Recent Recipes:

Kero/Low Carb Friendly Nashville Hot Fried Chicken


My obsession with regional foods continues with this version of a spicy southern favorite that you can enjoy without blowing your macros!

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Super Simple DIY Caesar Salad


DIY Caesar dressing?  Sounds complicated, Keri!  Nope – not my recipe. Whip up a homemade version of the classic salad in minutes.


Fajita Salad with Houston Green Sauce Dressing


A lazy-gal’s quick version of Houston’s beloved regional chip-dipping fave shows off its healthy side as dressing for a delicious fajita salad.

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Braised Short Ribs


Slow cooked comfort food nirvana in a bowl.

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Spicy Brussels Sprouts Slaw and Stir Fry Pork


A fun and fresh twist that will have EVERYONE singing the praises of  Brussels Sprouts. (No really, I swear!)

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Jalapeno Beer Cheese Soup


We had a nice little cold snap this week, which always leaves me wanting something warm and hearty to eat for dinner.  But not every day can be a “giant roast cooking all day long, Sunday dinner ” kind of day – so soups and stews are a go-to for me, since they give you that stick-to-your-ribs kind of cold weather meal feeling, and can be super fast too!

As for this one – it has beer, and cheese, and bacon.  And it is spicy.  Why say more?

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Crunchy Honey Mustard Chicken

We all fight it – Chicken breast boredom.  (Something with “breast” in it shouldn’t be boring, you know?  It seems unfair. But none-the-less, it happens.)  So easy to use, so good for you = So. Much. Chicken.

Cue the trip to the salad dressing isle, and home again, home again, jigitty jig, with a bottle of Honey Mustard, inspired by The Hub’s occasional enjoyment of honey mustard dipping sauce for various fried bar snacks.  Let’s assemble, shall we?

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Spicy Basil Chicken

I confess – I can be lazy.  I like to cut culinary corners – especially for weeknight dinners.

I have seen a lot of very yummy-sounding recipes for Thai-style Basil Chicken floating around the interwebz (hello, Pinterest, keeper of beautiful things I never get around to doing,) and really wanted to make it happen in my mouth.

But for a week day, it seemed like…. well… a lot.  I didn’t have it in me.

I improvised.  It was AWESOME.  It will be made again and again, I know it.

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Blast from the past: Laughing Cow Stuffed Pork Chops

October 29, 2009

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Balsamic Vinegar Chicken

Grilled Chicken makes Keri VERY happy,  but midway through each summer I start to get the “Grilled Chicken AGAIN!?” look from The Hub.

A really simple, really flavorful maranade is a good solution to bet the blahs and keep things fresh.

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Taco Pasta Bake

A healthy and easy Make Ahead Monday offering.

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Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Well, make that Turkey Cordon Bleu Casserole in this case, because this was all about the frozen Thanksgiving leftovers!

We do love us some Chicken Cordon Bleu, and stuffing chicken breasts with just about anything I can find is a favorite way to “create’ a meal in my kitchen, but I can’t take the credit for the brilliant idea to turn the yumminess into a quick and easy casserole, that belongs to my fabulous friend Stacey, who offered it up in answer to my “dinner is getting boring, what do I do?” laments.

Considering I had turkey and ham in the freezer from Thanksgiving at my folks’ house, her answer was just what the doctor ordered – so break out your casserole dishes and let’s Casserole, shall we?

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Hawaiian Chicken (Featuring a fabulous borrowed Crock Pot Chicken recipe as well!)

Anybody else more than just a little bit addicted to Pinterest at this point?  My boards overfloweth with “pins” of genius ideas just waiting to be tried (or just gawked at.)

And the recipes and food photography!?  It is so drool-worthy it should  be illegal to look at it on an empty stomach.

Which leads me to part one of this recipe…

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Adobo Pork Tamale Pie

Confession – this was one of the (many) times where Keri saw something on the interwebz she thought looked delish and just kind of decided to guess at how to make it.  (Recipes are SO confining!)  So hopefully you can do the same- take the idea and make it your own by using what you have as a filling!

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Chicken Taco Casserole

This casserole is a variation on a recipe Kroger had sitting by the Rotisserie Chicken display in the deli, and they used Rotisserie Chicken in their version, which I guess you could do here as well.   No pictures on this one,  kids, but a delicious and easy dinner, none-the-less.

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Easy Peasy Pancakes

Pass the Syurp, please!  These pancakes are so quick and easy, you can make ’em with one eye cracked open!

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Braciole Casserole

Braciole is tasty  AND a genius idea.  Take an inexpensive cut of beef, pound it thin, spread on some goodness and roll the whole thing up, then bake the whole thing covered in tomato sauce for a good long time until it is tender and delish.

What’s not to love?

Well – all the steps are not very “week night dinner” friendly, to be frank.  It just takes to long?  What’s a girl to do?

How about taking the essence of Braciole and baking it into a quick and easy casserole that you can throw together lickety-split, or even put together over the weekend and whip out of the fridge on a particularly hectic weeknight?

Now that is perfection!

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Lazy Buckeye Crunch

A few year’s ago one of The Hub’s Ohio-dwelling relatives sent us a box of something called “Buckeye Crunch”  with our Christmas package.  I scoffed at the snack, and added it to the pile of OSU stuff we received that year.  However, a few days later I found The Hub snacking on it and decided to grab a handful for myself.

Well shut my mouth and call me Brutus – the stuff is A-MAYYYYYY-ZIIIIIIING!  Carmel popcorn and peanuts with chocolate and peanut butter, as if they had melted a bunch of delicious buckeyes and encased the mixture in them!

My very next thought was “WAIT, I can totally make that!”  The first year I made homemade Carmel corn, which added a bunch of time and effort to the whole thing – so I decided I would “lazy it up” a bit.

So I did – let’s make some.  Here we go:

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Keri’s Best Sunday Supper Roast

I love Sunday Supper.  I love it so much that I used the word “supper” even though I don’t really use that word.  I think that a good long cooking meal that you can sit down with your whole family, (big or small) and linger over deserves its own special word, apart from “Dinner” on all those other nights.

It is great way to squeeze that last little bit of relaxation and enjoyment out of the weekend – and in this case it can even help get you ready for one of those “Dinners” later in the week.

Let’s savor the long-cookin’ flavor, shall we?

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Shepherd’s Pie

I love comfort food.   Two of my favorites are Beef Stew and Mashed Potatoes.

So combining the two in one meal is beyond genius in my opinion.  Making it fast and easy to whip up after a long day at work is perfection. (I take plenty of help from convenience foods here.)

Enter the Shepard’s Pie.

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Shrimp Po’ Boys

One of the best trips The Hub and I have shared in our time as Man and Wife was a fabulous trip to New Orleans for the wedding of two of our dear friends a couple years ago.  It was my first time in The Big Easy, though The Hub has been there many times.  He LOVES the food. LOVES. IT.

So since I am currently a travel fuddy-duddy, I decided to try to bring the memories of some of our favorite times together to the dinner table by making foods that remind us of them.  Hence, my semi-cheater Po’ Boy.

Now put down your Hurricane and let’s make some!

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Peach Crumble

Don’t get me wrong, we wouldn’t kick pie outta bed for eating crackers (eh?) or anything, but in my family, cobbler is king. Or a crumble for great flavor and ease of preparation.  Preferably peach, if we have a choice, although we aren’t that picky if you have some other fruit you want to use.

Combine that love with the always-eagerly-anticipated Colorado peach season, and I could hear the crumble calling all week – so movie night at The Tree House called for Peach Crumble a la Mode.

Break out the dessert bowls, you will want this right out of the oven!

Full Recipe and Post


Quick and Easy Tex-Mex Soup

This “recipe” is a monument to laziness, I must confess.

It is also a cold weather favorite that (in different variations) gets heavy rotation in the Tree House menu plan during the cooler parts of the year.

Tuesday wasn’t exactly freezing, but it was cool enough to enjoy this easy favorite.

Ready to make a batch? Grab your can opener!

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Grilled Balsamic Steak Kababs

There has been a lot of “lighter fare” on the Tree House menu lately, and I could tell that The Hub was hankerin’ for some red meat.  I, as usual, was hankerin’ to get some veggies down his gullet, and keep the grocery budget in check at the same time.

How to satisfy all those requirements?  Enter The Kabab.

By using an inexpensive cut of meat and adding plenty of veggies to the mix, this meal on a stick can make everyone happy in a flash!

Break out your skewers and let’s get stabbing!

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Greek Salad Wraps with Oregano-Crusted Lamb

Ok, first of all, I just have to brag and say the The Hub LOVED these.

As in, after we finished dinner he said “I am going to give you a big A+ on this one. Like you could serve that in a restaurant. It was VERY good.”


Except he was right – these were gooooooooood.  The lamb was juicy and perfectly flavored, the dressing was a nice contrast to the lamb, the feta was cool and creamy, the whole wheat tortilla added a little rustic punch but didn’t feel “too bread” as my friend Abby would say it.

Break out your skillets – this one is a keeper.

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Turkey Salisbury Steak

If it has gravy, it qualifies as Comfort Food to me – and this twist on the classic 1950′s fave has delicious gravy all over the place.

Let’s get the gravy flowing, m’kay?

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Bacon Butternut Pasta

Ok, Ok – this one is really too simple for words – but damn does it ever taste good!

You are just going to have to excuse the semi-awful picture – the longer days mean extra sunlight in the Tree House, leaving me battling myself over light settings, shutter speeds, and everything else I am always trying to mess with like I actually know what I am doing. But enough about that, on to the food!  Full Post and Recipe

Mojo Marinaded Skirt Steak

Mojo (Pronounced “Mo-Hoe”) is a classic Cuban marinade that I have been seeing all over the cooking shows and magazines lately, so I decided to give it a try on my old faithful beef cut, the skirt steak.  Google “Mojo Marinade” – there are MANY versions to choose from, but I knew just where to turn for an authentic jumping-off point.

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Pan Seared Bay Scallops and Butternut Squash Quinoa Pilaf

While in S.F., The Hub sampled my scallops and pronounced them an acceptable food, so I was anxious to take advantage of any seafood he will actually eat!

Regardless of size, scallops often suffer the cruel and toughening fate of being overcooked – so constant monitoring and timely removal from the heat source are important here.

I paired ours with a Quinoa and Butternut Squash Pilaf in homage to the Scallop dish I enjoyed at Plouf that comes with a Butternut Squash and Prosciutto Risotto. The result was a really easy dish with tons of wow factor – worthy of the good napkins and a nice glass of wine, for sure.

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French Onion Soup

Always one of my absolute favorite cold weather treats! Let’s make a batch, shall we?

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Party Time

The Hub’s 40th birthday shin-dig was a small gathering, and I wanted to make appetizer versions of some of his favorite foods.

What did I make?  Full Post with recipe links


Sweet and Tangy Pork Chops

Quick and Tasty – next time I think I will cook them separate from the potatoes, which picked up a lot of the flavor from the rub as well.

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Uber Pasta Sauce

Let’s be honest.  Pasta sauce isn’t really rocket science.  It is actually sort of hard to screw up, and canned sauces aren’t bad and can be pretty much stupid cheap.

BUT – I like to make my own, or at least build it using a base of plain old tomato sauce from the canned veggie isle.  That way I can put every single thing I like about all the sauces I have enjoyed throughout my history as a pasta-eater into one super-flavorful Uber-sauce. Oh yeah.  Here is what you need:

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Marinated Skirt Steak

The Hub loves skirt steak. This is fabulous news for me, because, well frankly, it is pretty cheap.  It is hard to argue with the beauty of getting all that beefy flavor for a low-down fantastic price, no?


Skirt steak needs a little love to truly shine – it benefits greatly from a nice long set in an acidic marinade to help it break down a bit, and it is best cooked quickly over high heat. Oh yeah, and if it is overcooked, it is a tough as shoe leather.  Luckily it is very easy to prepare well, and simply prepared is how we enjoy it most.

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Chicken and Spinach Stacked Enchiladas

This Enchilada-inspired Casserole is a great way to sneak extra veggies to your picky eaters, and it is so easy and yummy it is sure to make any dinner into a flavor fiesta!

Complete Recipe


Crunchy Chicken and Roasted Broccoli

Quick, crunchy, and flavorful – Betty Crocker has a keeper with this Crunchy Garlic Coated Chicken recipe that got a “That was VERY good” from The picky Hub!  A sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes spices up healthy and simple roasted broccoli.

Full Recipe Here