Category Archives: Tasty Food

I love Mashed Potatoes!

When it comes to mashed potatoes, I am normally the peel-the-potatoes kind of girl. I love russet potatoes, gold yukon potatoes, red potatoes, and sweet potatoes. I like them with skins on and I like them peeled. I like them mashed with just a couple of additional ingredients (like the classic milk, butter, salt & pepper) and I like them with lots of add-ins as well. So when we first met our current group of friends back in 2011 and we kept seeing these AMAZING mashed potatoes show up at parties, I just knew I needed the recipe.

Imagine my surprise when I found out that these incredible mashed potatoes were made from a BOX mix of flakes. But you can’t argue with delicious. And these, my friends, are delicious. You can find the original recipe right here on the Hungry Jack website: Make Ahead Party Mashed Potatoes.

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Hungry Jack’s Make Ahead Party Mashed Potatoes


1 (15.3 oz) package Hungry Jack Mashed Potato Flakes
No-stick cooking spray
6 cups water
12 tbsp ( 1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 tsp garlic salt
2 tsp onion salt
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, cubed and softened
2 cups milk
1 (16 oz) container sour cream


1. Heat oven to 350. Spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with no-stick cooking spray. Heat water, butter, garlic salt and onion salt to boiling in a 6-quart Dutch oven or saucepan. Remove from heat. Add cream cheese, milk and sour cream, stirring until cream cheese is dissolved.

2. Stir in potato flakes, mixing until all ingredients are well combined. Spread mashed potato mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle with paprika and bake 1 hour or until bubbling around edges and golden brown.

These can, of course, be made with a different brand of potato flakes, but don’t get skimpy on the add-ins. There is a time and place for healthy mashed potatoes. This isn’t it. 😉

What is your favorite way to eat potatoes?
Love Rach

Sweet and Spicy

You know what we love? The combination of sweet and spicy. So today I have two delicious sweet & spicy recipes for you that are perfect for summer days!

First up, this recipe from Real Simple. I discovered this in 2011 and we have been making it regularly ever since. So yummy!

sweet and spicy chicken

Sweet and Spicy Chicken


1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp oregano
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2lbs chicken pieces (legs, breast, thighs, etc)


1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl combine oil, chili powder, brown sugar, oregano, salt, and pepper.

2. Rub spice mixture into chicken. Place on roasting pan and cook 45-50 minutes or until cooked through.

NOTE: This can also be made on the grill which is our favorite way to have it!

Another favorite is homemade sweet potato fries! There are so many different ways to make them, but our favorite is to add fresh rosemary, garlic, cayenne pepper, and salt. YUM!

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Spicy Sweet Potato Fries


1 large sweet potato
Olive oil spray
Fresh rosemary, chopped
Cayenne pepper
Garlic Powder


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Slice sweet potatoes into thin slices and lay out in a single layer on greased baking sheet. Spray fries with olive oil spray and then sprinkle with chopped rosemary, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and salt. Bake 15 minutes, then flip and bake another 15 minutes until fries are easily pierced with a fork.

Happy Friday, friends!
Love Rach

Pioneer Woman’s Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Last week I shared with you guys our favorite all around pancake recipe. But through all that research we discovered that the Pioneer Woman’s Pancakes were incredible when you added chocolate chips to them. They are a bit too rich for just a normal stack of pancakes (or even blueberry ones), but when you add chocolate chips to them, they are awesome! Like eating dessert. YUM!

Pioneer Woman Chocolate Chip Pancakes (1)

Pioneer Woman’s Chocolate Chip Pancakes


1 1/2 cups plus 1 tbsp Cake Flour
1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 large egg, beaten
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips


1. Mix together dry ingredients in large bowl.

2. Mix together milk, eggs, and vanilla in a separate bowl.

3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring very gently until just combined.

4. Melt butter and add it to the batter, stirring gently to combine. Stir in more milk if needed for thinning. Add chocolate chips and mix until just combined.

5. Cook on a greased skillet over medium-low heat until golden brown. Serve with butter and pure maple syrup.

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Ah, delicious! Thanks for putting up with all of my random recipe posts lately. My family thinks this is my way of nesting – trying to figure out the BEST recipes since I know I won’t have tons of time to be trying out different recipes with a newborn. You know, they might be on to something… 🙂

Love Rach

All the Pancakes!

Over the years I’ve made and shared lots of delicious pancake recipes on this blog, but recently I wanted to know which ones were truly my FAVORITES. So I went on a pancake-making frenzy and made 6 different recipes (and then made blueberry and chocolate chip versions of three of those landing us with at total of 12 different types of pancakes) and gathered my best taste testers (Christopher and Kelsi) and we ate ALL THE PANCAKES. I actually then made my favorite recipes three more times tweaking them along the way to make sure I had the absolute best results. So I’ve made a ridiculous number of pancakes over the past couple of weeks, ha!

all the pancakes

The three biggest things I learned were these:

1. Buttermilk is a must. I love almond milk and still like pancakes made with almond milk or even regular milk, but buttermilk really just takes it to the next level.

2. Cake Flour makes a world of difference. I learned this from the Pioneer Woman who’s recipe we did like, but was a little too rich for us overall. All purpose works just fine, but if you want to really kick your pancakes up a notch, go with cake flour.

3.  Don’t over-mix! I think nearly every pancake recipe I tried emphasized this point. And it’s really true. Lumps are okay in your batter. And allowing your batter to sit for a few minutes before you start cooking the pancakes gives it even more time to bubble up which makes for fluffier pancakes.

The Best Pancakes! (2)

The Best Pancakes! (3)

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The Best Pancakes


2 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar in the raw
2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsp maple syrup

2 tsp vanilla


1. In a medium bowl whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in the raw.

2. In a separate bowl whisk together eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, maple syrup, and vanilla.

3. Gently combine liquid ingredients into flour mixture until just combined. Don’t over-mix. It’s okay if there are small lumps in the batter.

4. Let batter sit for about 10 minutes while griddle heats up. Melt some butter on the griddle and then spoon 1/4 cup batter onto the hot griddle. Cook until batter bubbles around the sides and then flip. Cook until lightly browned on both sides. Makes approximately 12 pancakes.

5. Top with butter and pure maple syrup and serve fresh from the griddle!

While the chocolate chip version of these pancakes was scrumptious, there was one other pancake that held up to the chocolate chips even better. I’ll share more about that later!

And finally, I have to tell you guys that we really loved the Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes that I shared on the blog a few years ago as well. But they are a really dense-type of pancake. Definitely delicious, but not fluffy like you typically think of pancakes. Just thought I’d give them an honorable mention. 🙂

Do you have a favorite pancake recipe?
Love Rach

Our Favorite Spaghetti Sauce

spaghetti dinner comparison

When I say that I’m sharing my FAVORITE version of a recipe with you guys, I’m not kidding. Lately especially I’ve been tweaking my favorite recipes to decide which my ultimate favorites are. For example, I had three great spaghetti recipes that I loved. So I made all three at once and we picked out what we loved most about each one. So I made tweaks to the recipes and made three more for us to try. After all of that, I finally have my most favorite spaghetti recipe just absolutely perfected!

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Our Favorite Spaghetti Sauce


1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1/2 onion, chopped
1lb ground sweet Italian sausage or ground beef (we made it both ways and loved it equally)
1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 (28oz) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
1 (6oz) can no-salt-added tomato paste
2 tbsp basil
1 tbsp oregano
1/4 cup white wine
3/4 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
2 bay leaves


1. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in large pot and add garlic. When garlic starts to turn golden add chopped onion and Italian sausage or ground beef. Cook until onions are translucent and meat is cooked through. Drain off grease.

2. Put meat mixture back in pot and add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, basil, oregano, white wine, sugar, ground red pepper and bay leaves. Stir thoroughly.

3. Let simmer for at least 30 minutes, but ideally more like 3 hours. The longer it simmers, the richer it becomes. You can even do all of this in a crock pot and put it on low to cook all day!

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If I’m being real with you, this is more what my spaghetti looks like when I actually eat it. I like it all mixed together and thoroughly coated. And served in a bowl. It’s so much easier to eat! 🙂

Do you have a favorite spaghetti sauce recipe? 
Have you ever made multiple recipes trying to pick a most favorite?
Love Rach

Multigrain Honey Bread

Lately I’ve been coming across all these old recipes from our early days of marriage that I have written down, but without a note on where I found the recipe. In digging out some of these recipes I’ve realized all over again just how much I love them, but I can’t cite the original source. If this is your recipe (or you recognize it), let me know! I’d love to give credit where it’s due.

I love homemade bread. There aren’t many homemade breads that I don’t like, but this one has so many of my favorite features. Sweetened by applesauce and honey and mixed with oats, whole wheat flour, and bread flour. I love the way this mix of ingredients gives this bread such an awesome texture.

Multigrain Honey Bread (1)

Multigrain Honey Bread


1 cup warm water
1/2 tbsp active dry yeast
2 1/2 tbsp cup honey
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tbsp no sugar added applesauce
1/2 cup oats
1 1/2 cups bread flour

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add honey, and stir well. Mix in whole wheat flour, salt, and applesauce. Add oats and work bread flour in gradually. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for at least 10 to 15 minutes.

2. When dough is smooth and elastic, place it in a well oiled bowl. Turn it several times in the bowl to coat the surface of the dough, and cover with a damp cloth. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk (about 45 minutes to 1 hour).

3. Punch down the dough. Shape into loaf, and place into well greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Allow to rise until dough is 1 to 1 1/2 inches above pan (about 45 minutes).

4. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.

Multigrain Honey Bread (2)

I have a KitchenAid mixer so to be totally honest, it does most of the work for me while I bustle about working on other things. But sometimes when I have extra time on my hands, I like to knead the dough by hand. It’s relaxing in a strange sort of way. And very satisfying to see it all come together into the perfect elastic-y dough. But however you make this, just do it. Because it’s delicious. And your tummy will thank you. 🙂

Love Rach

A Throwback Pasta Recipe

Friends, I have another pasta recipe for you! A little over 6 years ago I discovered this recipe for Rigatoni with Sausage and Cannellini Beans on the Food and Wine website. I tweaked it just a tiny bit and we fell in love with it. I shared it here on the blog all those years ago, but the picture isn’t great and it’s right in the middle of a long post. So I thought I’d write an updated blog post about it. 🙂

Rigatoni with Sweet Italian Sausage (1)

Rigatoni with Sweet Italian Sausage and Cannellini Beans


1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 lb sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 cup dry red wine
3 (14 oz) cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp ground red pepper
1 lb rigatoni
1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained


1. Heat oil over medium heat, then add the garlic and cook for about a minute. Add the onion and the sausage. Cook onion and sausage, breaking up the sausage with a spatula until it is cooked through.

2. Add the wine, increase the heat to high, and cook until reduced by half (about 10 minutes). Stir in the tomatoes and their liquid, then add ground red pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, cook the rigatoni. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, then drain. Add the rigatoni to the sauce and gently add the beans.

4. Reduce heat to low and cook for 3-5 minutes, until heated through.  If it’s a little dry, add some of the pasta water until appropriately moist.  Serve with extra Parmesan and fresh basil if desired.

Rigatoni with Sweet Italian Sausage (2)

This may seem like an odd combination. Pasta, meat, tomatoes… yes, those make sense together. But adding beans? It seems odd at first. But trust me, it’s delicious! And lately, baby has had me craving spicier things so I actually doubled the ground red pepper in this recipe the last time I made it. Oh so yummy! If you guys try it, let me know what you think!

Love Rach