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A New Site!

I’m so excited! It’s been a long haul, but is up and ready to go. Here in the next few days you’ll be automatically redirected to the new site when you visit here, but until then head on over to check out the new look.

If have previously subscribed to this site via email, you’ll shortly receive and email to verify your subscription to the new site.   However,  if you have subscribed via a feed reader, you’ll have to update it yourself. I hope to see you over there, I’ve so many fun things planned!



Maple Mustard Roasted Chicken

Admittedly, I’m a white meat snob and go for the birdy breasts whenever I can.  But when it comes to chicken thighs, I have a special little nook in my heart devoted just to them. Especially when they are roasted or broiled with a sweet and sticky sauce. *swoon*

And that, my friends, is just what this maple mustard chicken is all about. Sweet, sticky, juicy! The best part (besides the dance it will perform on your taste buds) is that it is quite possibly one  of the simplest chicken recipes on the planet and takes a max of five minutes to prep. and get into the oven.

You’ll start with maple syrup. If you don’t have the real deal, you can sub whatever syrupy substance you have on hand. It might not have as strong of a maple flavor, but it will be sweet and work just fine. You’ll also need Dijon mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, dried tarragon ( rosemary, or thyme work well too), crushed red pepper, salt, pepper, and about 5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs.

In casserole dish or other high sided baking pan, place your chicken thighs in a single layer and generously season with salt and pepper front and back.

In a small bowl, combine syrup, mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, tarragon, and red pepper, and whisk to combine.

Pour slowly over the chicken thighs making sure that each thigh is covered in sauce. I usually have to spoon sauce over the tops after I pour because I am NOT an even pourer!

Bake UNCOVERED  at 450° (YES, 450°) for about 30 mins or until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165° or it’s no longer pink.  The top of the chicken will be slightly charred in spots and the sauce will have condensed into the sticky, sweetness that I love.

**Cooking tool Soapbox**I love my meat thermometer. It really allows you to cook meat to perfection without having to cut it open and loose all the juice that you work so hard to keep inside your meat!  If you don’t have one, they are fairly inexpensive and really cut out a lot of guess work in the kitchen. I have a digital one which reads the temperature almost immediately and cost me about $25. You can get one for $3 and it will do the same thing, it will just take a bit longer to read. **

Be warned, your pan will be charred from the sugar in the syrup+high heat. My pan always comes clean pretty easily after a good soak, but if you want to line your pan with foil, do it.  And yes, you can sub chicken breasts for this (just shorten the cooking time a bit) but trust me, the thighs are where it’s at!

Maple Mustard Roasted Chicken

Printable Recipe

Recipe By Heatherlikesfood

5 boneless skinless chicken thighs (1 pkg.)

1/2 C Maple Syrup

1/4 C Dijon Mustard

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp dried tarragon (rubbed between your palms to break up and release the oils)

a pinch of crushed red pepper

Preheat oven to 450°

In casserole dish or other high sided baking pan, place your chicken thighs in a single layer and generously season with salt and pepper front and back.

In a small bowl, combine syrup, mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, tarragon, and red pepper, and whisk to combine.

Pour syrup mixture  slowly over the chicken thighs making sure that each thigh is covered in sauce.

Bake UNCOVERED  at 450° for about 30 mins or until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165° or it’s no longer pink.  The top of the chicken will be slightly charred in spots and the sauce will have condensed.

Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Hot and Cheesy Bacon Dip & Fun Shaped Baked Chips

Right now I’m listening to my 18 month old throw handful after handful of her lunch off of her highchair tray. As soon as I go in there she’ll  probably point at the thousands of goldfish crackers and half-eaten banana she’s strewn about the kitchen and smile at me proudly. Little stinker. At least I just steam mopped the floor and can leave them there until  she wants a snack.

I kid, I kid!

Kind of.

While I’m waiting to go in to see what she’s created, I’ll share this fun way to make healthy baked chips. My original plan was to make shamrock shaped chips since St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner. I have one of those big boxes of cookie cutters that has shapes for nearly every holiday and was confident it had a shamrock. WRONG. So I went with stars.

Shamrocks= Leprechauns= Pots of gold= Rainbows= Pixie dust= Stars.  See, it works.

To start, get your favorite flour tortillas, corn tortillas, pitas, wraps, flatbread etc. I used spinach and herb flavored wraps because I wanted the green color. I wish I would have though about this sooner and made hearts from tomato wraps for Valentines day! Next year.

Figure out what shape you want to cut them into and never assume that you have the shape you want. Oh, crazy cookie cutter people. No shamrock? Really?!

Place your cut-out pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil.

Use a non-stick cooking spray to coat your shapes in a thin layer of oil and sprinkle with kosher salt.

Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 400°. The edges will be lightly browned, but they will not seem crisp all the way through. Once cool, they crisp up and are ready to be dipped in something amazing.

Want that something amazing to dip them in? Hot and Cheesy Bacon Dip, my friend. You’re welcome.

Hot and Cheesy Bacon Dip

Printable Recipe

Recipe By Heather Likes Food

1 C Mayonnaise

1 C Sour Cream

2 C Grated Monterrey Jack Cheese

1/2 C shredded Parmesan cheese

6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp dried tarragon, rubbed between your palms to release some of the oils of the herb

a few dashes Chipotle Chili Powder, more if you like it spicy!

Preheat Oven to 400°

Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl and transfer to an 8×8″ baking dish. Bake for 15-20  minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted. Serve with chips, veggies, or bread. Delish!

Fun Shaped Baked Chips

Printable Recipe

Recipe By Heather Likes Food

 Flour or Corn Tortillas, pitas, wraps, or flat bread

Non-stick cooking spray

Kosher Salt for Sprinkling

Preheat Oven to 400°

Cut tortillas (wraps, etc.) into desired shapes. Spray with non-stick cooking spray to cover each cut-out with a thin layer of oil, and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. The middles will seem soft, but will crisp once cooled.

{2 minute} Coffee Cake in a Mug

By now we all know that I like food, but what I haven’t told you is that I’m not a huge chocolate fan. Gasp!

I like chocolate, I really do, and while I think that chocolate milkshakes and Reese’s peanut butter cups are from the gods, I just can’t handle a lot of it. Dark chocolate? No thanks. If I had my choice between a fruit cobbler with ice cream and a Death by Chocolate cake, I’m going with the cobbler. Sorry folks, no shame.

What I’m really trying to get at here is that I’ve done the cake in a mug thing before and wasn’t sold- that totally relates, right?. I usually try to stay FAR, FAR away from the microwave when it comes to anything besides reheating food. In fact, baking in the microwave pretty much goes against everything I believe in. Until now. The chocolate mug cakes I’ve made in the past were 1. WAY too chocolaty for my tastes and 2.  like eating rubber.

I was in the mood for cake the other morning – it was almost noon, don’t judge– and I had zero counter, oven, or sink space because I was in the midst of cooking for 300 people. So I went against my better judgement and headed for the microwave and I am so glad that I did. Well, kind of.  It may or may not be true that I’ve made this every day for the past week during nap time and my butt is getting big.

{2 minute} Coffee Cake in a Mug

Printable Recipe

Makes 1 mug

1 Tbsp butter

2 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp applesauce

vanilla extract, few drops

1/4 C All Purpose flour

1/8 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

1 tbsp butter

2 tbsp flour

1 tbsp brown sugar

1/4 tsp cinnamon

In a mug soften 1 tbsp of butter in microwave, about 5 seconds. You don’t want it melted, just soft. Stir in 2 tbsp of sugar and mix until well incorporated. Stir in applesauce, vanilla (just a tiny bit, we’re talking drops), flour, baking powder, and pinch of salt; stirring until just combined. Use the back of your spoon to smooth it out in the bottom of the mug.

Want struesel? Of course you do! In a separate, small bowl, combine 1 tbsp of butter, 2 tbsp of flour, 1 tbsp of brown sugar, and 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Use your fingers to to pinch the butter and mix it in with the other ingredients. When it starts to look like lumpy sand (appetizing, eh?) and all ingredients are combined, pour on top of cake batter in mug.

Cook in the  microwave for 50-80 seconds depending on your microwave. At 1 minute, my microwave cooks it perfectly. It will look just barely set on top. You don’t want to overcook it and things tend to get ugly fast in the microwave. I suggest cooking it 50 seconds, and then in 10 second intervals checking after each interval until done. Eat white it’s still warm. Once it cools off, it tends to loose some of it’s magic!

Spaghetti and Meatball Soup

Hey guys! How ya’ been? It’s only been a week since I’ve been on here but it seems like an eternity! Last weekend I helped cater a women’s conference for church and managed to cook soup, cheesy garlic biscuits, and apple cake  for 300 people in my little kitchen. While I do have a lot of experience in catering and  in feeding large groups of people, I’ve always had a large (usually commercial) kitchen to work from, and boy does it make a difference!  I’ve been a bit busy.

My stove.  I did this 8 times. Plus a few batches in the oven and crock pot.

10 pounds of carrots, 50 lbs of onions. Thank GOODNESS for food processors!









You love the color scheme of my kitchen, don’t you? I actually really love the color of the stove and the counter tops, but don’t love the fact that I can barely fit a sheet pan in the oven and my stove-top burners are controlled by buttons with only 4 settings. Whoever thought that was a good idea has never cooked a pancake. or grilled cheese. or food.  It’s okay though. We knew what we were getting ourselves into when our landlord described the kitchen as being “updated” in the 40’s. We won’t be students forever– or more accurately, I won’t let my husband be a student forever. If it were up to him, he’d stay in school for-ev-er.

Moving on.

My mom was able to come up and go to the conference with me and got suckered into the privilege of staying up with me the night before to help finish the soup. It was 2 am, we had 4 pots of soup on the stove, as well as 2 crock pots going and the power went out. Fabulous. Luckily it only took about 45 minutes for power to be restored and by the time we had light again the soup had finished cooking by just sitting and staying hot. Two and a half hours of sleep and a piece of apple cake later,  we were at the church ready to feed the masses. The conference turned out great! The remainder of my day Saturday was spent with my Mom eating far too many mississippi mud brownies in our pj’s while watching whatever was on my local  TV stations because we were too tired to do anything else. Turns out that Dante’s Peak is a pretty ridiculous movie. Driving over lava? Really?

This isn’t one of the soups that I made for the conference,  I just happened to have pictures and a recipe ready to post and this was it!  I love this soup because it totally satisfies any pasta craving I get without being too heavy. Kids love it too! Enjoy.

Spaghetti and Meatball Soup

Printable Recipe

Makes about 3 qts. or 1 big pot

1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained

1 280z. can tomato sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 c prepared basil pesto

5 C. chicken broth

5 C. beef broth

1 tbsp sugar

3/4 tsp kosher salt

pinch red pepper flakes

1 lb. lean ground beef

15 saltine crackers, finely crushed

1/2 c milk

1 tsp vingear

1 tbsp dried parsley

1/2 C shredded parmesan cheese

1 egg yolk

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

8 oz. thin spaghetti noodles

In a small bowl combine finely crushed saltine crackers with milk and vinegar and let sit until the crackers are soft and easily combine with the milk to create a smooth paste. Set aside.

Over a medium-high stove, heat olive oil and saute garlic until fragrant. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, broths, pesto, sugar, 3/4 tsp salt, pepper, and pepper flakes; stirring to combine. Bring to a simmer.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine ground beef, parsley, parmesan cheese, egg yolk, 1 tsp kosher salt and saltine cracker paste. Stir with a stiff spoon or with your hands until just combined. The less you work the meat, the more tender it will be. Using a small cookie scoop or 1 tbsp measuring spoon create small balls of the meat mixutre, rolling them between your palms to make them smooth and compact.

Place meatballs in simmering tomato broth and let cook for 5 minutes. Add in the thin spaghetti, broken into fourths (smaller if you’d like) and cook an additional 6-8 minutes or until the spaghetti noodles are cooked through. Serve with crusty bread and Parmesan cheese.

Slow-Cooker Cilantro Ranch Chicken Tacos

Where has this month gone? Seriously. I know it’s a short month, but I can’t believe it’s almost March. I’m super excited though because I totally dropped the ball on making cute Valentines day food and now I get to make up for it with St. Patrick’s day. Get excited people. Get excited.

My poor husband spent his entire day on Saturday at work and school, we’re talking 14 hours. Granted this is pretty normal during the school year and we’ve become quite accustomed, it still stinks. Major brownie points to all the military wives that rarely have their husbands home because I really don’t think I/my kids would survive. Anyways in an attempt at actually planning ahead for dinner and not resorting to “noodle soup”- our fancy name for ramen-  I came up with this. After a long, husband-less day this chicken totally made it okay for him to be gone for so long. Well, kind of.  If it would have fished out the hair brush, toilet paper roll, toothbrush, paper valentine, and stick of gum that my 18 month old put in the toilet, I’d marry it. Just sayin’.

Slow-Cooker Cilantro Ranch Chicken Tacos

Printable Recipe

Serves 4-6

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 envelopes ranch dressing mix (do NOT use the dip mix, must be for salad dressing )

1 C chicken broth

1 tbsp chili powder

2 tsp ground cumin

1 small can diced green chiles

1 C sour cream

1/2 C chopped fresh cilantro

Juice from 1/2 lime

In a slow-cooker, combine chicken breasts ( doesn’t have to be thawed, cut-up or anything else that sucks up your time), ranch dressing mix, chicken broth, chili powder, cumin, and green chiles.  Stir around until chicken is coated and there aren’t any big lumps of dressing mix. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours; chicken should be cooked through and easily shred. Remove chicken from pot, shred, return to pot and stir in sour cream and chopped cilantro. Serve in tortillas with lettuce, cheese, avocado,  and pico de gallo.

Quick-fix Chili and Creamy Grits

My family loves corn grits. We eat them often for breakfast with eggs and toast, for dinner topped with chili, or basically anytime that I’m in need of a quick side-dish that I know both my kids will eat. I mentioned them here when they were served for the Hub’s  birthday meal and I promised the recipe would come soon.

If you’re not familiar, corn grits are just ground up corn that cooks up to a creamy almost pudding like consistency- think cream of wheat with more texture and made of corn. I buy mine in the bulk section at the grocery store. It looks like corn meal just not ground as finely. Sometimes it’s called polenta so if you find that, you’ve got the right stuff. The trick to making grits is to stir constantly once you add them to your boiling liquid and to not stop stirring until they are cooked. If you stop you’ll end up with lumpy burned mush.  So stir, okay?

Grits are super versatile and are great for getting your creative juices flowing. You can stir in cheese, chopped green onions, a bit of curry powder, chopped dried fruit, etc. to go with whatever you are serving.  But truthfully, eating them plain, made with this recipe is by far my favorite.

Now, onto the chili!  Chili and grits is one of my go-to, I’ve-wasted-my-day-away-on-Pinterest meals. I love it because I almost always have all the ingredients in my pantry and it comes together in under 30 minutes. While I’d like to say that every time we eat chili it’s this one that’s been simmering on my stove for hours, I can’t. More often than not I’m in a pinch for time and I turn to my good friend canned chili. I use the term friend loosely because I basically detest this stuff straight out of the can. But add a few ingredients and it turns into something that tastes like I actually had a plan for dinner.

Quick-Fix Chili

Printable Recipe

Recipe by

1 15 oz. can prepared chili- I always use Nalley Original

1 14 oz. can black beans, drained

1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, do NOT drain

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp smoked paprika

1 tbsp dried, minced onion

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tbsp dried parsley

In a medium-sized sauce pan, cook chili powder, cumin, and paprika over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring often until very fragrant. Stir in chili, beans, tomatoes, and onion; bring to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes or until bubbly and heated through. Season with salt and stir in dried parsley just before serving.

Weight Watchers Points +: 3.5 points/ 1/2 C serving

Creamy Corn Grits

Printable Recipe

Makes enough to serve 4-6

2 C water

2 C milk

1 C regular corn grits or polenta (same thing)

1/4 cup cream, evaporated milk, half & half- whatever you have on hand

2 tbsp. butter

1/2 tsp kosher salt

Heat the water and milk in a medium-sized sauce pan until just simmering. Stir the grits into the simmering water  and milk. Cook, stirring often, until the grits are tender and have thickened to the consistency of thick oatmeal. They usually take between 10 and 15 minutes. Once cooked, remove from heat and stir in butter and cream, season with salt.

Leftover grits can be reheated over low heat, stirring in a little water or milk as needed to thin them out.

Weight Watchers Points +: 6.5 pts./1 C serving


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