On forgiveness

February 7, 2016 by  
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Chicken, Brie & Tomato Spaghetti

February 6, 2016 by  
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chicken brie spaghetti

My love affair with cheese started when I was fairly young. Baked brie with apricot jam made a regular appearance at nearly all of my parents’ holiday gatherings and parties, and I would definitely sneak way more bites than I should have. I quickly learned to move on from that baked, gooey treat to enjoying brie in nearly any form I could get it.

Nowadays, brie might not be on our regular dining rotation, but we have still managed to instill a small brie-love gene in the kids. (Goat cheese is the first favorite, but brie is a close second.) They are definitely fans of baked brie just like I was, but they’ll gladly eat it in any form we serve it in. That makes me happy!

This Chicken, Brie, and Tomato Spaghetti is a super-quick dinner or lunch that tastes luxurious without any of the hassle. Fancy enough to impress company, yet easy enough to eat any night of the week…that’s absolutely a win in my book!


Chicken, Brie & Tomato Spaghetti
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Pasta, Chicken
Serves: 6 - 8
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • ½ lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. spaghetti, fully cooked and drained
  • ¼ c. olive oil
  • 1 T. red wine vinegar
  • 1½ t. Italian seasoning
  • ½ t. salt
  • ¼ t. black pepper
  • 2 c. brie or mozzarella, cubed
  • ½ lb. grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  1. Heat 2 T. olive oil in a large skillet. Add cubed chicken and cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and season to taste with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until chicken is fully cooked. Stir in fully cooked spaghetti. Remove from heat.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Pour into skillet and stir to combine.
  3. Stir in cheese and tomatoes. Serve immediately or at room temperature.

 Do you have a favorite fast-yet-fancy dinner? I’d love to hear about it!



The post Chicken, Brie & Tomato Spaghetti appeared first on Cooking During Stolen Moments.

UNCF Celebrated the Life and Achievements of Civil Rights ICON, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with Events Across the Nation

February 5, 2016 by  
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  Here is a summary of the celebratory events that took place last month in honor of Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King Jr.  Washington, D.C. (January 27, 2016) On Monday, Jan....

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50 Appetizers for Super Bowl 50

February 3, 2016 by  
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This Sunday night, we’ll be partaking in our usual Super Bowl feast of appetizers, dips, and more appetizers. We definitely up the over-indulge factor every year, but it’s a tradition we’re not willing to mess with. I mean, some things are sacred after all!

We haven’t finalized our selections for this year yet, but all 7 of us will each choose one item from this list. Which ones will you choose?


  1. Stuffed Jalapeno Dip
  2. Buffalo Chicken Puffs
  3. Cheddar Ale Spread
  4. Pizza Pie Bites
  5. Hot Corn and Cheese Dip
  6. Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup Dumplings
  7. Taco Skins
  8. Sausage & Cheese Pinwheels
  9. Stuffed Bread Sticks
  10. Cheesy Bacon Tator Tots
  11. Spicy Little Muffin Tin Chicken Enchiladas
  12. Stromboli
  13. Spinach & Kale Cheese Balls
  14. Coconut Chicken with Pineapple-Curry Sauce
  15. Sweet Potato Skins with Smokin’ Chipotle
  16. Queso Fresco & Sausage Dip
  17. Reuben Dip
  18. Canadian Bacon Cheese Straws
  19. Apple & Brie Quesadillas
  20. Zucchini Fries
  21. Sun Dried Tomato Hummus
  22. Skinny Mozzarella Sticks
  23. Oven ‘Fried’ Pickle Chips with Sweet Horseradish Sauce
  24. BBQ Nachos
  25. Healthy Cereal Trail Mix
  26. Cheesy Pull-Apart Sliders
  27. Italian Nachos
  28. Black Bean & Mango Salsa
  29. Adobo Chicken Wings
  30. Asian Ground Beef Lettuce Wraps
  31. Baked Green Olive Cheese Puffs
  32. Slow Cooker Spinach Artichoke Dip
  33. Walking Tacos
  34. Mini Pretzel Dogs
  35. Bacon Cheeseburger Meatballs
  36. Tortilla Roll-ups
  37. Pasta Salad Skewers
  38. Hot Four Cheese Dip
  39. Tempura Fried Green Beans
  40. Chimichurri Steak & Vegetable Quesadillas
  41. Beef Enchilada Dip
  42. Cheesy Potato Bites
  43. Sugar and Spice Nuts
  44. Homemade Cracker Jack
  45. Siracha Popcorn
  46. Piled High Chicken Melts
  47. Southwest Egg Rolls
  48. Stuffed Artichoke
  49. Artichoke Salsa
  50. BLT Dip

Valentine’s Day Frosted Chocolate Cookies

February 1, 2016 by  
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valentine's day frosted chocolate cookiesValentine’s Day is a big deal around our house for the kids, and although Eric and I have never done much to celebrate the day between the two of us, we do like to make it special for them. We help them put together fun Valentine’s for their classmates (nothing Pinterest worthy by any stretch…) and treat them with something special – usually homemade cookies or brownies of some kind and individual little chocolate boxes. We also fill our candy jar with conversation hearts or gummy candies during the few weeks leading up to the day and put out some decorations. That’s about the extent of our celebration, but it works for us. The kids enjoy a special day and Eric and I don’t stress over doing too much or making too big of a deal of the day.

Even with our modest celebration, I’ll admit to loving to make special, themed treats, whether for the kids at home or to share with their classmates. These Valentine’s Day Frosted Chocolate Cookies are some of my favorite to make because they’re delicious and fun to decorate! You can top them with any Valentine-themed candy that you want to add your own personal touch.

Valentine's Day Frosted Chocolate Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 3 dozen
For the Cookies
  • 1 c. butter or margarine, softened
  • ¾ c. sugar
  • ¾ c. brown sugar
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2¼ c. flour
  • ¼ c. cocoa powder
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • ½ t. salt
  • 1 c. chocolate chips
For the Frosting
  • 1 c. butter or margarine
  • 3 c. confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ t. almond extract
  • ¼ t. vanilla extract
  • 2 -3 T. milk
  • Red food coloring, optional
Optional Garnish
  • Valentines-themed candies
  1. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter or margarine and sugars together until fluffy. Add the vanilla and egg and beat an additional minute.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Slowly add to the mixing bowl and stir just until combined. Stir in chocolate chips by hand.
  3. Roll heaping tablespoons of dough into a ball and place on baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 9-11 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  4. While the cookies cool, beat butter or margarine, confectioners’ sugar, and extracts until light and fluffy. Add enough milk to achieve frosting consistency. Add red food coloring to achieve desired color (a few for pink, more for red), if you'd like.
  5. Once the cookies are completely cooled, frost and top with candies of choice, if desired.

This recipe is being linked to ‘Create Link Inspire’ at Nap-Time Creations.


Want more chocolate recipes? Check out my new ebook, 25 Recipes for Chocolate Lovers, just in time for Valentine’s Day. It’s just $3.99 for all kinds of crazy, delicious new chocolatey treats!
Grab your copy!

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Pie with Pretzel Crust

January 31, 2016 by  
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chocolate peanut butter pie with gluten free pretzel crust

Ever since Eric had to go gluten free, I’ve had fun playing around with different pie crusts and flavors to make a pie that everyone can enjoy. My ultimate goal is that no one would even guess that the pie was gluten free. I’ve had success with nut-based crusts, gluten free graham crackers or gingersnap crusts, gluten free cookie crusts, and gluten free pretzel crusts. I think the pretzel crust has become the favorite with our whole family, including our extended family. The crunchy texture, the sweet and salty combination…it’s just good!

Aside from eating any of the pies I make with a gluten free pretzel pie crust, I think my favorite thing about this crust is experimenting with different fillings and complementary flavors. There have been some no-brainer fillings (chocolate creme) and some surprise hit combinations (banana cream, rocky road ice cream with caramel).

Now this recipe…this is definitely a no-brainer. Who doesn’t love the combination of chocolate-peanut butter-pretzel? This is without a doubt one of our very favorite pies. So, it’s no wonder that it’s the pie Eric requested as his birthday dessert last week. Just me, just give it a try and you’ll be requesting it on your birthday too!

pretzel crust pie
Prep work for the pie

I love how quickly this pie comes together. Olivia and I make it together, but I think she could totally do it on her own. Pie that a 10 year old can make equals a win in my book!

peanut butter chocolate pie

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Pie with Pretzel Crust
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8
  • 2 c. crushed pretzels, gluten free or regular
  • ½ c. sugar
  • ½ c. butter, melted
  • 1 14 oz. can Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1½ c. Ghiradelli dark chocolate melts, or chocolate chips
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c. peanut butter
  • ½ c. powdered sugar
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • Whipped cream
  • A few spoonfuls of chocolate layer sauce
  1. Stir together crushed pretzels, sugar and melted butter. Press into a 9-inch pie plate.
  1. Combine sweetened condensed milk and chocolate in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until chocolate is completely melted and the sauce comes to a low boil. Remove from heat and pour into prepared pie crust, reserving a few spoonfuls for garnish, if desired.
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat until smooth and creamy. Spoon on top of the chocolate layer in the pie crust and spread until smooth.
  1. Spoon some whipped cream on top of the pie and drizzle with the reserved chocolate sauce.

This recipe can also definitely be made non-gluten free by just swapping out the gluten free pretzels for regular pretzels. No matter which kind you use, I guarantee it will turn out delicious.


Want more chocolate recipes? Check out my new ebook, 25 Recipes for Chocolate Lovers, just in time for Valentine’s Day. It’s just $3.99 for all kind of crazy, delicious new chocolatey treats!
Grab your copy!

Triple Berry Bruschetta is the Perfect Dessert for Italian Night

January 27, 2016 by  
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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertisers. All opinions are mine alone. #MangiaTonight #CollectiveBias There is nothing better than sitting down to an enjoyable...

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Homemade Hamburger Helper: Cheeseburger Macaroni

January 25, 2016 by  
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I first shared this recipe back in 2008. It’s amazing to sit back and think about how much has changed since then. I guess 6 years can do that…

There’s one thing that hasn’t changed though, and that’s our love of this Cheeseburger Macaroni! As the kids have gotten older, they’ve all developed very particular tastes and dislikes (much to my chagrin and best efforts), but this meal is one they all clean their plates with. That’s always a win in my book!

Here’s a quick overview of the updates in this recipe as compared to the original:

  1. It’s truly homemade Hamburger Helper style in that everything cooks in 1 pot.
  2. The flavor has been tweaked slightly. After years and years of making this, I’ve finally hit on just the right combination of ingredients to give it the best, most “cheeseburgery” flavor, at least as far as the 7 of us are concerned.
  3. The recipe is gluten free friendly. My husband has celiac and 95% of our meals have been gluten free since late in 2011, so I’ve learned to modify many of our favorites so that we can all enjoy the meal.

cheeseburger macaroni

Homemade Hamburger Helper: Cheeseburger Macaroni
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Homemade Hamburger Helper: Cheeseburger Macaroni. Gluten free friendly.
Recipe type: Ground Beef
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6-8 servings
  • 1 lb. ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 t. salt
  • ½ t. garlic powder
  • ½ t. black pepper
  • 12 oz. elbow macaroni (I used gluten free)
  • 3 c. beef stock
  • 2 c. milk
  • ¼ c. ketchup
  • 1½ T. mustard
  • 1 T. dill pickle relish
  • 2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • Additional salt and pepper, optional
  1. Put ground beef or turkey and diced onion in a large, deep skillet and season with salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Cook until browned and drain.
  2. Stir in macaroni noodles, beef stock and milk.
  3. Bring to a slow boil, stirring frequently.
  4. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occassionally, for about 15-20 minutes, until noodles are tender. (I find that the gluten free noodles cook more quickly than regular noodles, so check frequently.)
  5. Remove cover and stir in remaining ingredients, stirring to combine well. If the sauce is too thin for your liking, cook for a few additional minutes.
  6. Enjoy!

The leftovers of this are fantastic when made with regular pasta, but not so much when you use gluten free noodles. Just something to keep in mind!

Homemade Cream Cheese Wontons

January 19, 2016 by  
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Our kids go crazy for appetizers as dinner, which I’m sure isn’t anything unusual. Every time I announce that it’s “App Dinner Night,” I know there will be cheering and excitement all around. Each of the kids have their own favorites, but the one that they all love is Cream Cheese Wontons.

I’ll admit that I sometimes cheat and buy a box of these from the freezer section at the grocery store, especially on Friday nights after a long week. But when I have extra time, I love to throw this homemade version together. They’re a bit of a labor of love because they do require quite a bit of hands-on time. The taste though? No comparison to the frozen version! These will win any taste test.

homemade cream cheese wontons

Homemade Cream Cheese Wontons

  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2 T. sliced green onions
  • 1 t. soy sauce
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • 1 pkg. wonton wrappers
  • Oil for frying
  • Sauces for dipping, optional
  1. Stir together the cream cheese, green onions, soy sauce, and garlic powder until well blended.
  2. Spoon roughly 1-tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture onto the center of one wonton wrapper. Lightly wet the edges of the wrapper with water, fold in half, and seal. (Use a little extra water if needed to get a good seal.)
  3. Fry 4 to 5 wonton at a time in hot oil. (I use a deep skillet, but you can use your favorite frying method.) Fry for about 5 minutes, flipping over halfway through, until golden brown and crispy.
  4. Drain on paper towels and serve with your favorite dipping sauce(s), such as sweet chili pepper sauce, soy sauce, sweet and sour sauce, etc.
  5. Enjoy! ~

#ad Chicken Taco French Bread Pizza

January 18, 2016 by  
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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertisers.  All opinions are mine alone. #GameDayFavs #CollectiveBias Our family loves watching all the football games this time...

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