April 04, 2012

Recipe... Crock Pot Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oatmeal

Image 1  
I love Pinterest.  It is such a great place to get ideas and inspiration.  The other night I was browsing recipes and came across this one.  I checked to see if I had all the ingredients and I did.  Within an hour of pinning the recipe, it was cooking in my crock pot!
This is a great idea for Easter morning when you know you will need a bit of extra time to make sure everyone looks just right before church!
You can find the original recipe here.  I made a few modifications because I didn't feel like ours was sweet enough.  I also used Trader Joe's quick cook steel oats so I added 1/3 c to her original recipe...  
2 medium (or 3 small) sized apples, peeled and chopped
1 1/3C steel cut oats (uncooked)
6 Tbs brown sugar
3 Tbs butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbs flax seed (totally optional)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 C milk (I used 1%)
1 1/2 C water
Combine all the ingredients, cook overnight on low and enjoy!

March 14, 2012

Bringing back the recipes... Crock Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu

ChickencordonbleuIt has been a long time since I have posted any recipes here.  I have been in a bit of a cooking rut.  It is hard to think creatively when you have a crawling baby who just wants to eat anything.  Lately, I love finding recipes on Pinterest.  Recently, I tried this recipe for Chicken Cordon Bleu.  I threw the ingredients in my crock pot in the morning and that evening I served 5 children and 4 adults.  Every single bit was eaten and everybody loved it.  I will say, this recipe is not healthy but very yummy!

Here is the link to the original recipe.  I made a few changes.  Here's what I did...

1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cloves garlic (pressed)
1 c milk
1/2 lbs sliced ham (I got Boars Head Black Forest from my deli)
1/4 lbs baby swiss cheese
5 chicken breasts
2-3 c herbed dry bread stuffing mix
1/4 c melted butter

-Mix soup, milk and garlic together in small bowl
-Pour about 1/3 of the mixture into the bottom of crock pot
-Cut chicken into cubes, place in crock pot
-Chop ham, sprinkle on top of chicken
-Cover with swiss cheese
-Cover with stuffing mix
-Pour melted butter on top
-Cook on high 4-6 hours or on low 2-3 hours

A few notes... the dish is a bit on the salty side, low-sodium cream of chicken soup and a non-salty ham (don't get Virginia ham) will work best.  If you are trying to feed a ton of people and want to double the recipe, I might doing a second layer of all the ingredients.  I served with green beans and rolls. 

Hope you enjoy!  This week I think I am going to make this recipe.

October 18, 2011

Pumpkin bread

I try to post this recipe every year about this time.  It is really wonderful.  I got it out of a Southern Living Magazine about 5 years ago and have made it every year since.  I actually made this recipe and took it to all our neighbors when we first were planting Elevation.  I wrote handwritten note inviting our them to our church.  None of them ever came to my knowledge :(.

I never make anything from scratch, except this recipe.  It is easy and the flavors are not too strong. I hope you will make it and enjoy! 


  • 3 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin

Mix everything together, add flour gradually at the end.

Pour into 3 greased 9 x5 loaf pans (or substitute 3 mini loafs for one of the large loaf pans).  Bake at 350 for 50 minutes to an hour (less time if using mini loaves).

Hint: I like to dust the pan with cinnamon/sugar mixture after greasing to give the crust extra sweetness.

February 23, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Bars

I know it has been a long time since I have posted a recipe here.  It's been a while since I successfully added one to my repertoire.  Until this week.

I made these bars as part of our birthday celebration (the one we really didn't have because of a bout with the flu).  The bars were good nonetheless and although fairly easy to make, but  a bit messy.  The recipe came from Kraft Famiy Food magazine, here's the link to it, I stole the picture from them.



1 pkg. (2-layer size) chocolate cake mix
1 pkg.  (3.9 oz.) JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/2 cup  milk
6 squares BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, chopped, divided (I used semi-sweet choc chips)
1 cup  PLANTERS Dry Roasted Peanuts, divided
1 cup creamy peanut butter


HEAT oven to 350ºF.

-LINE 13x9-inch pan with foil; spray with cooking spray.
-Beat first 4 ingredients with mixer until well blended (I just kneaded with my hands). Dough will be thick.
-Press half onto bottom of prepared pan. 
-BAKE 10 min.
-Sprinkle half each of the chopped chocolate and nuts over crust.
-Microwave peanut butter in small microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 min., stirring after 30 sec.; spread over nuts.
-Roll remaining dough into 13x9-inch rectangle between 2 sheets of waxed paper. Peel back top layer of waxed paper; flip dough onto top of dessert (this part is kinda hard, and it won't look perfect). Remove remaining waxed paper.
-Sprinkle with remaining chocolate and nuts. Press gently into dough with spatula.
-BAKE 15 min.
-Cool 1 hour.
-Refrigerate 4 hours before cutting into bars.




January 07, 2011

Recipe: French Toast Casserole

It has been a while since I have posted a recipe and for that I am sorry.  Honestly, I haven't been trying too many new recipes because the last several that I have tried were total bombs.  After a few of those, you just go back to what you know is good.

On Christmas morning I usually make pancakes.  This year I wanted to try something a bit less time consuming.  I mean let's face it, when you make pancakes, by the time you get to finally eat, everyone else is done. 

A friend of mine has a great French toast casserole recipe, she always uses really healthy, hearty bread.  I wanted to use Cinnamon Chip bread from Great Harvest Bread Co. It is a white Cinnamon bread and it is delicious.  Most French toast casserole recipes call for more dense types of bread.  So my friend, Lindsay (who has a culinary degree), helped me come up with this recipe and it was delicious! 

Here you go...

Baked Cinnamon French Toast
1 Loaf of Cinnamon Chip Bread
5 large eggs
1 c half and half
1/2 c milk
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
dash salt

Cinnamon Crunch Topping
3/4 c flour
3/4 c oatmeal, raw
3/4 c brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c melted butter
1/2 c walnuts or pecans, finely chopped (optional)

Cut bread into 2x2 squares.
Arrange cubes in a generously buttered 9 by 13-inch flat baking dish.
In a large bowl, combine the eggs, half-and-half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and beat with a mixer or whisk until blended but not too bubbly.
Pour mixture over the bread cubes, making sure all are covered evenly with the milk-egg mixture.
Toss the cubes with the mixture in the pan to evenly distribute the liquid.
Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread Crunch Topping evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden


This was delicious!  You will love it.  And since I didn't take a picture of our delicious casserole before it was devoured, I am going to include a picture of Lindsay and my favorite Top Chef All-Star Contestant, Richard Blais.  Lindsay met him at a culinary function for charity a few years ago.  Go Richard!



December 09, 2010

Blogs from Christmases Past

Over the past years, I have enjoyed blogging Holiday recipes and activities our family or church does.  Today I thought I would post links to some of our Christmas traditions and some popular recipes. Also, hidden in one of these links is a picture of my husband with no hair and a goatee and one of him with blonde hair :).

Some of my favorite holiday recipies...

    Green Beans

    Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese

    Easy Holiday Cookies

    Pineapple Casserole

    Buckeye Bars

To read about our favorite activity that teaches our kids about Christmas...  What God Wants For Christmas

To read about gifts that we gave our staff one year... Honoring Elevation Staff

To read about my favorite Christmas movie...  My Favorite Holiday Movie

For ideas on how to pray for your pastor and church staff... How to Pray for Your Church Staff During the Holidays


September 02, 2010

All about the eggs

Then men in my house love eggs.  I am pretty much guaranteed hearty appetites when I make anything that consists of eggs.

If I scramble eggs for Elijah and Graham for breakfast, I have to do at least 4.  I truly cannot imagine what my grocery budget is going to be in a few years.

Here are two easy egg recipes that are sure to be crowd pleasers.

DSC_0002 Egg Pie
(a simple version of quiche)

-8 eggs
-1 1/2 c of milk
-1/2 c shredded cheddar
-1/2 c shredded mozzarella
-diced tomato
-chopped bacon (I just use the salad topping) or chopped deli ham
-chopped baby spinach
-salt and pepper
-1 can crescent rolls


-unroll the crescent dough into a greased 9x11 pan
-press all the triangles together to form a pastry bottom (if you get lucky, you can find the uncut dough at the grocery store, they don't always carry it though)
-bake the dough at 375 for about 5 minutes
-beat eggs and then add remaining ingredients
-pour mixture onto the dough in the 9x13
-bake for about 20 until it looks done
(sorry for some of the vague directions, it's just one of those recipes)


DSC_0078 Egg Pizza

-Naan bread (can be found in bakery section, its an Indian bread that looks like pita bread but is buttery and delicious)
-scrambled eggs (3 eggs for one slice of bread)
-diced tomato
-fresh mozzarella
-chopped bacon, ham or pepperoni
-chopped basil
-chopped onion
-chopped green pepper
(of course the men in my house don't like all those onions, peppers and tomatoes)

-Place the bread under high broil for about 5 minutes (flip halfway through)
-Scramble your eggs to about 90% done
-Spread eggs evenly over naan bread
-Top with remaining ingredients
-High broil for about 5 minutes until cheese is melted


I would love to hear from you if you try either of these!

August 25, 2010

For the love of pork

Slow_Cookers_BBQ_Pulled_Pork.ashx I love BBQ.  First, for all you northerners, let me qualify what I mean by BBQ.  I mean pulled pork drenched in some kind of delicious sauce: Tomato based if you are from Virginia, vinegar based sauce if you are from North Carolina, and mustard based if you are from South Carolina.  I can't leave out the Texans but I don't know much about your BBQ, I think you all use a dry rub, and don't y'all like beef?

BBQ is a serious thing where my husband is from.  In his home town there were two main BBQ places, the Barbecue Barn and Duke's Barbecue.  Barbecue Barn is actually in Moncks Corner.  They serve a decent barbecue.  But Duke's is 45 minutes away in Ridgeville, and well worth the drive. 

We actually served BBQ at our wedding, Duke's BBQ, of course.  I'm told it was quite impressive for our local guests (we got married in Moncks Corner).

I love BBQ any way I can get it.  I have lived all over and I like it no matter how it is served.  I prefer North Carolina sauce by a small margin.  I love hush puppies too, yum.

So here is my problem: I have yet to find a good BBQ spot in Charlotte.  We have lived here almost 5 years and I have tried several places but none worth returning to.

Anybody want to recommend a spot for me to try?  And if you are not from Charlotte, where are you from and how do you like your BBQ?

July 01, 2010

Recipe: Pattypan Lasagna

DSC_0458 I have been getting some local produce from a co-op for the past few weeks.  We have really enjoyed have fresh veggies and some beautiful blueberries.  The first week I got my vegetables I was surprised to see pattypan squash.  I had never seen it, nor did I have any idea what to do with it.

I went to the internet and found this great recipe.  I made a few changes, I switched out cottage cheese (yuck) for ricotta.  I got lucky and found some meatless spaghetti sauce in my freezer from a few months ago.  I was nervous about how it would taste.  I told my husband to be prepared to order pizza. 

Well not only did we not have to order pizza, but it was delicious AND my kids scarfed it down.  I had to share this recipe with you.  Don't worry, you don't have to find a co-op to find this type of squash.  You can find it at many groceries stores.  Sometimes it is called White squash too.

Here's the recipe plus a few extra pictures...



-5 Pattypan squash, sliced in 1/4 in slices
-8 oz spaghetti sauce
-Ricotta Cheese
-Shredded Mozzarella
-Fresh Mozzarella
-Fresh Parmesan cheese






-Lightly salt pattypan squash slices to reduce water in the squash.  Let them sit for 1 hour
-After 1 hour, use a paper towel to wipe off excess sweat from the squash
-Preheat oven to 350
-Put a small layer of sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish
-Place a layer of squash slices on top of the sauce
-Spoon about 1/2 tsp of ricotta onto each slice of DSC_0462squash
-Sprinkle shredded mozzarella and fresh Parmesan
-Top with a layer of sauce
-Repeat these steps until you are out of squash
-Top with the shredded cheese and fresh mozzarella slices
-Bake at 350 for one hour
-Dish is done when cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly


May 27, 2010

A recipe for the Beast: Foil Baked Tilapia

My husband and our lead staff are doing a diet right now called the Beast Challenge.  They are basically competing to see who can have the greatest body transformation in 21 days.  The competition never stops on our staff.

The diet basically excludes all things tasty in life.  Low salt, no sugar, high protein, very little carbs (only Ezekiel bread, brown rice and quinoa), some fruit (apples, oranges berries), unlimited greens, lean meats, no preservatives, and some dairy (eggs, milk, cheese and Greek yogurt).

I am trying to get creative with our meals.  I am pretty much seasoning everything with olive oil and garlic.  So I did a little research online and came up with this great tilapia recipe. 

If you like your fish crispy, this is not the dish for you.  The dish turns out very light but quite tasty.

Cilantro-Lime Talapia baked in foil

2 Garlic cloves pressed
1/3 c olive oil
1/4 c chopped cilantro
1 lime sliced thin
1/2 c cherry tomatoes halved
1 c broccoli and cauliflower florets
tilapia fillets
4 sheets of heavy duty foil (about 10 in x 10 in)

Combine garlic and olive oil and heat in the microwave for about 1 min, stir

Place 2 tilapia fillets in on one sheet of foil.

Drizzle olive oil/garlic mixture over the fish

Add a few pinches of cilantro, a few slices of lime, a few tomatoes, broccoli and cauliflower 

Fold up the foil on top and sides, folding down a few times to create an air tight seal.

Repeat with remaining ingredients

Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes.

Be careful not to let the steam burn you when you open the foil.  Fish should be opaque and flaky.  

We served with Quinoa.