 

open faced grilled cheese – a tip

who doesn’t love a good grilled cheese sandwich?
all that ooey gooey cheese on toasty bread, right out of the oven…
the little she gobbles it up as if nothing has ever tasted so good in her short life.

now, the open faced grilled cheese sandwiches i grew up with were good (made with mustard and cheddar cheese), but it was not until i gathered a little trick from my dear friend, leah, that i had truly amazing experiences in the grilled cheese department. people always ask what it is, and can never guess.

here is the ingredient list:
shredded sharp cheddar cheese

can you guess what it is?

it’s not what you’d expect, but trust me, you’ll never make a grilled cheese without it again.

guessed yet?

here it is:

did you guess it!?
it is sheer genius…
the brilliant garlic salt marries perfectly with the taste of the cheddar cheese to make the classic chilly saturday afternoon sandwich. just a light dusting (2-3 grinds, depending on your grinder) over the cheese and broil in the oven for a few minutes.
pair with a hot bowl of speedy tomato soup to appreciate it to it’s fullest.
photo via

chicken enchiladas – red sauce version

oh, enchiladas!
where would we be in life without enchiladas!?  i would be in a sad, dark place for sure.

now usually you’ll find chicken enchiladas with a verde or tomatillo sauce, which is what i always order at any mexican restaurant. but these are such a lovely departure from the standard. and oh so yummy.

this recipe is a result of two or three different recipes (see bottom for sources) that i used to make it my own. i tweaked it until it was perfect. it is probably the best enchilada plate i have had, maybe ever, and i highly recommend you make it. right now.

chicken enchiladas with red chile sauce


1 medium white onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped (you can leave in the seeds if you want some extra heat)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (2 swirls around the pan)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp sugar
8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 can rotel diced tomatoes with green chiles (do not drain)
4.5 oz. can diced green chiles (do not drain)
1 lb./2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (*or you can use about 2 cups pre-cooked rotisserie chicken)
1 cup extra sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
1 1/2 cups monterey jack cheese, shredded
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (plus more for garnish)
10-12 corn tortillas
4 oz. sour cream (half of a small container)


1. preheat oven to 400. shred cheeses and toss together in a bowl – set aside. grease a 9×13 baking dish.

2. put oil in a large saucepan on medium/medium-low heat. add in onion, jalapeño, and 1/2 tsp salt. stirring often, cook until the onions & jalapenos have softened, about 5-8 minutes. add garlic and cook about 30-60 seconds, to soften. add chili powder, cumin, and sugar and cook another 30 seconds or so. stir in the tomato sauce, water, rotel, and green chiles. bring to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. (*if you are using rotisserie chicken, let the sauce cook another 10-15 minutes or so, then move on to #3.) nestle the chicken into the sauce. reduce heat to low, cover & cook 10-12 minutes. flip chicken breasts over, and continue to cook 10-12 minutes more. transfer chicken to a plate and set aside to cool.

3. strain the sauce mixture through a strainer into a medium bowl, pressing onion mixture to extract as much liquid as possible. transfer the onions to a large bowl and set aside. add 4 oz. sour cream to the sauce and whisk until lumps have disappeared.

4. with two forks, shred the cooked chicken breasts. add cooked chicken to the onion mixture, and add 1/3 cup of the enchilada sauce, 1 cup of cheese, and the cilantro. toss to combine. wrap tortillas in a paper towel and soften in the microwave for about 45 seconds. on a clean surface or large plate, spoon 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of each tortilla. tightly roll each enchilada and lay seam-side down in the baking dish. pour sauce evenly on top and then cover with remaining cheese.

5. cover the dish with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes. remove foil and cook another 5-7 minutes, until the cheese has browned. remove from the oven and let stand about 10 minutes before digging in. top each serving with freshly chopped cilantro.


recipe via here & here, photo via