barbecue chicken pizza

BBQ chicken pizza slice

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

When your husband grills ALL THE CHICKEN when you instructed him to only grill half of it, and then covers ALL OF IT in spicy barbecue sauce that your kids won’t eat, you make many meals which include barbecue chicken for you and your crazy husband.

Normally barbecue chicken is a big hit in this family. Normally I follow my own recipe very well. This time I goofed and instead of using 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, I used 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper. Wow. 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper. That’s all I need to say.

I attempted to fix it a bit by adding more honey and adjusted other ingredients, but since the sauce had simmered so long (I realized my mistake when I did a taste test after it had cooked), that cayenne flavor was not going anywhere. Husband didn’t mind one bit, since his spice tolerance levels are much higher than mine.  For me and the kids, well, it was just too spicy.

So, what do you do with twice as much barbecue chicken than you need, and all of it way too spicy to feed to the mild barbecue loving children? First husband ate it lathered with tons of extra sauce (as I said, he loves spicy) and I had a piece with just a small layer of sauce (and a beer… that helped cut the spice).  Then husband had more for lunch the next day, and the next as well. But then we had to use it all up, so barbecue chicken pizza was the answer!

It was the night before school started, and our last night at the community pool, therefore I didn’t have time to make homemade pizza dough. I sent my husband to the local pizza restaurant and they sold us pizza dough. Not sure if all pizzerias do this, but I’m glad our does (if you ask nicely and go straight to the manager).

This pizza is so good … even with the spicy sauce! I could eat it every night. Yum!


Barbecue Chicken Pizza

Roll out pizza dough.

Spread a layer of barbecue sauce (homemade or your favorite bottled variety) onto the dough.

BBQ chicken pizza sauce

Chop one cooked chicken breast (this had been grilled, then slathered with the homemade barbecue sauce) and distribute the pieces on the sauce.

BBQ chicken pizza onions and chicken

BBQ chicken pizza sauce and chicken

Toss on some chopped red onion (or scallions).

Finish it off with a handful of shredded Colby Jack cheese (Monterey Jack cheese alone is awesome too).

BBQ chicken pizza cheese

BBQ chicken pizza cheese and onion

Bake at 425F for about 10 -12 minutes.

BBQ chicken pizza hot out of oven


pork burgers with cilantro, garlic, and red onion

pork burgers

Last week I was reading a blog that linked to White Cheddar Chipotle Chicken Sliders from Simple Scratch. The photos and that recipe … Yum!  I quickly added these to this week’s meal plan.

Bad news: I had to change the recipe a bit because I forgot to purchase the chipotle peppers in adobo.  And in the meat department they had ground pork that looked great, while the ground chicken, well, not so much.

I made these pork burgers and served them with sweet potato fries (the ones I make are not as spicy as the ones made by Simple Scratch — I use only olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder), with a side of cabbage, carrots and cuke slaw. And we started the meal with chips and guacamole — the flavors worked so well together.


Below is what I made, and my family loved them! Even my teen daughter liked the burger, and I don’t think she has ever eaten an onion in her life. Or cilantro. Yes, she’s a picky girl.

Huge thanks for Simple Scratch for her recipe that resulted in these pork burgers. Please go check out her site for other awesome recipes.


Pork Burgers With Cilantro, Garlic, And Red Onion

In a large bowl mix together:

1 pound ground pork

a handful of fresh cilantro, rinsed and chopped

half a red onion, chopped

a few cloves of garlic, chopped


freshly ground black pepper

pork burgers 1

pork burgers 2

Form into burgers (I made regular size burgers since I had regular size buns in the house) and place on a hot grill (stove top or outdoor grill). *Note: The first time I made these I used a small amount of vegetable oil on a stove top grill, and should have used a bit more. Since that first time I’ve started using a regular fry pan rather than a griddle, and they work well that way. But when it’s nice grilling weather we’ve done these on the outdoor grill and they taste excellent that way! 

pork burgers 3

Cook on each side about 6 minutes.

Top with cheese. I used a smoked jalapeno cheese.

pork burgers 4

pork burgers 5

Serve on a bun (if desired — these are gluten free if you don’t use a bun) with whatever toppings you like (again, if desired), and I highly recommend sides of sweet potato fries and slaw.

pork burgers 6


ice cream cake

ice cream cake 4

In my recipe binder I have a recipe for Easy Ice Cream Cake from a 2007 Kraft recipe magazine. My daughter and youngest son made this for our July 4th celebration last week. We were unable to include the crushed cookies the recipe called for, due to an allergy issue, but plan to make homemade chocolate cookies to use next time we make this ice cream cake.

This cake is so easy to put together and because it’s made out of ice cream sandwiches, it’s great for a large gathering, especially if kids will be present. Summer cookout or birthday party or neighborhood get together…. This Ice Cream Cake is perfect!

*Edited to include the info needed if you do add the cookies! I had mentioned them above, but forgot to list them in the recipe when I first posted it. Oops! All correct now.

*Update: We’ve made this again — this time with the chopped sandwich cookies mixed in with the fudge topping, Cool Whip and pudding mix. OHMYGOSH! So ridiculously and sinfully good! 


Ice Cream Cake

1/2 cup ice cream fudge topping, warmed

1 8-ounce tub of Cool Whip whipped topping, slightly thawed, divided

1 4-ounce package instant chocolate pudding mix

8 chocolate sandwich cookies, chopped

12 ice cream sandwiches


In a bowl combine the fudge topping with 1 cup of the whipped topping.

Stir in the dry pudding mix until well blended.

Stir in the chopped cookies.

Use parchment paper (or foil) to line a loaf pan — leaving a large amount on each side for easy removal of the ice cream cake later on. (Make sure there’s enough parchment paper to go up the side and across the top.)

In the lined loaf pan, place four of the ice cream sandwiches across the bottom.

Spread half of the pudding mixture on the ice cream sandwiches.

Repeat with another layer of ice cream sandwiches, then the remaining pudding mixture.

Finish up with the last four ice cream sandwiches.

Frost the top with the remaining whipped topping. *Note: If you assemble this before putting it into the loaf pan, you could frost the sides as well at this point.

Fold over the parchment. Tuck in any extra parchment into the sides to help seal it.

Freeze at least 4 hours.

When ready to serve, allow to stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes or so, to make cutting easier.

ice cream cake 1

ice cream cake 2

Use a sharp knife to cut about 1/2 inch slices.

ice cream cake 4

We prefer to cut the long side and then each of those large slices into three servings.

ice cream cake 5

ice cream cake 6

The hardest part of this recipe: Deciding if you should eat it with a spoon or a fork.

ice cream cake 7

Store remaining ice cream cake back in the loaf pan in the freezer.


guacomole batch 2

Last month I spent a week with family and we all took turns cooking and shared most of our meals together. On the first night one of my sisters made guacamole and everyone loved it. Normally I stay away from guacamole, because of having it once — years ago — and it was as bland as bland could be. Due to that experience, over the years I never had any desire to try it again, even with everyone telling me it’s delicious. This time I couldn’t stay away while watching my whole family fight over the bowl and eat the entire thing in seconds. Could it be that good? Really?

Yes. Yes it was!

I know there are many ways to make guacamole, and I’m sure they’re all terrific, but this is the one I put together after watching my sister make her version. I didn’t write down the quantities or exact directions at the time, but after making it at home since then, I’m happy with this combination.  (Note: My sister includes a finely chopped jalapeno in her version, but I did not add this to the guacamole I made.)

Due to this recipe and my recent lime marinade for chicken, I’m calling this the summer of the limes! I think next week I’ll make both the lime chicken and this guacamole on the same night. Top it off with a gin and tonic (extra lime) and it will be a delicious summer meal!



4 ripe avocados, pitted and fork-mashed

juice of 2 limes

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 of a red onion, finely chopped

handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

lots and lots of garlic, sprinkled with salt and smashed and mashed until it forms a paste


Mix all together in a large bowl. Serve with hearty tortilla chips for dipping.

guacomole (1)

on a chip

guacomole (2)

lime marinade for chicken

Into a large bowl, combine a generous drizzle of olive oil with the juice and pulp of 6 (or more) limes.

lime marinade

Thinly slice an onion and add to the bowl. This time I used a white onion. Previously I used a red onion, which looks great when grilled.

lime marinade 2

Peel and chop as much garlic as you like. Pictured below is half the garlic I used. Add to the bowl.

lime marinade 3

Add boneless skinless chicken pieces to the bowl, and some salt and pepper; stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate at about one hour.

lime marinade 4

Grill the chicken with the onions and garlic.

lime marinade 5

Serve. This time I served it with roasted zucchini and potatoes, and last time it was on tortillas with homemade guacamole, veggies, and cheese. Rice and beans would have been great on the tortillas as well, if I had had any in the house! This chicken (hot or cold) is also good on top of a salad (AKA what I had for lunch today).

lime marinade 6

blueberry and peach cobbler

When I was growing up, in the same house I always lived in, across the street lived the J family. We had six kids and they had five. The ages of the children staggered a bit, whereby a baby was born about once a year between our two houses.

All these years (decades) later, and Mr. and Mrs. J still live across from my parents. They are simply the best neighbors in the world — hands down.

Here’s an example of their kindness and neighborliness: Back in the fall my sisters and I surprised our parents with an unannounced weekend at their house. Three of us flew in from various parts of the country and the fourth sister lived close enough to pick us all up at the airport, then drove us the two hours to our family home. We arrived late one Friday night, and soon after, the news of our surprise was posted on a popular social networking site. Mrs. J heard about it from that site and before I had showered on Saturday morning she brought over two fresh from the oven homemade desserts for us to enjoy over the weekend.


Years ago while visiting my parents one summer, we all went berry picking. Later we were thinking up recipes for all the berries and Mrs. J suggested making a fruit cobbler. I had never made one before (I’m a pie-girl), so I took her recipe and added it to my collection. That recipe now comes out very frequently, especially this time of year, when blueberries are fresh and plentiful.

You can make this cobbler with any type of fruit, and I’ve tried a few combinations. My favorite all time cobbler combination is blueberry and peach. Amazingly delicious!


Fruit Cobbler

*Note: I’m listing three sets of ingredient lists for this recipe. First is Mrs. J’s original recipe, which doesn’t list a certain quantity of fruit — whatever amount fits well in the baking dish will work! Then the one I tend to make most of the time. And finally, the one I made today, which is pretty much a doubled version of the original and has tons of the batter topping — but beware, if you use this doubled version you must use a large enough pan. I should have used a 9×13 pan but instead the pan I used today wasn’t large enough (it was deep, which is not the best for a double cobbler) and therefore the dough was too thick on top.

Mrs. J’s recipe…

In a 9×9 baking dish, fill with cut up fruit of your choice. Sprinkle the fruit with 2 tablespoons of sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.


Sift together:

1 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt



1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup butter, softened

Beat until smooth. Spoon over the fruit in the 9×9 pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Serve warm with cream or ice cream, if desired.


My normal recipe…

In a baking dish combine:

4 peaches, peeled and sliced

1 pint blueberries

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg


Sift together:

1 1/2 cups flour

3/4 cup sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt



3/4 cup milk

6 tablespoons butter, softened

Beat until smooth. Spoon over the fruit in the baking dish. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Serve warm with cream or ice cream, if desired.


Today’s doubled recipe with lots of the batter part…

In a large baking dish (9×13 or similar) combine:

6 peaches, peeled and sliced

1 1/2 pints blueberries

3 to 4 tablespoons sugar

1/2 to 1 teaspoon nutmeg


Sift together:

2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt



1 cup milk

1/2 cup butter, softened

Beat until smooth.

Spoon over the fruit in the baking dish. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Serve warm with cream or ice cream, if desired.