Cheesy Sausage Pasta Skillet

First off, I want to share how happy I am to be back with the Mormon Mavens. I took a year hiatus… and missed it! I love trying new recipes and sharing the good ones I find as well as those tried and true recipes that you can never go wrong with. Thanks for having me back, friends!

Now… onto the yummy food….
This recipe is a true one pot meal and comes together quickly. 
Cheesy Sausage Pasta Skillet


1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. Smoked Turkey Sausage, sliced
1 C. diced onions
1 Tbsp. minced garlic (about two fresh cloves)
2 cups Chicken Broth
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup heavy cream (if you don’t have this on hand – milk would work too)
8 oz dry pasta (any small pasta will do)
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, each
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/3 cup chopped scallions, for garnish

1.  Add olive oil to a 4-5 quart saute pan over medium high heat. Add onions and sausage and cook until lightly browned. Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
2.  Add chicken broth, tomatoes, milk, pasta, and seasonings. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until pasta is tender.
3.  Turn off the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of cheese. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and cover for about five minutes to allow cheese to melt. Top with sliced scallions and serve.
Makes about 4 servings.

Many thanks to Yellow Bliss Road for sharing this recipe!

Pine Cone Cheese Ball

One thing I love about the holiday season is the yummy food that accompanies it. One appetizer that I love during this season are cheese balls! I saw this idea to make your cheese balls look like pinecones and put my little spin on it. It’s so pretty, festive, and yummy!



-2 pkg. cream cheese (I use one full fat and one light, you’ll need some fat to it so it’ll hold its shape)
– 2 1/2 C. freshly shredded cheddar cheese
– 1 pkg. ranch dressing mix
– About 2 cups sliced almonds
– Rosemary springs (or you could use evergreen needles) for garnish


1. Start off by toasting your almonds on the stove with a little bit of butter. When fully toasted, spread on a paper towel and allow to cool.
2. Mix together cream cheese until nice and smooth. Add Cheddar cheese and the ranch dressing mix. Mix until well blended.
3. On wax paper shape your two pine cones. Transfer them to your serving dish.
4. Take your almonds and stick them into the cheese ball giving the effect of a pine cone.
5. Cool in your refrigerator for at least two hours before serving.

Hope y’all enjoy it as much as we did!

Lemon Bundt Cake

This lemon bundt cake is by far one of the favorites in my family. For sure we have it atleast three or four times a year. (This is THE birthday cake for my grandma, husband, brother, and often times my mom) It is so easy, but tastes super impressive. Your guests will never know that it’s a jazzed up cake mix!

Lemon Bundt Cake 


Duncan Hines Lemon Supreme Cake Mix
¾ cup oil
4 eggs
1 large or 2 small boxes lemon jello
1 cup cold water
1 grated lemon rind (finely grated) (at least 1 tsp)

1 cup powdered sugar (sift so there are no lumps) ¼ cup lemon juice stir until smooth

1. Mix according to cake mix directions.
2. Pour into well greased and floured Bundt Pan.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
4. Turn out unto serving plate.
5. Poke holes in cake with skewer and pour glaze slowly over cake while cake is still warm. I actually cover the entire cake surface using icing on the back of a spoon or after all these years use a pastry brush and brush it on!!

 *** MUST spray bundt pan with Baker’s Joy or grease and flour! *** It will stick in the pan if you just use Pam!

Source: My momma!

Honey Sweet Cornbread

My sister Laura loves honey. I mean, really loves honey. She’s known to make little caves in all of her rolls, muffins, what have you and then proceeds to fill it to the brim with honey. I was making these corn muffins while she was over. She grabbed a few on her way out. She proceeded to call me from the car telling me how amazing these muffins are…. no honey needed. (say what?!) I’m not totally sure if the remaining muffin she had actually made it home to her husband.

Really, these corn muffins are pretty great. They are super easy too. I’m positive that they’ll become a family favorite in your home!

1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease or line 12 muffin cups. (My muffin pans have shallower muffin cups, I was able to make 18 from this recipe)
2. In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, honey, eggs and salt. Mix in flour, cornmeal and baking powder; blend thoroughly. Stir in milk and corn. Pour or spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

Skinny Pumpkin Butter

Welcome Fall! Time to have your soaps, candles, and breakfast smell of pumpkin. This pumpkin butter is SO yummy on toast or mixed into a bowl of oatmeal. What’s super nice about this is if you are counting points for Weight Watchers, 2 tablespoons of this yummy pumpkin butter is only 1 point. Yeah!

Skinny Pumpkin Butter
1 (29 oz.) can pumpkin puree
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 C. apple cider (or juice)
1 C. packed brown sugar
2-3 cinnamon STICKS (trust me, must be sticks)
1-2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (to taste)

– Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.
– Bring mixture to a boil.
– Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 – 40 minutes or until thickened. Stir frequently.
– Adjust spices to your taste.
– Makes 3 3/4 cups.

Storage Options:
– Freeze for a few months
– Refrigerate for a few weeks

**DO NOT CAN THIS! It is not safe to can pumpkin, due to its low acidity and variable water content there is a high risk of harboring botulism causing bacteria. (According to University of Georgia Agriculture Extension)

From Skinnytaste

Slow Cooker Mac n’ Cheese

I first had this recipe at a baby shower a friend was having. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it! I am from the “boxed macaroni” generation, but this homemade recipe changed my ways! It is so simple and so tasty. Try it, you won’t forget it!

Slow Cooker Mac n’ Cheese

2 cups evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons butter
16 oz. Velveeta Cheese, cubed
10 oz. Cheddar cheese, cubed
1 (8 ounce) package macaroni

– Combine evaporated milk, paprika, salt, egg, butter and cheeses in a slow cooker; stir. Cook on high for 1 hour.
– Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook for 5 to 8 minutes or until al dente; drain.
= Stir cooked macaroni into cheese sauce, reduce temperature to low and cook for 3 to 5 hours. Stir frequently to avoid burning on the bottom.

Adapted slightly from

S’mores Cracker Candy

Did you know that tomorrow is National S’mores Day? What a lovely holiday. I thought in honor of the dear and favored S’mores I’d share a fun new take on them. I originally saw this on Pinterest and pinned it, then my sweet cousin commented that these were so good, but to make sure to have friends over to help eat them… or you’d be tempted to all yourself! I agree, these are very very tasty. A combination of caramel and s’mores? Yes, please. 

S’mores Cracker Candy
adapted slightly from Baked Perfection

12 sheets of graham crackers
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
5 cups mini marshmallows
4 Hershey bars, broken into pieces
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 15x10x1-inch jelly roll pan with aluminum foil, leaving a 1-inch overhang over the ends; spray foil with cooking spray.
2. Line graham crackers on the foil, breaking any in half to cover the pan completely In a medium saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and mixture comes just to a boil (about 4-6 minutes).
3. Remove from heat and pour evenly over crackers. Bake 5 to 6 minutes, or until bubbly.
4. Remove pan from oven and immediately sprinkle mini marshmallows, chocolate bar pieces, and chocolate chips over the crackers.
5. Return pan to oven for another 2-3 minutes, or until marshmallows begin to soften and puff up. Cool completely before serving

Marshmallow Buttercream Icing

I recently had a birthday and my sweet mom made me an out-of-this-world cake. (Thanks, Mom!)

Looks pretty tasty, right? Thank goodness I married a New Englander who introduced me to the lovely Whoopie Pie years ago (which did you know were originally called hucklebucks?!). This icing when paired with a dark chocolate cake is pretty much an inverted whoopie pie. Whoopie!

Marshmallow Buttercream Icing
1 C. Butter, at room temperature
7 oz. Marshmallow fluff (my preferred brand… Fluff)
2 C. Powdered Sugar
1-2 tsp. Vanilla, according to taste

1. In a mixer (or using a hand mixer), cream the butter until fluffy.
2. Add the marshmallow fluff and beat until fluffy, aprox. 2 minutes.
3. Add powdered sugar, beat for 2 minutes then add vanilla, beat for 1 minute.

This should make enough to frost a two layer 9-inch circle cake.

Southern Banana Pudding

I’m a southern girl through and through. I think when one becomes “Southern” they acquire southern taste buds. Biscuits, Fried Okra, Green Beans (cooked with an awful lot of salt and bacon), Barbecue… you get the picture. One dessert that is loved by many of “us Southerners” is Banana Pudding. YUM-MY.

This recipe is a light and easy take on the sometimes way-too-sweet dessert that all southern cooks should know to make. So, next time you find your self fixin’ to go to the grocery store, grab your buggy and get all these ingredients so you too enjoy the flavors of the South. (yes, I really do use “fixin” and “buggy” in my everyday language!)
Southern Banana Pudding
3 bananas
2 small boxes instant vanilla pudding (I used Sugar Free)
3 cups cold milk
30 Nilla Wafers (I used Reduced Fat Nilla Wafers)
1 tub Cool Whip (I used Lite Cool Whip)
1. In a bowl combine pudding mix and milk. Whisk for 2 minutes, allow to set for 5 minutes. 
2. While pudding is setting slice bananas. 
3. Arrange about half the nilla wafers on the bottom of your dish (and if it’s glass go up the side for presentation purposes). Follow with half the bananas and half the pudding. Repeat. On top of the last layer, top with Cool Whip.
4. Chill in the fridge for 3 hours before serving. 
Now go, be southern!

Longhorn’s Strawberry Salad [Knock-Off]

Let me tell you how tasty this salad is. It is SO GOOD. My mom and I love to get ideas for salads from restaurants we enjoy. A while ago we were at Longhorns – and we both had this salad. Ever since then – it has been a regular in my (and her) home. It’s so easy to make too!

Lonhorn’s Strawberry Salad [Knock-Off]

Mixed field greens
Blueberries (the original has grapes, I use grapes in the winter)
Mandarin Oranges (canned)
Candied Pecans… look at your grocery store, they sell them!
Feta Cheese
Marie’s Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing

I usually make this by individual bowls to insure everyone gets all the goods.
– Start at the top of the ingredient list and toss ingredients in. Let the amount lessen as you go along the list.
– Enjoy!