An Old Fashioned Favorite: Easy Chicken Paprikash

So, I’ve been a bad blogger. I have good reason though — a new job and a new apartment have kept me pretty busy over the last month and a half.

But, I’m back now and have lots of ideas for blog posts in the near future. For this post, though, I took advantage of what was for Sunday dinner this past weekend: an old fashioned favorite that is no where as complicated to make as you might think!


Easy Chicken Paprikash

If you have no idea what Chicken Paprikash is, here’s a little history: Chicken Paprikash is a Hungarian dish whose name is derived from the traditional use of Paprika in the recipe. It can be made lots of different ways and is usually paired with noodles, dumplings, mashed potatoes, or rice.

The photo above shows the dish paired with dumplings. I did not include a dumpling recipe in this post, but if you’re interested in making them, dumplings are simply a combination of flour, eggs, and water. Drop bits of the dough in boiling water and cook until they float.

Note: The photos in this post show a double recipe. The actual recipe listed below is for 4 pieces of chicken.


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 14oz. can chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • Corn starch or flour


  • Large skillet
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Small whisk
  • Large ladle
  • Fork


1. Chop 1/2 onion into small pieces. Heat olive oil in skillet, add onions and sear for 2-3 minutes.


2. Add chicken to pan, season with salt, pepper, and 1 tbsp. of the paprika.


IMG_0101edit3. Brown chicken on both sides, approximately 5 minutes on each side.

IMG_0103edit4. Add chicken broth and water, bring to a simmer.

IMG_0125edit5. After liquid has come to a simmer, use a ladle to remove approximately 1 cup of the liquid from the pan. Place is in the measuring cup. Add half of the sour cream to the liquid in the measuring cup, whisk until mixed. Return the broth/sour cream mixture to the pan.

6. Repeat this step for the other half of the sour cream. (You do this to smoothly incorporate the sour cream. It also keeps the sour cream from curdling in the hot broth).

IMG_0130edit7. Add the remaining paprika and more salt and pepper to the pan. Cook until the liquid begins to thicken.

8. You may need to thicken the liquid with corn starch or flour before serving. (In order to do this, add approximately 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to 1/4 cup of cold water. Whisk with fork until smooth. Add this to the pan and stir. Cook for a few additional minutes until sauce thickens).

IMG_0132editVoila! Your Chicken Paprikash is done and ready to serve with your choice of side dish.




Cookie Table Project, Part Deux: Spritz Cookies

You’d think that since summer was over that would also mean that wedding season was over too — but not for me! In fact, my wedding season is just getting started for 2013. And, just like last year, that means cookies. If you don’t know what the heck I’m talking about, check out my series of posts from 2012 talking about the Cookie Table tradition that we have here in Northeast Ohio.

My cousin gets married in two weeks and my mom and I have been making a variety of cookies for the event. Last year, I blogged about how Pinterest helped me find new cookie recipes. This time around though, I decided to focus on tried and true recipes that I or my family have been making for awhile.

First up: Spritz Cookies.

Spritz cookies are great because they’re versatile. You can make them using a cookie press (like in this recipe) or you can simply make the dough, roll it into balls, and drop them on the cookie sheet. They really don’t need frosting or a lot of ornamentation — a little decorative sugar is a perfect complement. They’re also a great Christmas cookie to make.

photo (3)Makes 6-7 dozen small cookies


  • 1/2 cup margarine, softened
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • Decorative sugar

Equipment Needed:

  • Stand or hand mixer
  • Spatula
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Electric or manual cookie press (optional)*
  • Cooking spray
  • Cookie sheets
  • Cookie cooling racks

*If using a cookie press, I highly recommend purchasing an electric one.


1. With the mixer, combine the margarine and shortening. Beat thoroughly approximately 2 minutes.

2. Once the margarine and shortening are thoroughly beaten, add the sugar gradually. Continue to beat the mixture for approximately 5 minutes until it becomes light and fluffy.

3. Add the egg and vanilla extract. Continue to beat the mixture.

4. Add baking powder. Gradually add flour, mixing the dough slowly until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Mix well for approximately 1 minute, making sure you stop to scrape the sides of the bowl to incorporate any lingering ingredients.

5. Once fully mixed, the cookie dough will be stiff.

6. If you are using a cookie press, now is the time to assemble and fill it. Please follow the directions included with your cookie press as they differ from one brand to another. For this recipe, I used a Cuisinart Cookie Press (available for less than $30). If you are not using a cookie press, simply make drop cookies.

Using a cookie press takes practice. Do not expect to make "prefect" cookies the first time you use a cookie press.

Using a cookie press takes practice. Do not expect to make “perfect” cookies the first time you use a cookie press.

7. Once you have assembled and filled your cookie press with dough, press the cookies onto a greased cookie sheet. Leave approximately 1-2 inches between each cookie.

I used the Flower design.

I used the Flower design.

8. Decorating the cookies with sugar is optional, but since the color scheme for this wedding is purple, I went with purple decorative sugar.


9. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly golden brown. Reduce temperature to 325 if needed. Be careful not to overbake.

10. Remove cookies from cookie sheet immediately and place on cooling rack.

11. Serve and enjoy!

photo_2 (3)


Amazing Ranch and Dill Oyster Crackers

I’ve been a very bad blogger lately and have neglected writing posts. But, I’m back!

Below is a super-easy and extremely good recipe for an oyster cracker snack that is perfect for just keeping around the house or for parties and/or other events. It’s been popular all over the web for awhile and it used to frequently be on the back of oyster cracker packages — but even something that’s been done deserves repeating, especially when it’s so good!

title photo

Amazing Ranch and Dill Oyster Crackers


  • 1 box/package of plain oyster crackers
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 package Ranch dressing mix (for example: Hidden Valley)
  • 1 teaspoon Dill Weed
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


  • 1 large bowl
  • Spoon
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Baking pan
  • Small whisk



1. Pour the package of oyster crackers in the large bowl.



2. In a liquid measuring cup, pour one cup of vegetable oil. To the oil, add the Ranch Dressing mix, garlic, and dill. Whisk thoroughly.



3. Pour the oil mixture over the oyster crackers, mixing the crackers with a large spoon to make sure all the crackers are evenly coated.

4. Place the coated oyster crackers on a baking sheet and bake them for approximately 10 minutes at 280 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. Remove the oyster crackers from the oven, let cool, serve or store, and enjoy!


Let me know what you think! This is definitely one of my favorites.

Also, if you don’t like oyster crackers, substitute them for pretzels!



Fantastic Frosted Zucchini Brownies

When I was a kid, my Grandma and my Aunt Susie always made (and still make) these amazing frosted brownies. But I was never allowed to help make them. Why? They wouldn’t say. Eventually, I discovered/figured out that the brownies had a “secret ingredient.” They were afraid that, as a child, if I knew what that ingredient was I would never eat the brownies again. They were probably right to keep the truth from me. If I’d known that there was Zucchini in my brownies I don’t know if I’d have been able to eat them.

But I love Zucchini now, so the fact that there is a vegetable in my brownies doesn’t bother me at all.

Even if you’re not a big fan of Zucchini, you’ll never know that it is in the brownies.

This recipe really produces a fantastic and a pleasantly different kind of brownie that the fudgy variety you get in the store or out of a box.

These Zucchini Brownies are very moist and very cake like. They are also frosted and rich, so small servings are suggested.


Fantastic Frosted Zucchini Brownies

Makes: One 13 x 9 pan of thick, cake size brownies or one jellyroll pan or thin brownies

Ingredients for Brownies:

  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 cups oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 cups grated zucchini (You will need 2 large zucchini or 3-4 small ones — use your best judgement.)

Ingredients for Frosting:

  • 3 to 3 and 1/2 cups of powdered sugar (you made need more, you may need less)
  • 1 stick margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Hot water


  • Stand mixer or handheld mixer
  • Grater
  • Potato/vegetable peeler or paring knife
  • Spatula
  • 13 x 9 pan or jellyroll pan
  • Cooking spray
  • Flour to dust the pan

Instructions for Brownies:

1. Rinse and dry the zucchini.


2. Using a vegetable peeler or a paring knife, peel the skin off the zucchini.


3. Grate the zucchini until you have 3 cups. Grate the zucchini from the side — You DO NOT want any seeds to end up in your brownies! Set the zucchini aside.


It took almost both of the large zucchini’s I had to get three cups.

4. In a mixer, combine the oil, eggs, vanilla, and sugar. Beat until smooth.

5. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix until fully combined.

6. Add cocoa powder. Mix with other ingredients.

7. Now it’s time to add the zucchini. Before doing so, drain most of the extra liquid from the zucchini. Add zucchini a little at a time, mixing as you go, until all has been added and completely combined with all the rest of the ingredients.

8. Grease and flour your baking dish. Pour the batter in and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 to 40 minutes. Beginning at 30 minutes, check the brownies with a toothpick every few minutes until the toothpick no longer has batter on it.


Frosting Instructions:

NOTE: Frosting is a must for these brownies.

1. In a mixer, combine the softened margarine, vanilla, and cocoa.

2. Slowly, a little bit of a time, add the powdered sugar until the frosting takes on a thick consistency.

3. Add approximately 1 tablespoon of hot water at a time until the frosting takes on a spreading consistency. Simply alternate the powdered sugar and the hot water until the frosting is how you want it.

4. The best way to judge is to taste the frosting as you go — you’ll know if it tastes and feels right.

5. After the brownies are cool, frost them! Don’t frost before the brownies are cool — the frosting will melt!


Suggestion: While refrigerating these brownies is not necessary, I highly recommend it.

Slice up a piece, pour yourself a cold glass of milk, and ENJOY!


What’s for Dinner? How About Quick and Easy Chicken Marsala

We all have fall-back recipes that we know how to make well and that we know will taste good. Some fall-back recipes are simple fare, such as soups or sandwiches. And some are a little bit “fancier” that can function as a great meal for guests on the weekend or as just an ordinary weeknight meal.

For me, one of these go-t0 dishes is Chicken Marsala.

Chicken Marsala was one of the first dishes that I mastered and I made it for friends at a dinner party several years ago. It’s always a big hit, no matter if I make it for a lot of people or just for dinner one night.

You’ll definitely enjoy it!


Chicken Marsala

Serves 4

(Photos in this recipe depict servings for more than four people)


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1  to 2 tablespoons of garlic powder (depending on preference)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • olive oil
  • Marsala wine*

*Do NOT use the “cooking wine” version of Marsala.


  • Skillet
  • Shallow bowl



1. In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, oregano, garlic powder, rosemary, parsley, and ground black pepper.

2. Over medium heat, add enough olive oil to the skillet so that the bottom of the pan is coated in a thin layer of oil.

3. While the oil is heating, dredge each chicken breast in the flour mixture. Each piece of chicken should be completely coated in a thin layer of flour and spices.

4. Carefully place the chicken in the pan. Try not to knock too much of the coating off in the process.

5. Brown the chicken on each side, for approximately 5-7 minutes per side. The flour will create a slightly crispy exterior.

This photo shows what the chicken looks like both with the pre-cooked flour coating and what it looks like when one side has been browned.

This photo shows what the chicken looks like both with the pre-cooked flour coating and what it looks like when one side has been browned.


6. Once all pieces of chicken are browned on each side, reduce heat slightly and add approximately 1/2 bottle of Marsala wine. (If you feel 1/2 bottle is not enough you can always add more. 1 full bottle is plenty for 8 pieces of chicken.)


You’re ready to add the wine!

My go-to Marsala wine.

My go-to Marsala wine.


The wine should nearly cover the chicken in the pan.

7. Bring the wine to a simmer over medium heat and cook for approximately 15 minutes, or until the wine has reduced and thickened. If you are having difficulty determining whether the wine has reduced, simply taste the sauce. If the alcohol taste is still very strong, continue simmering.

8. Serve with your favorite side dish such as potatoes, rice, pasta, or veggies.