Author Archives: Anne

About Anne

Family: my wonderful husband, Adam, and our amazing little girl, Isla Dwelling: a small Cape Cod in the suburbs Real job: Human Resources Coordinator and Office Manager for DeskArmor, LLC. Homemaker tip: Even the simplest food can look elegant if you serve it properly. Presenting food on adorable platters is an easy way to impress guests. I am ashamed to admit that: I have never used a lawn mower. (I am blessed with a husband who takes pride in his yard) Three foods I can’t live without: cheese, olive oil, and chicken fingers Most important lesson learned: being a mom is the hardest job you’ll ever love One thing I am afraid of running out of: Clorox anywhere spray…and diapers

Meet Baby Elin!

I apologize if I have been a little absent from the blog for the past few weeks, we have been quite busy around our house with our new little addition!  Meet baby Elin, the newest addition to the HAP family.

Elin Kathleen

8lbs 7oz and 22 inches long



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Cranberry Pecan Chicken

I love meals that can be assembled quickly and then slowly cook away in the oven. This Cranberry Pecan Chicken recipe is one of those easy dishes. A good friend of mine made it for a dinner party and I was so impressed with the combination of the sweet and savory flavor of the dish. Turns out it can be assembled in about 5 minutes, but still looks quite impressive when complete.

Cranberry Pecan Chicken

3-4 chicken breasts
1 can whole cranberry sauce
1 packet onion soup mix
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup french or Catalina dressing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place your chicken breasts in a large baking dish and spoon whole cranberry sauce over the chicken. Next, sprinkle the onion soup and pecans over the chicken and finish by drizzling the dressing over the whole dish.

Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until chicken breasts are cooked through.

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Beef Taquitos

My family loves to have a hearty meal on Sunday and we often find ourselves craving Pot Roast, especially in the winter months.  We always seem to have lots of leftover roast and I wanted to create a recipe to use up the meat.  I made these one day and my husband was in love with them.  They are a quick and easy way to use up left over beef and also freeze very well.

Beef Taquitos

3 cups cooked and shredded Pot Roast, chopped into small pieces
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp coriander
1 tsp chili powder
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella or pepper jack cheese
6 inch flour tortillas, about 15 or 20

Combine with left over beef roast with the seasonings and lime juice.  Mix in cheese until evenly distributed.

Place about ¼ to 1/3 cup of the mixture down the center of your tortilla.  Roll up and place seam side down on a baking sheet.  Mist with cooking spray or brush with olive oil and then sprinkle with kosher salt.

Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown the filling is hot.

These also freeze very well.  Simply place taquitos in a freezer bag before misting with spray and baking.  When you would like to make them, just pull them out of the freezer mist with spray or brush with olive oil, salt and bake.   You might need to add a few extra minutes to the baking time, but the will come out of the oven incredibly delicious.


Filed under Cook, Kid Friendly, Main Dish, Make Ahead Meal, Quick & Easy

Apple Dumplings

If you have ever visited The Pioneer Woman’s webiste, then you know she whips up some pretty amazing and decadent dishes.  Her Apple Dumplings are one of my favorite recipes to make.  Then are so sweet, easy to make and use some surprising ingredients.  I like serving them for dessert with vanilla ice cream, but have been know to eat them for breakfast as well.

Apple Dumplings

2 sticks butter
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 tubes crescent rolls
2 granny smith apples
12 ounces of Mountain Dew
Dash of Cinnamon

Grease a 9×13 pan and set aside. Peel, core and slice the apples into 8 slices each. Unroll the crescent rolls and wrap each apple lice slice in a crescent dough triangle and place in the prepared pan.

In a bowl, melt your butter and stir in sugar and vanilla. Mixture will remain grainy. Pour over top of the crescent wrapped apples. Pour the can of Mountain Dew all around and sprinkle with cinnamon. Place in 350 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes.

I dare you to eat just one!


Filed under Breakfast, Cook, Treats

{Freezer Friendly Meals} Muffins and Treats

I have continued to make and freeze meals and treats in preparation for our little bundle of joy!  I know that Muffins aren’t necessarily the healthiest option for breakfast, but I wanted to have something prepared for those busy mornings or just for a quick treat.  I made 2 batches of my favorite muffins and froze them in storage bags for a breakfast on the go.  Almost any muffin recipe will work, but below are 2 of my favorite.

I first made and froze batch of Blueberry Muffins. I found the recipe off The Brown Eyed Baker’s blog and it has become a staple recipe in our family. They are truly one of the most amazing muffins you will ever make. You can find the recipe here.

Next, I whipped up a batch of my favorite basic banana muffins.  They are quick and easy to make and are moist and delicious.

Basic Banana Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 c. butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe banana
1/3 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 and prepare a muffin tin with liners–you will make about 16 muffins.

Mix together the first 3 ingredients in a medium sized bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and the butter until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, mixing after each addition until just combined. Finally, add the mashed bananas, yogurt and vanilla. Slowly add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.

Divide the batter evenly among 16 muffin tins (about 2/3 full). Bake for 23-28 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then remove onto a cooling rack.

Let them cool completely then package in freezer bags.

I also like to make a batch of my favorite cookie dough and scoop it into a heavy duty freezer bag (I have found this recipe to be the best).  That way I can have homemade cookies in about 15 minutes without any of the mess.

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Freezer Friendly Meals

I have always been a fan of freezer friendly meals.  On busy nights, there is nothing better than being able to pull a homemade meal out of the freezer and simply heat it up.  With a new baby on the way, I have started spending my weekends cooking and freezing meals and treats for those busy days and long nights ahead.

I prefer to freeze meals that are precooked and simply need to be reheated before serving.  One meal that I have found freezes and reheats very well is Slow Cooker Apricot Chicken.  It is a recipe that is easy to double and is also something that my whole family enjoys.  I also like to make a large batch of rice and freeze in individual bags to serve alongside the chicken.  That way, all I need to do is take about 10 minutes to reheat and make a vegetable or whip up a quick salad.

Another meal that I have found freezes well is meatloaf. I prefer to make smaller meatloaves that are just the right size for dinner for my family. You can really use any meatloaf recipe that you like, but my favorite is a very basic meatloaf with a hint of a surprising ingredient – brown sugar! This recipe can also easily be doubled.

Basic Meatloaf

1/2 cup milk
¾ cup cracker crumbs (I use saltine crackers)
½ cup ketchup
½ cup finely chopped onion
½ tsp black pepper
1 egg beaten
1-2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 lb lean ground beef

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl, leaving out the ground beef. Add the meat and mix with your hands until just combined. On a foil lined cookie sheet, shape the meat into 2 medium size loaves. Bake at 350 or for about 45-55 minutes until fully cooked. Top with ketchup for the last 10 minutes of cooking if desired.

Let the meatloaves cool and then wrap them in surran wrap, place them in a freezer safe bag and stick them in the freezer. When I am ready to use, I just thaw them overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat in the microwave or oven. I like to freeze mashed potatoes in separate bags for a quick and easy side. Again, just thaw overnight or pull right out of the freezer and reheat!

With a little planning, I was able to prepare 6 full meals for busy days ahead.  Next time you are taking time to cook a meal, considering doubling the recipe and freezing the leftovers for another day.  It is a small step that can save you a lot of time.

Stay tuned for other freezer friendly recipes!

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Filed under Cook, Main Dish, Quick & Easy

Lemon and Vanilla Bunt Cake

I came across this recipe for Magnolia Bakery’s Lemon and Vanilla Bunt Cake and was instantly intrigued because of the unusual ingredient list. The list was short and simple and didn’t use any form of baking powder or baking soda.  Instead, it used club soda.  The cake turned out to be incredibly delicious with a dense but moist texture.

Lemon and Vanilla Bunt Cake

1 ½ cups butter, softened
3 cups sugar
5 large eggs, at room temperature
3 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup club soda
2 tablespoons Vanilla Extract
1 ½ tablespoons grated lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a bunt pan.  In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar for about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy.  Add in eggs, one at a time and beating after each addition.  Finally add the flour in three parts, alternating with the club soda. Lastly, add the vanilla and lemon zest, stirring just to combine.

Pour the batter into the prepared bunt pan and bake for 70 to 80 minutes.  Remove when a cake tester comes out clean.  Let cool for 20 minutes then invert onto plate.

Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh fruit.


Filed under Cook, Treats

Sticky Buns

It is no secret that the ladies of HAP love pinterest.  It is such an amazing place to find inspiration, recipes and fashion.  The moment I saw these sticky buns posted on the site, I knew I had to make them.  I am not 100% sure where this recipe origniated, however it appears to be from the blog All Things Delicious.  And let me tell you, these truly are delicious.

Sticky Buns

1 tube Pillsbury Grands buttermilk biscuits
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 cup syrup, any brand is fine
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped pecans, optional
1/4 cup chopped almonds, optional

Start by greasing a fluted pan.  In a bowl, combine the melted butter and syrup and set aside.  In another bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts if you plan on using them.  (I didn’t use the nuts because my husband and daughter usually pick them out, but I do think they would make this recipe even more amazing.)  Pour about 1/2 the syrup mixture in the bottom of the pan followed by a sprinkle of about 1/2 the brown sugar mixture.

Dip each biscuit in the remaining syrup mixture and place in the bottom of the pan, slightly overlapping to form a ring.

Top with the remaining syrup and sugar mixtures.  Bake at 375 for about 20-25 minutes.  Let cool for a minute or so and then invert onto a plate.  Serve warm.


Filed under Breakfast, Cook, Treats

Peaches and Cream French Toast

My family loves sitting down to a hot breakfast on Sunday mornings. Because of this, I have come to love dishes like Egg Casseroles and French Toast Bakes that I can prepare the night before and keep in the fridge until the morning when I am ready to throw it in the oven. That gives me lots of time to stay in my PJ’s with my family, pile into the “big bed” and watch Sunday morning cartoons while a delicious breakfast slowly cooks in the oven.

When I came across this Peaches and Cream French Toast recipe from All You, I knew it would be a hit with my family.  The dish is delicious without being overly sweet and the peaches added an unexpected flavor.

Peaches and Cream French Toast

1 8-oz loaf of French bread, sliced into pieces about 1 inch thick
8 eggs
2 cups whole milk
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 15-oz cans sliced peaches, drained
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
½ cup heavy cream

Start by buttering a 9 x 13 baking dish. Lay the bread slices into a flat layer in the dish, trying not to leave too may holes.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, whole milk, sugar and vanilla. Pour egg mixture over the bread in the pan. Arrange the peaches over the bread and sprinkle with the brown sugar and cinnamon. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight or for at least 8 hours.

When you are ready to bake, remove the pan from the refrigerator and allow it to sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Bring the heavy cream to a boil in a small pan and cook, stirring constantly, for about 5-10 minutes or until the mixture is slightly thickened. Drizzle over the peaches.

Bake the casserole, uncovered for about 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.


Filed under Breakfast, Cook

No-Bake Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

Over the winter months I desperately miss all of the fresh produce that comes in the summer, especially berries.  Last week I splurged on a pint of raspberries that looked to good to pass up.  Because I am a huge lover of anything with chocolate raspberry, I decided to dress these berries up and make a  no bake cheesecake covered with raspberries and chocolate.  The combination was amazing and also gave me my fresh berry fix.

Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

1 premade graham cracker crust
2  8oz packages of cream cheese, room temperature
1  14oz can of sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 pint raspberries, washed and dried
1 cup chocolate chips
1 Tbsp butter

In a large bowl, beat 2 packages of room temperature cream cheese until smooth.  Add the can of sweetened condensed milk and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes or until the mixture is smooth with no lumps.  Add the lemon juice and mix to combine.

Pour mixture into your premade graham cracker crust and top with raspberries.

In a microwave safe bowl, place 1 cup of chocolate chips and 1 Tbsp of butter.  Microwave for 30 seconds and stir.  Continue to microwave and stir for 15 seconds at a time until the mixture melts completely and has no lumps.

Let cool slightly and then pour into a small ziplock bag.  With a scissors, cut a small hole in the corner of the bag.  Drizzle the melted chocolate over the raspberries.  Refrigerate for about 2 hours or until set.

This cheesecake is a little stickier than a traditional, baked cheesecake but the taste and texture is divine.

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Filed under Cook, Treats