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Chicken parmesan

We have a super fun weekend ahead of us involving circus animals, family and friends. Not all at the same time. I also caught a quick glimpse of the weekend weather forecast and I think it'll make a lot of Minnesotans happy. My stepmom will be spending tonight with us, which we are all excited about. One of my favorite meals ever is on the menu, along with a brand new potato recipe that I'm looking forward to sinking my teeth into. What are you up to this weekend? I hope you have something fun planned!

I made this chicken parmesan for my family last week and the only thing wrong with it was that I had never made it before! What a crying shame!

Pound a few chicken breasts with a meat mallet or rolling pin (or whatever you have in your kitchen that might get the job done) so that they are 1/2 inch thick. 

I found that placing them between two sheets of wax paper was helpful and kept chicken bits from flying around my kitchen. 

Throw the following ingredients into a giant skillet and let your home begin to smell like heaven.

Add some crushed tomatoes.

While that is simmering, you can tend to your chicken. Set up a little assembly line of shallow dishes. Fill one with flour.

One with breadcrumbs and Parm.

And one with eggs.

Coat each breast with flour.

Soak it in the eggs.

And finish with the breadcrumb mixture.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Turn the heat down slightly and cook the breasts for about 3 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.

Pour half of the sauce into a baking dish and top with the cooked breasts. I had a few crispy ones that I tried to crop out of the photo. Oopsies.

Top with remaining sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil!

Bake and serve over spaghetti noodles. Can you say YUM?!

Chicken Parmesan

Add this recipe to your rotation. It's a family pleaser!

Serves: 4

Total time: 1 hr, 10 min

Chicken Parmesan


  • 4 chicken breast halves
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup flour
  • Sprinkling of salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Splash of water
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 4 oz. spaghetti noodles, cooked to al dente
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Using a meat mallet, pound chicken breasts to 1/2-inch thickness. Set aside. Heat 3 Tbsp. olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, oregano, basil, sugar, salt and pepper. Cook until onion is soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and reduce heat to Low. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Line up an assembly line of three shallow dishes. In the first, combine the flour, salt and pepper. In the second, combine the eggs and water. In the third, combine the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Thoroughly coat each breast with flour mixutre, followed by egg mixture, followed by breadcrumb mixture.
  4. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a skillet over medium-heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook the coated breasts in the hot oil for about 3 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Pour half of the sauce into the prepared baking dish. Top with cooked chicken breasts and remaining sauce. Top with mozzarella slices and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Serve over cooked spaghetti noodles.




Loaded baked potato rounds

One of the first things I do every morning is peek at the 5-day forecast on my phone. I got very excited when I saw 48 degrees as the projected high for Saturday. Beach weather! People will be strolling all around the Twin Cities wearing t-shirts and shorts. In the meantime, we are all still cooped up inside, watching the snow fall and wishing the ice on our driveways would magically melt as we continue with our "winter eating." Although typically more of an appetizer, I made these loaded baked potato rounds for dinner the other night. I presented them to the boys as potato chips. "Why are you letting us eat potato chips for dinner, Mom?" Because I'm a super-cool mom. And because they are super yummy!


Start out with a handful of baby red potatoes. They are the perfect size for these rounds and I just happen to be madly in love with baby reds.

I tried slicing the potatoes with my mandolin and it was a disaster. My sharp and trusty chef's knife was a much better option. Slice the potatoes so they are no more than 1/2 inch thick. Place them on a rimmed, parchment-lined baking sheet and brush them with olive oil. Sprinkle some kosher salt over the tops.

Bake them until they are perfectly browned. Yum!

Add delicious toppings and throw back in the oven.

Until your mouth is watering. Let those babies cool for a minute. Overly eager mouths will get burned. Trust me.

Dinner tonight? CUPCAKES! 

Loaded Baked Potato Rounds

Imagine a loaded baked potato in a compact bite in your fingertips!

Serves: 8-12

Total time: 50 min

Loaded Baked Potato Rounds


  • 5-6 baby red potatoes, sliced into 1/2-inch thick rounds
  • Olive oil, for brushing
  • Kosher salt, for sprinkling
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped chives
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Brush both sides of each potato round with olive oil and place in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, flipping the rounds halfway.
  3. Remove from oven and top with cheese, bacon and chives. Bake for another 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Serve warm, finger-food style.




Pizza pasta bake

I'm coming down off my morning coffee high. Yowza! I am not a frequent coffee drinker, so when I do have a cup I get a little nutty! Instead of walking to the bathroom like a normal person, I found myself RUNNING to the bathroom a few times this morning. I caught myself in the act and wondered what the heck my husband had put in my coffee! I'm feeling much more normal now. Time for another cup! Kidding.

I'm not kidding when I say I'm in love with this pizza pasta bake. You get a little taste of each, and it's ridiculously easy to make. You can make it more complicated, if you'd like, and add some peppers or corn or another type of cheese. 


Cook the ground beef and onion in a large skillet.

Throw in some spaghetti sauce and cooked pasta.

I love steamy photos. Oops, don't take that the wrong way. 

Mix it all together and throw it into a baking dish.

Top with mozzarella cheese and pepperoni and pop that baby in the oven!

Thirty minutes later, you'll have a happy belly and a happy family!


Pizza Pasta Bake

Is it pizza? Pasta? A casserole? Yes yes yes!

Serves: 8

Total time: 45 min

Pizza Pasta Bake


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 24-oz. jar spaghetti sauce
  • 16-oz. package any variety of pasta, cooked to al dente
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 20 pepperoni slices
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Cook ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat until meat is no longer pink. Drain excess grease and add onion to skillet. Cook over medium heat for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, or until onion is soft and fragrant. Add salt and pepper, along with the spaghetti sauce and cooked pasta. Cook until sauce is warm, about 5 additional minutes.
  3. Add contents of skillet to prepared baking dish. Top with mozzarella cheese and pepperoni slices. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.




Slow cooker pesto ranch chicken

Why oh why have I not been posting recipes, you ask? Because I have been busy redesigning this website and trying to make it friendlier and prettier. And then I have been scrambling to fix mistakes because every redesign comes with inevitable accidents. Like absent-mindedly changing the url of every single post so that nobody can access a single recipe for three hours. We're all good now. I hope you like the changes!

I have seen variations of this recipe floating around for a while now and I've been excited to try it. I was not disappointed. Any time a slow cooker is involved, you know the recipe will be easy. In addition to that, this chicken was packed with flavor and also super tender. It's a keeper!


Throw a few boneless chicken breasts into your slow cooker. Pour pesto over the top and spread it over the chicken.

Sprinkle Ranch dressing mix over the top of that.

Add some chicken broth.

And that is the extent of your cooking efforts for the day. Unless you want a salad and rice, but you can do that while your slow cooker is working hard.

Spoon the juices over the chicken before serving!

Slow Cooker Pesto Ranch Chicken

It doesn't get much easier (and tastier) than this, people.

Serves: 6

Total time: 5-6 hrs

Slow Cooker Pesto Ranch Chicken


  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, fat trimmed
  • 7-oz. jar pesto
  • 1-oz. package dry Ranch dressing mix
  • 16 oz. chicken broth
  1. Place chicken breasts in a slow cooker. Top with an even layer of pesto followed by the ranch dressing mix. Pour the chicken broth over top.
  2. Cook on Low setting for 5 to 6 hours, or until chicken is fully cooked and tender. Serve with rice or noodles. Spoon the juices from the slow cooker over top before serving.




Smashed potatoes

I wonder how many Minnesotans were prescribed antidepressants this winter. Not one typically prone to depression, I feel myself sinking into the bowels of seasonal sadness. This winter has been rough! Snow, COLD, grey days, being cooped up indoors, repeat, repeat, repeat. There are, however, good sides to this time of year. I get to spend all kinds of time with my lovies. I get to focus more on my website and other projects. I have ample opportunity to make food, eat and eat some more. And then some more. My thighs are slowly growing, despite my diligence at the gym. Come on, spring! My soul needs some warm weather. So do my thighs. 

We ate these scrumptious little potatoes with the meatloaf I made a few weeks ago. I LOVED THEM. I really really loved them. I can't believe I've lived my life without them thus far. I sneaked in a jalapeño pepper, but feel free to omit that. Enjoy! And if you live somewhere warm, would you please invite me to your house? Please?


You'll need to boil 9 baby reds before starting. About 20 minutes will do, or until a fork can be easily inserted into the centers. Place the cute little potatoes on a rimmed parchment-lined, olive oil-drizzled baking sheet.

Using a fork, go ahead and smash those little reds. Be gentle. But be firm. Kind of like the way I have to be with my boys. Gentle but not too gentle. Firm but not too firm.

Combine the following in a medium bowl:

Drizzle some olive oil into the bowl.

It should look something like this after stirring.

Spoon that delicious mixture over the tops of the gently-yet-firmly-smashed potatoes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes!

Serve with meatloaf and a veggie!

Smashed Potatoes

A deliciously different way to prepare potatoes.

Serves: 9

Total time: 50 min

Smashed Potatoes


  • 9 baby red potatoes
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Place potatoes in a large saucepan filled three quarters with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 20 minutes, or until a fork can be easily inserted into the centers.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place parchment paper on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Remove the potatoes from the pan of water and place on parchment paper. Smash each potato with a fork a couple times.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the parsley, peppers (if using), kosher salt, garlic salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper and olive oil. Mix well and spoon over potatoes. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 mintues. Serve warm!