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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Jayna's Chocolate Chip Cookies AND A SWEET DEAL on a Di Oro Baking Mat

Recently I emailed family to ask for their favorite recipes to compile in our own food family history book.  I love food and how it brings our family together. I mean every time we get together we eat - so we know it brings us together. But really, I love the memories that come with food and the times of  year we eat it, etc.  

And since we love food and family and friends!  We've teamed up with DiOro Living for another deal! They are just amazing to reach out to us with these great deals! We aren't getting paid to share this, we actually reached out to them for the spatula giveaway from a few years back, when they offered Leesh & Lu's Recipe box readers, followers and friends, their amazing seamless silicone spatulas for $1. And you guys loved that!  So they are back with the launch of a new product, and love our readers. We're so excited!  These silicone baking mats!  They'll be only $3.75 - with free shipping * and ship through amazon. So free shipping for you * amazon prime members*.  What a steal!  

Here is the PAGE TO GO TO FOR THE PRODUCT AND COUPON CODE. It'll direct you to Shop Otter Deals, which is Di Oro's Facebook Fan Page where they do promotions for their products - and that will lead you to - then you'll just use the coupon code they provide to purchase it for $3.75.

I love how the mat has the cut corners so it will fit completely flat on an 11x17 baking sheet. And I think the color and "BAKE IT" is so good looking!  It also helps get an even bake and no sticking to the pan. Which I love.  And bonus - you don't have to wash the cookie sheet!  It keeps the sheet clean underneath.  

It also comes with a free storage snap-wrap. I thought it was a slap braclet at first - haha! But I love that it keeps the mat rolled up for storage! How convienent!  So no need to save the box for storing it! And it also has a lifetime warranty. They make great products and stand by them. 

Back to the recipe: 

So my family is sending me lots of recipes to try and photograph (which is something I love to do) and then create a book and also post the recipes so we have them digitally.  So I think it's going to be a fun project.  This is my first official family history recipe for my husband's side of the family. 

My sister-in-law, Jayna, send me this cookie recipe this week and I just had to make them.  They are seriously good! I don't usually cook with crisco--I'm a butter girl! But I know some people just rave about it in cookies. And I was seriously happy with the results. It's still got butter - and more butter than crisco. But crisco gives it this slight crisp that butter can't.  So I think these are the best of both worlds.  

Jayna said this recipe comes from Preston City's Centennial Cookbook.  That's where her husband's family lives.  So I think this is a great first recipe of my family food history series. Because chocolate chip cookies are a big thing in our family and they are acceptable anytime of the year (everyday????).  

Anyhow I hope you love these are much as we do!
PS. there is a secret ingredient.  My husband didn't detect it - but my 4 year old could taste it in the dough.  Cinnamon!  And of course you can leave it out if you want.

Jayna’s Chocolate Chip Cookies


3 cups flour (*see note)
1 ¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
¾ cup butter
½ cup crisco
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
¾ teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ cups chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350.

Cream butter, sugars, cream cheese, and crisco until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix to combine. Add dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon) and mix until uniform.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Scoop heaping tablespoonfuls onto a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 15 minutes.  


*Depending on your altitude you may need more or less flour.  At high altitude you may need 3 ¼ cups of flour, and closer to sea level 2 ¾ should be plenty.  After the flour is incorporated, the dough should be soft, slightly tacky, but easy to roll into balls.

Recipe Source:

Jayna Moser, originally from Preston City’s Centennial Cookbook

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Strawberry Lime Slushie

Today we are sharing a warm-weather favorite with you! This strawberry lime slushie is sure to cool you off and please your family--and it takes 5 minutes and only 5 simple ingredients to throw together!

Head to OSSS to get the recipe.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Instant Pot BBQ Pork

Have you jumped on the pressure cooker bandwagon yet?  We have really loved using ours and saving time in the kitchen.  This bbq pulled pork was some of the best meat we have made in our pressure cooker!  If you are still on team slow cooker, don't fear, we have adaptations for you too!

We've cooked several different cuts of pork and found that pork shoulder works best here because it shreds so easily.  Start this recipe by searing your roast on all sides and seasoning it with salt and pepper.  Place your meat, along with some bbq sauce and a little cooking liquid into either a pressure cooker or slow cooker and follow the instructions for cooking time. Prepare your favorite Rhodes rolls for serving by baking or warming and slicing them open.  We also sometimes like to split and butter them and toast them under the broiler for a few minutes before piling the pork on.    

This recipe is a simple one with just a few ingredients.  It takes just a few minutes of hands-on work to prepare, but it tastes like you slaved all day making it!  Give it a try and let us know what you think! 

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches - Pressure or Slow Cooker


1 – 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 lbs. boneless pork shoulder, cut in two pieces - this particular cut works best here!
2 cups barbecue sauce, divided
1/2 cup water
Salt and pepper, to taste
12 Rhodes Warm-N-Serve Wheat Rolls


Start by searing your pork. In pressure cooker, or skillet on stovetop, heat vegetable oil.  Season meat on all sides with salt and pepper. When oil is hot, brown pork on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Brown each half of the roast separately. Remove to a platter when browned.
Add 1 cup barbecue sauce and 1/2 cup water to the cooking pot (pressure cooker or slow cooker). Stir to combine. Add browned pork and any accumulated juices to the pot also.
For slow cooker, cook on low for 6-8 hours.  

For pressure cooker, cook on high pressure for 75 minutes, and allow pressure to release naturally (about 20 minutes).  When valve drops carefully remove lid. Carefully remove the meat from the pressure cooker and shred with two forks, discard excess fat as you shred.

Strain cooking liquid, reserving 1/2 cup.

Place shredded pork in the cooking pot with remaining 1 cup barbecue sauce and reserved 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Stir to combine.  If using pressure cooker, bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. If using slow cooker, add reserved cooking liquid only if needed.  Turn slow cooker to high and heat for 20-30 minutes.

Serve on toasted Rhodes Wheat Warm N Serve rolls with additional barbecue sauce if desired.  

Recipe Source:

Monday, March 5, 2018

Lemon Blueberry No-Bake Mini Cheesecakes

It’s no secret that we love cheesecake!  And we think this frozen, mini, no-bake version is just lovely for spring and summer! How about for Easter dessert?  This blueberry lemon version is cool, light, refreshing, and pretty much everything you could ask for in a dessert. Plus is't a cinch to throw together and can be made several days ahead! We love these kind of recipes!

We are sharing the RECIPE HERE

Thursday, March 1, 2018


Are you a fan or Panini's? We are! If you 'aren't familiar with what a panini is - I'll shed some light.  It's basically a loaded sandwich (on of my favorite kinds is: arisan bread, turkey, thin sliced parmesan or asiago cheese, bacon, thin slices of apple, and spinach.) The outsides of the bread are buttered and then pressed in a panini press (or george forman type electric grill). It's all melty and hot on the inside and nice and buttery and crispy on the outside! 

Anyhow, we love to make pizza. We usually do once a week or so. And we like to find ways to mix it up.  

Our families enjoy: 
Our Favorite Pizza
Pizza Bites
Pizza Monkey Bread
and more

And this was another fun one. We used Rhodes ready to go dough, to save a little time. And the results were delicious! Hope you'll try! And be sure to come back and let us know what you think!

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Chicken & Cottage Cheese Enchiladas

Have you ever heard of cottage cheese enchiladas?  We certaniliy hadn't. But the rave reviews were convincing enough to give it a shot! And boy were they delicioius.  We made a few adaptations to the original recipe - to meet our tastes. Like less cheese, etc....since there is plenty of cottage cheese.  We made a double batch and froze one.  And frozen enchiladas are always great to have on hand when dinner is seemingly impossible. Please tell me I'm not the only one that happens to! 


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Focaccia Bread

This cheesy, crusty focaccia bread is so simple and so delicious!  It can be on your table with almost no effort thanks to the help of frozen Rhodes dough.  Besides planning ahead enough time to thaw the dough, this recipe is quick, tasty and the perfect side to a hearty pasta dish or a simple soup.  
Start by thawing 2 loaves of Rhodes White Bread.  You can do this overnight (8-12 hours in the fridge) or 5-7 hours at room temperature.  You can also follow the directions on the bag for the speed thaw method (2-4 hours) with the help of the oven.  

Once your loaves are thawed, line a baking sheet or pizza pan with parchment paper.  Press the 2 loaves of bread together and press the dough to a thickness of about 1/2 inch.

While pressing the dough out, use your fingers to create "dimples" in the bread.  This will give the focaccia it's signature look and allow it to hold on to a little bit more olive oil as it rises and bakes make the crust extra crispy and delicious.  

Once your bread is pressed, top it generously with olive oil, herbs (dried or fresh), parmesan or asiago cheese, and garlic salt.  Let rest for 10 minutes before baking.  

Bake in a 425 degree oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.  

Remove from oven and allow to cool before slicing into sticks, wedges, or tearing off a piece for serving.  Enjoy!
Focaccia Bread

2 loaves Rhodes White Bread, thawed according to directions on bag
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil (or use 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning)
½ -1 cup grated parmesan or asiago cheese (don’t skimp here!)
½ - 1 teaspoon garlic salt


Preheat oven to 425.  When Rhodes loaves are thawed but still cold, press the 2 loaves together and set on a parchment lined baking sheet or pizza pan.  Using your hands, press it out into a thickness of about ½ inch.  

Use your fingers to make indentations in the bread as you press it out to help hold onto some of the olive oil and give the characteristic craggy look of focaccia bread.  Drizzle the bread with olive oil and use your hands or a pastry brush to spread it around and make sure the bread is all coated (use more olive oil if necessary).  Sprinkle with herbs (fresh or dried), cheese, and garlic salt.  Let rest for 10 minutes.

Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Slice into sticks or wedges or tear off pieces for serving.  Enjoy!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Loaded Breakfast Skillet

This breakfast skillet has become a fast favorite for breakfast, lunch, or dinner at our houses.  We love it's versatility and the fact that it comes together so quickly! It's hearty, healthy, and delicious!

The recipe is live at OSSS today. 

A few other breakfast favorites:

Monday, January 22, 2018

Shortcut Cheesesteak Subs

If you've been around here very long, it's no secret that we love Rhodes Artisan French Rolls.  They just step-up our dinner game that much.  Last week, we took our favorite cheese-steak filling and served it on these rolls instead of the standard hoagies we usually use.  They were SO good.  

We started by letting the rolls thaw (either at room temperature if you plan ahead, or by following the microwave directions on the bag).  Then we split them open and toasted them under the broiler.  Take them out, add the meat mixture and cheese and return to the broiler until the cheese has reached melty perfection.  Divine! And on the table in under 20 minutes--we call that a dinner win!

We like to serve these with a salad, fruits and veggies, or some roasted potatoes for a fast and filling dinner!

Shortcut Cheesesteak Subs

2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, halved and sliced into thin half moons
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
½-¾  teaspoon dried oregano
3-4 tablespoons A-1 steak sauce
1.5 pounds deli roast beef, cut into 2-inch strips
Salt and pepper
1 bag Rhodes Artisan French Rolls (12 count)
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 slices provolone, swiss, or havarti cheese


Preheat the broiler to low.  Allow rolls to sit at room temperature to defrost while you prepare the filling.  In a 12-inch skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and add sliced onion.  Saute, stirring occasionally until onions begin to caramelize.  Add garlic and oregano and continue to cook for 1 minute.  Add in sliced roast beef strips, A-1 sauce, and salt and pepper.  Use tongs to stir together until mixture is heated through and well combined.  Remove from heat.  

Prepare the rolls for toasting by splitting them open.  (If they are still too frozen, follow the microwave directions on the bag to defrost them).  Lay the split rolls cut side up on a baking sheet and brush lightly with olive oil.  Place under broiler for 3-5 minutes or until they are as toasty as you like.  Remove pan from oven.  Place ½ slice of cheese on top of each roll half.  And spread the meat mixture evenly among the 12 sandwiches.  Return to broiler and broil for 2-4 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Serve Immediately.  


Any leftover sandwiches can be wrapped in foil and reheated in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes before serving.

Recipe Source:

Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Instant Pot Creamy Butternut & Tomato Bisque

Like many people, we are loving our Instant Pots.  This recipe is an example of one that the cook time is cut WAY down by using a pressure cooker.  Our kids eat this "tomato soup" and have no idea they are eating some nutrient-packed butternut squash.  It's a favorite of ours for a quick dinner on a cold day!

Head to OSSS for the full recipe and printable!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Pork & Sweet Potato Meal Prep Bowls

Looking for something fresh, filling, and good-for-you?  These pork and sweet potato meal prep bowls are it!  They are super versatile so you can make any swaps you want.  I made several of them for the fridge and changed up the sauces each day for lunch last week so I didn't get tired of them.  They were so good and way better than finishing my kids' grilled cheese sandwiches or quesadillas.  

Head to OSSS to get the recipe!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Instant Pot General Tsao's Chicken

Have you jumped on the instant pot bandwagon yet?  We aren't usually ones to want every little kitchen appliance.....but the instant pot we LOVE. We were both gifted instant pot's in the last year - and we love the fact that we can cook quicker - and get tender fall apart meat almost effortlessly!  

This General Tso’s Chicken has become a fast new favorite.  And you can probably throw it together in an Instant Pot faster than you can pick up take-out.  It’s tender, moist, flavorful, and has just a handful of ingredients–most of which are pantry staples.  You can use thawed or frozen chicken thighs here and serve it over rice or in lettuce.  Our kids loved it, too! Give it a try and let us know what you think!

We're sharing the RECIPE HERE