Cuban Turkey Cranberry Panini

The Cuban Cranberry Turkey Panini is a great way to use up your left over Thanksgiving turkey. Of course, if you don’t have any left over turkey, you can use sliced roasted turkey from your local deli. We love this sandwich at our house! I love anything that pairs turkey and cranberries together!

Turkey Panini

I like to make this panini when I know our night is going to be crazy and we won’t have a lot of time for dinner prep. It only takes a few minutes to throw together and everybody loves it.

When I make panini sandwiches, I like to spray I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter instead of butter on the outside of the bread before I grill it. It is easier to apply and it’s fat free and calorie free. I use Costco’s Torta Sandwich Rolls. They come in a pack of 10 and are perfect for this panini!

Now, let’s get cooking!

With love from my kitchen to yours,



Cuban Cranberry Turkey Panini

Cuban Cranberry Turkey Panini

makes 1 Panini

2 slices of Turkey

2 slices of black forest ham

1 Costco Torta sandwich roll, sliced in half

2 sandwich sliced dill pickles

1 tbsp. of cranberry sauce

1 tsp. of mayo

1 tsp. of yellow mustard

2 slices of Swiss cheese

I can’t Believe It’s Not Butter spray


1. Spread the mayo and mustard on the bottom half of the bun and place the turkey, ham, pickles, and Swiss cheese on top.

2. Spread the cranberry sauce on the top half of the bun and place the bun on top of the bottom half of the panini sandwich. Spray the top and bottom of the sandwich with the I can’t believe it’s not butter spray and place in a hot panini press. Grill for 2 to 5 minutes or until the panini is golden brown and the cheese is melted.

This recipe was inspired by



Caribbean Black Bean, Coconut, and Pumpkin Soup

My cousin Erin is a genius! She came up with this recipe after falling in love with a soup at a local restaurant. Wanting to recreate the soup at home, she found a couple of similar versions online and then created her own recipe for this soup.

Friends, I made this soup for the first time last night and to say it is amazing is an understatement! I absolutely love this soup and could not wait to share it with the rest of you.

Caribbean Pumpkin Soup


You can make this soup in the crock pot on on the stove top. Erin recommends you garnish the soup with tortilla strips and shredded coconut. Oh man, my mouth is watering already. I might just eat my left over soup for breakfast because I don’t think I can wait until lunch.

With love from my kitchen to yours,


Caribbean Black Bean, Coconut, and Pumpkin Soup

Caribbean Black Bean, Coconut, and Pumpkin Soup

yields 10 to 12 servings

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 yellow bell pepper, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp. of olive oil

3 cups of chicken broth

2  1/2 cups of cooked chicken, cubed

1 can (15 oz.) of packed pumpkin puree

2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed

1 (14.5 oz.) can of diced tomatoes, drained

1 (14 oz.) can of unsweetened coconut milk

1 can of pineapple tidbits, drained

1 tbsp. lime juice

3 heaping tbsp. of fresh cilantro, chopped

2 tsp. dried parsley flakes

2 tsp. of cumin

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. of curry


1. In a large sauce pan over medium-high heat saute the onion, bell pepper, and garlic in a the olive oil until the vegetables are tender.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer the soup for 20 minutes or until  it is heated through.  Garnish with tortilla strips and shredded coconut.

* Crock Pot Version– Follow step one and then transfer the onions, bell peppers, and garlic to a 5 quart crock pot. Stir in the remaining ingredients into the crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours, or until heated through.


White Chicken Chili

I came across this recipe for White Chicken Chili fourteen years ago in a church ward cookbook. The cookbook was from a ward Dave and I were in when we first got married. Dave and I loved this recipe so much that I made it quite a bit. When ever we had a party, the White Chicken Chili usually made an appearance.

White Chicken Chili

I hadn’t  made this chili for a few years. Dave recently started asking me to make it again. When I finally did make it again, I remembered why I loved it so much. It is packed with flavor and is so creamy! It is hard to stop with one bowl.

So I am passing this soul warming chili recipe on to you in hope that your family can enjoy it as much as my family has!

With love from my kitchen to yours,


White Chicken Chili Recipe

White Chicken Chili

yields 7 servings

1 lb. of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 medium onion, diced

1 tsp. of garlic, minced

1 tbsp. of canola oil

1 (15 oz.) can of Great northern beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15 oz.) can of white beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups of chicken broth

2 (4 oz.) cans of chopped green chilies

1 tsp. of salt

1 tsp. of cumin

1 tsp. of oregano

1/2 tsp. of pepper

1/4 tsp. of cayenne pepper

1 cup of sour cream

1/2 cup of whipping cream


shredded cheese

sour cream


1. In a large saucepan, saute the chicken, onion, and garlic in the canola oil.

2. Add chicken broth, beans, chilies, and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer uncovered for thirty minutes.

3. Remove from the heat and stir in the sour cream and whipping cream. Serve with a side of shredded cheese and sour cream.

* This chili can be cooked in the crock pot. Follow step one and then add all the remaining ingredients in the crock pot. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours.

Tomato Bacon Spinach Soup

I first had this soup years ago at a cafe I use to work at. There was only one chef who knew how to make it right. The problem was that he didn’t really have a recipe for it. He just threw in a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

I loved it so much that I played around with the ingredients at home and made up my own version. I have been making this soup for years now. The great thing about this soup is that even the pickiest eaters love it! My four year who generally doesn’t like anything will always eat this soup. In fact, anytime I am making soup, my kids always ask “are you making my favorite soup“, meaning this soup.

Tomato Bacon Soup

This recipe makes about 10 servings. You can cut the recipe in half if you need to. However, you might be wishing you hadn’t when you can’t get enough of it.

You can make the recipe gluten-free by thickening the soup with cornstarch and water instead of with a roux. Anyway you make it, this soup is sure to warm you up and put a big smile on your face!

With love from my kitchen to your,


Tomato Bacon Spinach Soup

Tomato Bacon Spinach Soup

makes about 10 servings

8 cups of chicken broth

5 cups of half & half, at room temperature

1 onion, diced

1 tbsp.  canola oil

1 (24 oz.) of stewed tomatoes

1  1/2 cup of fresh spinach, washed

1 cup of bacon, cooked and crumbled

2/3 cup of butter

2/3 cup of flour


1.  Melt the butter in a small pan over medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted, add the flour to form a thick paste. Continue to cook the roux, stirring constantly until the the roux turns to a light golden brown color and has a nutty aroma, about 5 minutes. Allow the roux to cool.

2. Add the canola oil and onion to a large pan over medium-high heat and saute until the onions are translucent. Add the chicken broth and stewed tomatoes and bring to a boil.

3. Add the spinach and continue to cook for another 5 to 7 minutes. With an immersion blender, blend the soup until it is smooth. Add the half and half and bacon and simmer for another 5 minutes.

4.  Gently stirring add the roux to the soup. Turn the heat down to medium-low heat. Stirring occasionally bring the soup to a simmer until the soup thickens. Enjoy!

Barbecue Baby Back Ribs

When I was younger, I didn’t think that I liked baby back ribs or BBQ ribs in general. However, not liking ribs changed when I got married and wanted to impress my husband. I started looking around for a good recipe and stumbled across the Top Secret Restaurant Recipes Cookbook by Todd Wilbur. In the cookbook there were a few different recipes for Tony Roma’s Baby Back Ribs.


I combined a few recipes and tweaked this and that. The result was a very happy husband and a recipe that I have used over and over again. I became a rib lover.

BBQ Ribs


The tricks to making mouth watering ribs is to make the homemade BBQ sauce, marinate the ribs in the homemade BBQ sauce for 24 hours, and cooking it low and slow.

With love from my kitchen to yours,


Barbecue Baby Back Ribs

Barbecue Baby Back Ribs

4 lbs of baby back ribs

Homemade Barbecue sauce (recipe below)

Heavy duty aluminum foil


1. Cut 2 pieces of heavy duty aluminum foil that are 6 inches longer than the ribs for each rack of ribs. Coat the baby back ribs front and back with the homemade barbecue sauce.

2. Lay the 2 strips of aluminum foil over lapping by 3 inches. Place the rack of ribs on top of the foil. Carefully wrap the foil around the ribs making sure that the foil is completely covered. Place the ribs on a baking sheet and place them in the refrigerator and marinate for 24 hours.

3. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place the baking sheet with the foil wrapped ribs in the oven and bake for 2  1/2 to 3 hours or until the meat starts to shrink back from the cut end of the bones by a 1/2 inch.

4. Remove the ribs from the oven and smother one side of the ribs with barbecue sauce. Be sure to save some of the barbecue sauce for later. Place smothered side of the ribs face down on a hot grill. Grill for 2 to 4 minutes or until you start to see charred spots on the ribs. Be careful not to burn them!

5. Smother the side facing you with more barbecue sauce. Flip the cooked side of the ribs over and grill for an other 3 to 4 minutes.

6. Remove the ribs from the grill and serve them hot with a side of the barbecue sauce.


Barbecue Sauce

1 cup of ketchup

1  1/2 cups of red wine vinegar

1 cup of Molasses

1/2 cup of honey

1  1/2 tsp. of liquid smoke

1/3 cup of brown sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. of garlic powder

1/4 tsp. of onion powder


1. Combine all the ingredients into a sauce pan over high heat. Whisk the ingredients until smooth.

2. Once the mixture comes to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes or until the barbecue sauce thickens. Let barbecue sauce cool completely.

*If the barbecue sauce gets too thick, you can thin it down with vinegar.

This recipe is inspired by the Top Secret Restaurant Recipes Cookbook.



Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Who doesn’t love a hot soup on a cold night? This soup is a recipe I got from my friend Kirsten. Every time I make it, people ask for the recipe.

This recipe makes enough to have leftovers the next day, freeze the excess for later, or share with friends.

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup2

My favorite way to eat this soup is topped with shredded cheese, a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of tortilla strips.

With love from my kitchen to yours,


Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Creamy Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 yellow onion , diced

1 garlic clove, minced

4  1/2 cups of chicken broth

3 chicken breast, cooked and sliced

1 pkg. Spanish rice

1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups of frozen corn

2 cans of diced tomatoes, undrained

1 (24 oz.) can of red enchiladas sauce

1 (4 oz.) can of green chilies

2  cups of  half and half

1 tsp. smoked paprika

1 tsp. oregano

1/2 tsp. cumin

Top soup with :

tortilla strips

sour cream

shredded cheese


1. Saute the onions and garlic in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken broth, diced tomatoes, frozen corn, black beans, green chilies, and red enchilada sauce to the pan. Turn down the heat to medium-low and simmer the soup for 30 minutes.

2. In small pan, cook the rice according to package instructions. Add the cooked rice, chicken, half and half, smoked paprika, cumin, and oregano to the soup and heat through. Serve the hot soup with tortilla strips, sour cream, and shredded cheese.

Spaghetti Squash Stir Fry with Lemon Pineapple Sweet and Sour Sauce

This recipe is going to knock your socks off! Not only is it gluten-free and a healthy alternative to regular stir fry, but it is packed with flavor!

Spaghetti Squash Stir Fry

The Lemon Pineapple Sweet and Sour Sauce might be a mouthful to say, but once this sauce meets your taste buds, they will be doing the happy dance!

With love from my kitchen to yours,


Spaghetti Squash Stir Fry with Lemon Pineapple Sweet and Sour Sauce

Spaghetti Squash Stir Fry

makes about 6 to 8 servings

1 (4 to 5 lb) spaghetti squash

2 (16 oz.) pkg. of your favorite frozen stir fry vegetable mix

1  1/2 cups of chicken, cooked and sliced

2 tbsp. of canola oil


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

1. Cut the spaghetti squash width wise into 2 inch rings. Scoop out the seeds in the center of the squash and throw the seeds away. Place the rings on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 1 hour.

2. While the squash is cooking, saute the vegetables in the canola oil over medium-high heat. Cook the vegetables until they are fork tender. Add the chicken to the vegetables and cook until it is heated through. Remove from heat. Gently toss the stir fry vegetables in the sweet and sour sauce.

3.  Allow the squash to cool for 15 minutes then pull the peel away and separate the strands with a fork. Serve the spaghetti squash topped with the stir fry vegetables in the sweet and sour sauce.
Lemon Pineapple Sweet and Sour Sauce

1 garlic clove, minced (about 1 tsp.)

1 tsp. of sesame seeds

1 tbsp. sesame seed oil

1/2 cup of ketchup

1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

1/2 cup of water

1 tbsp. of lemon zest

2 tbsp.of soy sauce

1 cup of pineapple juice

1 tbsp. cornstarch


1. In a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, saute the garlic. Add the ketchup, vinegar, sugar, water, soy sauce, sesame seeds, sesame seed oil, and lemon zest to the sauce pan. Stir until the sugar is dissolved

2. Add the cornstarch to the pineapple juice and mix well. Add the pineapple juice to the saucepan and bring to a boil while continuing to stir until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat.

You have got to try my recipe for Spaghetti Squash with Gluten-Free Creamy Pesto Sauce.

Spaghetti Sqaush