my go-to goodies: 3 easy recipes for the unexpected

I don’t know why I insist on making a new recipe every time we host a dinner party, offer to bring the dessert or sign up to contribute to a potluck. It always makes me late, sometimes leaves everyone hungry and just makes me break out into a mommy-sweat.

So recently, to save the stress, time and possibility of a total flop, I searched for my three go-to items that required little time, minimal ingredients, ingredients that can be frozen or stored for a long time so you don’t have to make a run to the store and of course, yummy & unique.

I found my winners: an easy dinner that is comforting and crowd-pleasing ; a dessert that requires basic baking skills but looks difficult (my favorite kinds! hehe); and an appetizer that is easy and unique.

Now, if you are a friend of mine and have signed up for the same snack time, new-mommy dinner delivery or potluck, know that I will be making one of these.

The Go-To Appetizer: Potluck Pizza Bread

For 8-servings, 1 bread loaf, 45-55 min.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup quartered Italian salami or pepperoni slices, about 32 slices ( I got the salami from Costco. Freeze it for an impromptu batch!)
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and spray small bread pan with non-stick cooking spray.

2.  Place flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper into the bowl of a stand or electric mixer, mix to combine.

3. Slowly add in eggs, oil, buttermilk, Parmesan, Mozzarella and pepperoni until just combined.

4. Pour half of batter into prepared bread pan that measures 9x5x2 3/4-inches.

5. Top evenly with marinara sauce then pour remaining batter over sauce.

6. Top with Italian seasoning and additional Parmesan cheese.

7. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until toothpick comes clean from center.

8. Let cool for 30 minutes before removing from pan.  Slice and serve warm or room temperature.

recipe modified from

The Go-To Dinner: Crescent Chicken Casserole

For 8-servings, 45 minutes – 1 hour  

  • 3 boiled & shredded boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 packages of 8 Big & Flaky Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • 2 cans of Cream of Chicken soup
  • Roughly 4-5 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt & Pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

2. After preparing the chicken and cheese, cook the soup according to the instructions on the can.

3. While soup is cooking, take two triangles (crescents) from the roll and press them together making one large crescent.

2. In the larger space, put a handful of cooked chicken and shredded cheese.

3. Roll the crescent over the stuffing, making sure to pinch the edges .

  4. Do this with the remaining rolls, making 8 large stuffed crescents and place in a casserole dish.

5. Pour half of the soup over the rolls and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

6. Bake the rolls at 350 until they are golden (usually 45 minutes).

6. While the rolls are baking, make some mashed potatoes and a vegetable.

7. Use the remaining soup as additional gravy to top your mashed potatoes and rolls.

recipe modified from

The Go-To Dessert: Cherry Coffee Cake

For approx. 15 servings, 45 minutes

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup milk (or buttermilk for extra fluffiness)
  • 1 19 oz. can of cherry pie filling


  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

1.Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and sugar together in bowl or food processor. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and mix all together.

2. Add flour, baking powder, salt and milk. Mix until moistened.

3. Pour two cups of batter into a greased 9×13 inch pan, covering the bottom.

4. Drop tiny spoonfuls of cherry filling here and there over the batter.

5. Drop remaining large spoonfuls of batter over the cherries.

6. For topping, melt butter in saucepan. Add brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Mix and sprinkle over top of batter.

7. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.


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