Friday, July 6, 2012

Cheerio Treats

Looking for a quick, easy and unique treat?  I've got just what you need right here!  And if you have kids (or, like me, you just like cereal), chances are you have all the ingredients right at home!  

These are a delicious and fun little snack that can be good for breakfast, snack, or dessert!

No baking required! 

Add sugar and corn syrup in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Boil for one minute and then remove from heat.

Add in peanut butter and vanilla until it's completely smooth.

Add in the cheerios.

Continue to mix until the cheerios are completely mixed in.

Drop by spoonfuls onto wax paper and let it cool!

Here's the recipe:
(Makes 2-3 dozen)

1 cup sugar
1 cup corn syrup
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 cups cheerios (I used honey nut)

Step 1:
Add sugar and corn syrup to a large saucepan over medium heat.  Bring to boil for one minute and then remove from heat.

Step 2:
Add in the peanut butter and vanilla and stir until it's completely smooth.

Step 3:
Add the Cheerios and mix until the cheerios are all covered.

Step 4:
Drop by spoonful onto wax paper and let it cool completely.

Thanks to Laura for the recipe! 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Chicken Parmigiana

This is a very yummy and easy Chicken Parm recipe!
I love cooking with chicken because 1) it's good for you and 2) it's cheap.  Being a newlywed, I like cheap food!  
I made this recipe a few months ago when we had some friends over for dinner.  We served it with spaghetti and salad and it made a fantastic meal! 

To make this recipe taste even better, make homemade bread crumbs.  It's so much better and they're so easy to make!  I use half a loaf of bread every month or so to make crumbs and it really adds a lot to the recipe.  My bread crumb recipe is below this recipe.

Here's the recipe:
(Serves 2, but easily multiplied into more!)

1 egg, beaten
2 ounces (About 1/4-1/2 cup) dry bread crumbs (see homemade recipe below)
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
3/4 (16 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
2 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Step 1: 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a medium baking sheet

Step 2:
Pour the beaten egg into a small, shallow bowl.  Pour the bread crumbs into a separate shallow bowl.  Dip the chicken breasts into the egg and then into the bread crumbs (do this twice if you like a lot of bread crumbs).  Place the chicken breasts onto a baking pan and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes, until it's no longer pink and the juices run clear. 

Step 3:
Pour half the spaghetti sauce into the bottom of an 8x8 baking dish.  Place the chicken on top and sprinkle the top of chicken with the cheeses.  Return to the oven for another 20 minutes.

Step 4:
To serve, pour the remaining spaghetti sauce over the chicken.  Also very good with spaghetti under the chicken and letting the sauce cover everything.  Top with extra parmesan as desired. 

There you have it: a delicious and easy chicken parm recipe!  
If you like crispier chicken and you have a cooling rack that goes safely in the oven, you can put the cooling rack on top of the baking sheet when originally cooking your chicken so that the heat and air cook your chicken nicely. 
If you use reduced fat cheese it's only about 250 calories per breast!  

I modified this recipe from an recipe found here

Bread Crumb Recipe: 

To make delicious bread crumbs that add tons of flavor and simplicity, just follow these steps:

Take a loaf (or half a loaf) of any kind of bread you want, you can also mix and match different types of bread.  Make sure it's not stale.

Place the bread crumbs in a single layer on a baking sheet and put them in the oven at 300 degrees for 10-15 minutes.  Flip them over about halfway through to make sure they get dried on both sides.  Remove from the oven and let them cool.

Break the bread into smaller pieces and put them in a food processor.  You can control how coarse or fine you want the bread crumbs to be.  

Add spices to the bread crumbs!  Italian spice is always easy so do that if you've got it and you like simplicity.  I like to add basil, oregano, garlic powder, salt, fresh pepper, and onion powder to mine.  Mix it up nicely and put it in a jar or container of some sort.  Keep it in a dry place. 

For this recipe I also add a few Tbsp of parmesan cheese, but I don't necessarily put that in my bulk product because it doesn't always work well. 

There you have it: Quick, cheap, and easy bread crumbs that taste delicious!  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Apple Pizza

This is a delicious and *healthy* dessert.  Okay, yes, I believe that if there is fruit, it's healthy.  Just because there's sugar and cream cheese and all that other stuff doesn't change the fact that it's good for you.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it. 

I actually have lots of pictures of this one, so I can show it to you step by step and also at the very bottom there are the actual directions :)

This is a soft homemade pizza crust with a cream cheese spread and apple slices and topped with a crumb topping.  Very yummy.

First, the crust!  

To make the dough, combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar in an electric mixer with the dough hook.  Then add in the oil, salt and half the flour.  Once the flour is completely incorporated, slowly add in the rest until it's completely mixed in, adding additional flour if necessary.  
Mix for 5 minutes until the dough does not stick to the bowl. Spray the bowl with cooking spray to prevent dough from drying out and cover with a towel to let it rise while you prepare everything else.

For the Apple Topping: Whisk the flour, sugar and cinnamon together in a medium saucepan.  Add the butter and apples.  Heat until it boils and then reduce to simmer until the apple mixture is tender.  Set aside to cool. 

For the Cream Cheese mixture: Combine cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and nutmeg in a bowl and beat until it's smooth. 

Combine the crumb topping ingredients until mixed and crumbly

Once the dough has fully risen it will be 2-3 times in size and look like this :).  Now punch it down and spread it onto a pizza pan!

Smooth it all out with a rolling pin and it'll look all pretty and round like this! 

Spread the cream cheese mixture over the dough 

Add the apple topping on top of that.

Sprinkle the crumbs on top of the apples.

Let it sit to rise more for about 15-20 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 and then bake for 25-30 minutes until done.


Here's the Recipe
(Serves 12-16)
Prep time - 60 minutes
Cooking time - 25-30 minutes
Total time - 90 minutes

Pizza Crust:

1 cup warm water (112-115 degrees F)
1 tablespoon dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons oil
3 cups flour

Apple topping:

3 tablespoons butter
3 large cooking apples, peeled and sliced thinly
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Cream cheese spread:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Crumb topping:
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup soft butter
1/3 cup quick oats

Step 1 - Making the Crust:
To make the dough, combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar in an electric mixer with the dough hook.  Then add in the oil, salt and half the flour.  Once the flour is completely incorporated, slowly add in the rest until it's completely mixed in, adding additional flour if necessary.  
Mix for 5 minutes until the dough does not stick to the bowl. Spray the bowl with cooking spray to prevent dough from drying out and cover with a towel to let it rise while you prepare everything else.

Step 2 - Making the Apple Topping:
Whisk the flour, sugar and cinnamon together in a medium saucepan.  Add the butter and apples.  Heat until it boils and then reduce to simmer until the apple mixture is tender.  Set aside to cool. 

Step 3 - Making the Cream Cheese Spread:
Combine cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and nutmeg in a bowl and beat until it's smooth. 

Step 4 - Making the Crumb Topping:
Combine the crumb topping ingredients until mixed and crumbly.

Step 5 - Assembly:
Punch down the dough from Step 1 and roll out onto a greased 16 inch pizza pan.  Spread the cream cheese mixture over the crust with a knife or spatula or spreader.  Pour the apple mixture evenly over the cream cheese.  Sprinkle crumbs over the apples.

Step 6 - Baking
Preheat the oven to 375 F.  Let the assembled pizza sit for 15-20 minutes to rise more.  Put the pizza in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until done.  

This is based on Cathy's recipe

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies

I've been told by a few people that these are the best chocolate chip cookies they've ever had!  So, hopefully you'll feel the same way because I certainly think they're delicious.  
It's a fairly standard recipe, based on the tollhouse chocolate chip recipe and slightly altered.  I'm not a big walnut-in-cookies fan so that step is totally optional (I usually opt out).

Here's the recipe:
(makes 4-6 dozen depending on size)

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons hot water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Step 1:
Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Step 2:
Cream together the butter and sugars until smooth.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.

Step 3:
Dissolve the baking soda in water.  Add to the batter along with the salt and flour.  Mix in the chocolate chips and walnuts.

Step 4: 
Drop by large spoonfuls onto baking sheets and bake for about 10 minutes. 

These cookies are nice and crispy on the edges and soft and chewy in the center.  
Seriously, some of the best cookies you'll ever have.  I highly recommend them to all! 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Butterbeer - Tastes Just Like the Park's Version!

This is for all you Harry Potter fans out there!
I've found a fantastic recipe for homemade butterbeer that tastes just like the butterbeer that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (or, as I call it, Harry Potter Land) sells!

This is also a non-alcoholic beverage (like served in the park).

Being a huge Harry Potter fan, I've tried probably six or seven different recipes to find the one that tastes not only like the park's version, but also how I imagine butterbeer would taste!  

Here's the recipe: 
(Serves 4)

1 cup brown sugar (light, golden or dark)
2 tablespoons water
6 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
3/4 cup heavy cream, divided
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
Four 12-ounce bottles cream soda

Step 1:
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar and water.  Bring it to a boil and, stirring often, cook until it reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer (about 3-4 minutes)

Step 2:
Remove from heat and stir in butter, salt, cider vinegar and 1/4 cup of heavy cream.
Let it cool completely before adding in the rum extract.

Step 3:
In a small/medium bowl take 2 Tbsp of the brown sugar mixture and combine with the remaining 1/2 cup heavy cream.  Blend with an electric mixture until it becomes thick, but not completely whipped, about 2-3 minutes.  

To Serve:
Split the brown sugar mixture into four glasses/mugs (about 1/4 cup for each) with about 1/4 cup of cream soda into each glass/mug.  Stir to mix the two together and then add in more cream soda until it reaches almost the top of the glass.  Top with a dollop of the whipped topping!  Enjoy!

The original recipe was featured on and can be found here.

I like to drink mine in the authentic butterbeer/hogshead mugs that my husband and I got on our honeymoon when we visited the park!

This drink is perfect for Halloween parties!  You can make it in bulk and serve it from a cauldron :)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Smothered Chicken Breasts

As a newly wed, my husband and I don't get a lot of opportunities to eat out luxuriously and spend lots of money on groceries.  Therefore we have a lot of chicken (and rice/ramen).  I'm always looking for new recipes to try to do to change up the chicken.

I made this recipe that my mom recommend one day and I'm not going to lie, it made all other chicken taste terrible in comparison.  This was the best chicken I've ever made/eaten. 

I'm not a huge onion person, but oh my goodness, do not attempt to make it without the onions or it will not be nearly as good.  Granted, anything tastes better with brown sugar.  And add bacon grease to it and you're looking at clogged artery heaven!  

Here's the recipe:
(Serves 4)
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 8 bacon strips
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 4 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese (or whatever kind of cheese you'd prefer, but I recommend this or Colby-Monterey Jack)

Optional Step 1:
Marinate the chicken with lemon juice, garlic and italian dressing.

Step 2:
On a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp.  Remove to paper towels.  DO NOT DISCARD THE DRIPPINGS.  
Place the onion and brown sugar in same skillet and saute until the onion is golden.  Remove onion slices and place in a bowl.

Step 3:
Sprinkle chicken with salt and lemon-pepper.
In the same skillet, cook the chicken in the remaining bacon drippings until juices run clear.  
When the chicken is completed, leave it on the skillet and place 2 pieces of bacon on each breast, then top with caramelized onions and cheese and let it cook for a minute or two, until the cheese starts to melt.

Original recipe is from and can be found here

Apple Pie Baked in an Apple

Apple Pie baked in an Apple!

This is a really simple and fun recipe that I made for a game night that I had a few weeks ago.  

It's essentially an apple pie baked inside another apple.  There are a couple options to choose from when making this and that's kind of why it's fun!  The part is how easy it is!  Any level of culinary knowledge is sufficient and you're guaranteed to impress people.  

Here's the recipe:
(Serves 4)

5-6 Granny Smith Apples (Make sure that 4 of them can stand on their own)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 Pie Crust (homemade or pre-made)

Step 1:
Preheat oven to 375 Degrees F
Cut off the top of 4 apples and discard the top.  Scoop out the interior with a spoon or melon baller very careful to avoid piercing the peel.  I left about a centimeter around the edges.
If you're able to, save the interior to use for the pie, but if not, no big deal, that's why you have an extra 1-2 apples!  Make sure to get rid of the seeds and the core.

Step 2:
Peel the remaining apples and cut them very thin.  I highly recommend an apple peeler/corer/slicer.  It'll save you a TON of work.  These apples will give you the rest of the filling for the pies.
Put the slices in a bowl and toss them with the cinnamon, sugar, and brown sugar.  If you want more of any of the ingredients, by all means, add to your heart's content! 
Scoop the apple slices into each of the hollowed apples.

Step 3:
Roll out pie crust and slice into 1/4 inch strips.  You can also add a strip of pastry inside the top of the apple almost like a liner to add a little more texture/sweetness to the pie.

Step 4: 
Place apples in an 8x8 pan and add just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan.  
Cover with foil and bake 20-25 minutes.
Remove the foil and bake an additional 20 minutes or so until the crust is golden brown and the sliced apples are soft.

And that's it!

I recommend serving it with ice cream, because let's be honest, everything, especially pie, is better with ice cream.  

You can find the original posting on Pinterest or the Paper Plates and China blogpost:

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Welcome everyone!  

My name is Sheley Arnold.  I'm a newly wed living in Southern California and I absolutely love to cook and bake.  I get people asking me for my recipes all the time, so I thought, hey, why not make a blog so everyone (or no one, don't really know if anyone's reading this....) can see what I'm making and how I make it! 

If you want to give me any suggestions about what to make or if you have a recipe that you want me to try, please let me know!  I'd love to hear your feedback! 
A few things that you should know about me: I'm a huge nerd.  I dabble in all things nerdy-ness and obsess in a few categories.  I've been in the kitchen since I was about 12, just making lunches and trying new things and helping my mom out.  I love movies.  I've got a collection of about 300 dvds/blu rays and about 100 seasons of tv shows - granted, I haven't seen everything I own.  I'm a huge theatre geek.  I listen to show tunes and perform in plays whenever I get the chance.  I love to spend time with my friends and play board games.  I have a large collection of board games that I got at ding and dent auctions and as wedding gifts and I play them every chance I get.  My favorite color is orange.  I am a business major at Azusa Pacific University and with my degree I would love to open up a coffee shop and one day a Bed and Breakfast. 
Well, I think that pretty much sums up my life.  I hope you enjoy my blog!