Category Archives: What’s Cookin’

Bacon and Caramelized Onion Pizza

July 22, 2017


Can we talk pizza for a second?  I love pizza- truly, I could eat pizza for every meal of every day, and remain a happy woman for all the days of my life.  Even the most mediocre slice of pizza leaves me feeling satisfied.  To me, it is the perfect food.  Hands down.  The cheese, the sauce, the crust, the toppings… it’s endless possibilities, and for that reason, it is almost always on my weekly meal plan.  My pantry and fridge? always prepared to make a pizza.

With all of that said, I’ve made MANY a pizza.  However, last night’s pizza was dubbed “The Best Damn Pizza You’ve Ever Made” by Mr. Twice Around, so I knew I had to share it with you ASAP. Continue reading

Crabby Pretzels

April 4, 2017

Every year during the Lenten season, I try my best to stick to “Fish Fridays”.  Inevitably, every year, this leads to me getting JUST a little bored by week 3.  Luckily, boredom is the catalyst of creation in my kitchen, which always leads to something new being added to our repertoire of recipes.  This year’s addition?

Crabby Pretzels- quick, easy, and delicious.  I can see us eating these all summer long.

Crabby Pretzels

1 box frozen pretzels
1/2 lb crab meat
1 stick butter, melted
1/3 to 1/2 cup fresh grated asiago cheese
1 tbsp old bay
2 tbsp chopped chives

Combine melted butter, crab, old bay, cheese, and chives.
Top pretzels heartily.
Bake for 8 minutes @ 400 degrees, then transfer to under broiler for an additional 5 minutes.

Enjoy with an ice old beer, unless you gave that up for lent.
(I won’t tell. Your secret’s safe with me.)

Project 52.4 – Sloppy Joaquins

January 30, 2017

Week 4 comes to us courtesy of Rachael Ray’s The Book of Burger.  I LOVE a good burger, and could probably eat burgers at least once a week.  The same can be said for Mr. Twice Around, so this book is a match made in heaven.  I actually let him take the wheel for the selection of week 4’s recipe, and was not surprised in the least when he grabbed Book of Burger off the shelf with a manly Tim Allen style grunt.

According to Rachael, the “Sloppy Joaquin is the Spanish cousin to Sloppy Joe.”

According to us, it’s just damn delicious.  I took my mixture and put it over top of some quinoa, thus dubbing mine the “Sloppy Joaquinoa”.  Mr. Twice Around kept it traditional, and the tiny one, well, he just went face first into a bowl of it.


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef sirloin
  • 6 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 24 medium size cap mushrooms, crimini or white – your choice, chopped
  • Coarse salt and lots of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry (eyeball it)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (eyeball it)
  • 1 can tomato sauce (15 ounces)
  • 4 crusty rolls, ciabatta or Portuguese rolls if available, or Kaiser rolls, split
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • A handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • A wedge of Manchego cheese, for shaving
  • Chimichurri sauce- Recipe found here


Heat a deep skillet over medium-high heat with EVOO. Add beef and deeply brown, 6-7 minutes. Add garlic, onion and mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are dark and onion is tender, 7-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add the sherry and deglaze the pan, then reduce 1 minute. Add Worcestershire sauce and tomato sauce and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes more.

Pre-heat the broiler.
Spread rolls with softened butter and sprinkle heavily with parsley. Toast rolls until charred at edges. Top roll bottoms with sloppy mixture and shaved Manchego cheese.  Spoon the chimichurri over the sloppies,  then set roll tops in place. Olé!

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray

Project 52.3 – Chicken Hot Pie

January 30, 2017

Behind seems to be my common trend this past week or so.  Life gets busy, things get piled on, and other things get buried in that pile.  Sorry, friends!  I’m back though and I have week 3 AND week 4 of project 52!  SO, first things first.

After week two’s semi lack luster recipe, I felt that I Heart Naptime needed a second shot to prove itself to you, my dear readers.  With that being said, I decided to turn a few more pages until I saw Chicken Hot Pie.  Is there anything better on a dreary day than comfort food?  I think not.  This recipe delivers full on “granny” style comfort food on a working woman time crunch… you’ll even have those extra 2 minutes to make cute pie crust cut outs for the top. I promise.

Jamielyn Nye’s Chicken Hot Pie (from I Heart Naptime)

4 cups chicken stock (confession- I did 2 cups chicken stock and 2 cups vegetable stock)
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 cup diced potatoes ( I cheated here and got a can of sliced potatoes. SHHH don’t tell)
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup sliced celery
2- 9 in unbaked pie crusts (Confession again – I only used one. It’s what we had. OOPS!)
1/2 stick of butter
3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup half and half
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp fresh thyme

1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a boil over high heat.  Add the chicken, potatoes, celery, carrots, and peas and boil for 12-15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender.  Remove from heat and reserve 1 to 1 and 1/2 cups stock for the filling.  drain the excess stock and set the chicken and vegetables aside.
3. While the vegetables are cooking, place one pie crust in a 9 inch pie plan and pierce the bottom with a fork a few times.  Bake for 5 minutes.  (I skipped this step, as I only had 1 crust.)
4. In a large skillet. melt butter over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook 2-3 minutes, or until soft and translucent.  Slowly stir in the flour until smooth, and cook until lightly golden.  Slowly whisk in the half and half and 1/2 cup of the reserved stock.  Stir in salt, pepper, and thyme.  Simmer over medium-low heat for a couple of minutes, or until it has thickened slightly.  Remove from heat and add the chicken and vegetables.  Add more of reserved stock if needed and additional seasoning to taste.
5. Remove the piecrust from the oven and reduce oven to 400 degrees.  Pour the chicken filling into the bottom crust.  Cover with top crust, seal the edges, and make five small slits in the top of the pie to allow steam to escape.
6. Bake the pie for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

*For a lattice crust, use a pizza cutter to make 1 inch strips.  Then weave across the top.*

52:2 – Baked Chicken Taquitos

January 17, 2017

I’m a little late on week 2 of my Project 52 Cook Book Quest, so you’ll have to forgive me for that.  Week 2 took me into a newer cookbook on the shelf- The I Heart Naptime Cookbook from Jamielyn Nye.  It’s a super cute premise: easy and tasty recipes that you can make in less than an hour (aka… nap time!)   I want to note that this book is adorable and also has some cute DIY’s in there for us mommies of young ones.  I also want to note that I have loved several of the recipes that I’ve made, especially the baked goods-  Apple Snickerdoodle Muffins, anyone?

But this recipe, just wasn’t a winner for me.  Ya’ll, I wanted to love this recipe.  I REALLY wanted to love it because I felt like it would be really great to take as leftovers…. but, I just didn’t.  Don’t get me wrong, it was alright- but for me, personally, I felt it was just a little one note.  HOWEVER, The tiny human???  He thought they were the bomb-diggety, so that counts for something, right?

I think I might try it again and sub in ranch dressing for the sour cream portion to see if that adds any dimension to the dish.

Baked Chicken Taquitos
Serves 6

PREP 20 min
COOK 13-15 min
TOTAL 33-35 min

“Weekends were made for taquitos. They are the perfect appetizer or dinner, and are always devoured very quickly. Sour cream, salsa, chicken, and fresh cilantro come together in these amazing homemade taquitos. You’ll never resort to store-bought ones again. Serve these up as a main dish or cut them in half for party appetizers. We top ours with Favorite Homemade Salsa or The Best Guacamole.” ~Jamielyn Nye


½ (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup sour cream
¼ cup Favorite Homemade Salsa or salsa of your choice (recipe below)
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¾ cup shredded Monterey Jack or pepper Jack cheese
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2½  cups shredded cooked chicken (I like to use a rotisserie chicken)
Salt and black pepper
12 (6-inch) flour tortillas Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
The Best Guacamole (recipe below)


1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, salsa, garlic powder, and cumin. Stir in the shredded cheese, cilantro, and chicken. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Place about 3 tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture in the center of a tortilla and roll up the tortilla. Place the tortilla seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all the tortillas are filled. Lightly brush the tortillas with olive oil and bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve while hot.

FREEZER TIP Place unbaked taquitos flat in a zip-top bag and freeze. When ready to eat, thaw, brush with olive oil, and bake according to the directions in the recipe.

Ease of Preparation: 4 out of 5
Taste: 3 out of 5
Visual: 4 out of 5
Final Verdict: Tweak it and try again

Project 52.1 – Orecchiette Salad with Roast Beef

January 7, 2017

This week kicks off Project 52 over here in the Twice Around kitchen- 52 weeks of 52 recipes from cookbooks in my collection.  To start off this challenge, I knew exactly which book to call upon first.  Food Network Magazine’s, Great Easy Meals: 250 Fast and Fun Recipes. (Available here for purchase)  It’s been a book that has lived on my shelf since it came out in 2011; one I’ve read and flipped through countless times, but also one that I can’t recall ever actually making a recipe from!    I took a few minutes and flipped through, and my eyes stopped on this Orecchiette Salad with Roast Beef.  Simple, easy, and ready in under 30 minutes made it a perfect weeknight recipe to try out.  I went ahead and doubled it up, and put two portions away for the next day’s lunch, before adding the dressing.   Do yourself a favor if you make this, and do the same because this one’s a winner, and the left overs will make your coworkers jealous the next day.

Orecchiette Salad with Roast Beef

Total Time: 25 min  Prep:15 min   Cook: 10 min

Yield: 4 servings

Level: Easy


Kosher salt
8 ounces orecchiette pasta
1 cup bocconcini (small mozzarella balls), halved
1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, quartered
8 small sweet marinated peppers (such as Peppadew), quartered    **Edit – I used fresh, small sweet peppers, sliced into rounds, and sauteed. **
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or basil
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper
4 cups baby arugula
6 ounces deli-sliced roast beef, cut into strips
Add Checked Items To Grocery List


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs; drain but don’t rinse.

Meanwhile, combine the bocconcini, artichokes, marinated peppers and mint in a serving bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, and salt and pepper to taste and toss. Add the pasta and toss again.

Just before serving, stir in the arugula and roast beef. Season the salad with pepper.

Per serving: Calories 500; Fat 22 g (Saturated 7 g); Cholesterol 49 mg; Sodium 548 mg; Carbohydrate 51 g; Fiber 3 g; Protein 26 g

(Courtesy Food Network Magazine)

Ease of Preparation : 5 out of 5.
Taste: 4.5 out of 5.
Visual: 5 out of 5
Final Verdict: Add it to the rotation

Pumpkin Churro Waffles

October 29, 2016

It’s Halloween weekend here in the Twice Around kitchen, and we’re kicking it off with one of our fall favorites.  These pumpkin waffles are our “go to” in the fall – and for good reason!  2 ingredients and 5 minutes to homemade fall goodness that fills the house.  This morning we gave them a churro twist, but they are simply perfect with or without the cinnamon/sugar finish.


Easiest Pumpkin Waffles
1 Can Pumpkin Puree
1 Boxed Angel Food Cake Mix

Mix together and cook up in your waffle iron, about 4 and 1/2 minutes.

For the “Churro” finish :
Melt 1 stick of butter in a bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine 3 tbsp sugar with 3 tbsp cinnamon.  As soon as the waffles come out of the waffle iron, dip both sides in melted butter and then coat both sides in the cinnamon sugar mixture.

No tricks here, only treats!  Happy Halloween!

Chicken Quinoa Bowls – A Shortcut Supper

October 20, 2016


Ya’ll- this isn’t really even a recipe.  HOWEVER, dinner tonight was SO easy and SO good, that I couldn’t let it pass by without sharing it.  Sometimes our days are hectic, and I just don’t have the energy to put forth much effort into dinner.  Tonight was one of those nights.  I spent my afternoon at a training session on the other side of the county, and knew I’d be sitting in traffic while driving home.  I could have gone to grab fast food or take out, but I really still wanted a family meal that was nutritious and worthwhile for our family to be eating together.


These Chicken Quinoa Bowls are super satisfying, and super easy…and best of all, on the table in about 20 minutes.  It involves one quick stop to the supermarket (express lane style!), and a few moments to pull it all together.

Your Express Lane List:
1 rotisserie chicken
1 can/ jar of red enchilada sauce
1 avocado
Birds Eye Steamfresh “Protein Blends Southwest Blend”
Lime Juice (optional)

Once home, combine 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of water (or 1 cup water, 1 cup chicken stock if you have that around- it just helps enhance flavor) in a sauce pan.  Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer on low for 15-20 minutes.  Kids, that is the hardest part of this meal.

While that’s going on, cut off the chicken breasts from the rotisserie chicken, and slice.  You could also just pull off some meat and do it pulled chicken style. We aren’t fancy here. I won’t tell.  Slice your avocado.  Open that jar of enchilada sauce.   Pour yourself a nice drink, or crack open a Corona.

Pop the Southwest Blend veggie steam pouch into the microwave.  It takes about 5 minutes, if you are like me and like to time things accordingly.

And then… Build your bowl.

I started with a base layer of quinoa, and then add the southwest mix.  Then I topped it with the chicken and generously drizzle enchilada sauce all over that sucker. Lastly, I added my avocado slices and a squeeze of lime juice, just for fun.


It was SO GOOD.  Seriously, you would never ever imagine that there were so many shortcuts in this meal.

BONUS : We have leftovers to take for lunch.