TO DIE FOR – Shrimp Fettucini Alfredo – soooo easy!

Ok guys, here is my recipe for Shrimp Fettucini alfredo that is TO DIE FOR and as always it’s super cheap and easy!! I don’t currently have a pic of the finished product or even the cooking steps yet because it was devoured in no time flat and I was too impatient to try ! I wanted to eat it NOW! It’s that good. You will be surprised at how super simple, with very few ingredients it is , and you will never touch a “jar” of alfredo sauce again! (eeeeewww!) I’ll come back and add some more pics next time I make it.

So here we go!

1 pound fetuchini noodles – cooked

12 TBS of unsalted REAL Butter

1 1/3 cups of  HEAVY whipping cream. (NOT half and half, its just not the same!)

6 cloves of garlic

10 oz of  shaved or shredded parmesan cheese (two 5 oz containers shown below) (I prefer the SHAVED as seen in the picture, melts sooo much smoother!)

14 oz of uncooked peeled shrimp, or more if you prefer! 🙂


these are the brands I use, all found at walmart….


thats it! here’s how it goes down……


The big secret here is to cook it all LOW AND SLOW. let each step take it’s time.

Step 1. melt 12 Tbs of butter in a med. size sauce pan. on LOW heat!

Step 2. using a garlic press, mince  6 garlic cloves. add them to the butter. now SLOWLY let it simmer, stirring occasionally. let the juices cook out of the garlic for several min. you need to keep a good watch so as not to burn it. once you see that the garlic pieces are shrinking and things might be turning just the slightest bit brown then…..

Step 3. pour in 1 1/3 cups of heavy whipping cream. stir continuously until the cream heats up. (keep the burner on low!)

Step 4. Once the cream is hot, start adding in your cheese. Add it in a little at a time, while constantly stirring. simmer on low for about 10 min or so, stirring every min or so. you want to get all the cheese melted and thickened.

Step 5. once your noodles are ready and your sauce has thickened and simmers for a little while, add in your shrimp. Stir and cook for about 5 min until the shrimp are pink.

Step 6. remove from heat and serve over pasta !


THATS IT! SUPER EASY! so easy its almost not even a recipe! ha ha.  and oooooh so good! just remember, LOW and SLOW!

makes enough for a whole family. a little goes a long way!



Mock Cocktails – Non alchoholic

 This past weekend we threw a NYE party for our kids and their friends. Since they are just teenagers we of course went non alcholic, but I wanted to go all fancy and fun for them just the same. So I bought some fun glasses, some paper umbrellas, and every kind of soda and fruit juice that I could find. Out of all the mises that we tried a couple stood out as definite favorites, and I wanted to share them with you!

First up is the Cran-dandy Cooler. this basically has everything in it, (and was my favorite too!)

here are the cast of Characters:


and the recipe:

Cran-dandy Cooler 

2 Cups Cranberry Juice

1 Cup pineapple Juice

1 cup Orange Juice ( pulp free)

2 TBS Lemon Juice

1/2 cup cherry juice ( I found this very hard to find! finally found it at a United grocery store)

12 oz (1 1/2 cups) Ginger Ale

Slowly stir all ingredients in a 2 qrt pitcher so as not to lose the bubbles!  pour over Ice and enjoy!

The other really big hit with the teens was the Firebolt. This one is easier too…



12 oz Cola

1 TBS Lime Juice

1 TBS Grenadine

slowly stir, and enjoy!

try em and see what you think!

Chicken & Stuffing Bake – a one dish wonder

A one dish wonder – Chicken & stuffing Bake


In continuing to keep things “cheap & easy” I offer you this recipe for this yummy one dish Chicken & Stuffing bake. You can make it as easy or as complicated as you want, and the flavor is warm, yummy, and just plain comfort food if you ask me!

Lets get started:

Whatcha need

  • 3 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast meat
  • 2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
  • aprox 1 1/2 cups of milk
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 2 (6 ounce) packages seasoned stuffing mix (reccomend Chicken flavor (our fav.) or cornbread)
  • 1 onion
  • 3-5 Garlic cloves (your choice)
  • (or onion powder and garlic powder can be substituted) (told ya it was easy!)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

    Preheat oven to 350

    Begin by dicing up some onion. We use about 1/2 of one onion, but your certainly welcome to use more. Cook to your familys tastes and feel free to tweak this and that!

    Peel and crush up your garlic cloves. Sautee onion and garlic in some butter. While those are softening up, cut up your chicken to bite sized pieces. Add chicken into the cooking onions and garlic. Now add a dash or two of salt and pepper. (also add your onion and garlic powder in now if you opted to use that instead of the actual veggies) To be honest I added a dash of them myself even though I used the actual veggies!

    Cook up your chicken until the middles are no longer pink.  Oh, I wanted to show you what type of chicken I used for this. I tried out a different brand and it was OH so flavorful! I don’t know what they put in these breasts but they were lightly sesasoned with somthing so yummy! really made the dish pop even more. I think I paid about six and a half dollars for this bag.

    While your chicken is cooking, dump two cans of cream of chicken soup into a bowl. (don’t throw away cans!)

    Now fill ONE of the cream of chicken cans with milk, and add to the bowl.  (ok, now you can throw away the cans 😉

    Wisk it all up so it’s nice and smooth


    Now place your cooked chicken into a greased (sprayed) 9×13 pan. (this one was slightly bigger than 9×13 so it doesnt fill it as well)

    pour your cream of chicken mixture over the chicken

    Now in another bowl pour in your stuffing mix. This is our favorite…


    but your welcome to use what ever you prefer. Cornbread stuffing would be good too.

    now pour your can of chicken broth into your bowl of stuffing


    mix really well until all the bread crumbs are moist

    now pour your wet stuffing into the pan and spread out. EASY PEASY!

    Now place in the oven on 350 for 40 min. make sure you bake it UNCOVERED so it won’t be a soggy mess!

    Now you have a nice crisp layer on the very top of mmm mmm goodness!

    Dish up and enjoy! Goes great with veggies and a nice tossed salad. I love mine with some buttered crusty bread (even though theres already technically a starch in the dish, I just LURVE my carbs 😉

    Super cheap and easy!!


    Iced Mocha Latte’s

    I have been a bad girl. I told you all that I would not abandon this blog after I had opened Sweet Addictions, and here it is, six months since my last post. Forgive me! It wasn’t my intention for it to be so long. This year has just FLOWN by! Anyone else think so? It’s been so busy busy BUSY!

    To make up for my procrastination, I am posting somthing that is so delicious, and so easy, and so CHEAP, you’ll have no problem forgiving me for being so late. I just know it 😉

    What we have here is a Homemade Iced Mocha Latte !!  It is soooooooo yummy, any coffee lover will LURVE this! And get this, it breaks down to about $0.51  a cup! sure beats the $4.50 some “other” places charge!  To me it tastes like Starbuck’s mocha frappachinos that you buy in the glass bottle.

    Also, you won’t believe how EASY they are! No special machines needed! and it takes no time at all.

    Let’s get started!!

    Whats needed:

    1/2 cup instant coffee granules

    1/2 cup boiling water

    4 cups chocolate milk

    2 cups cold water

    1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk



    whipped cream

    chocolate or caramel syrup

    start by boilng 1/2 cup of water (microwave works best, cook for 1-2 min depending on your microwave). Mix in 1/2 cup of instant coffee granules until completely dissolved. Pour coffee into a large pitcher. Now pour in 4 cups of chocolate milk. I used the premade chocolate milk they sell at the grocery store. (You know, the brown jug of milk) (one half gallon will make two batches) but “homemade” chocolate milk should work fine too. Now pour in the coffee mixture, 2 cups of cold water, and one can of sweet condensed milk. Mix it all up and serve over ice! THATS IT!! Can ya believe it?!? One batch makes around 6 glasses or so, maybe more or less depending on the cups 😉 

    For an extra treat, add some whipped cream, and drizzle on your favorite syrup. We like caramel and chocolate.

    And of course refrigerate any leftovers.

    I don’t think we’ll ever spend money on that expensive stuff again with this recipe! Who wouldn’t benifit from saving a few bucks in the coffee fund these days??


    Big Annoucement!

    Hello friends and fellow bloggers!

    I owe you an explanation of why I have been missing in action the past few weeks. It appears that the wiring in our new home is overloaded and our Internet was the straw the broke the camels back. Apparently wires don’t like too many things traveling it’s currents at once, such as internet, phone, AND a home security system. And so living in the boonies, it takes forever for a company to contract someone to come all the way out here to fix the problem. THEN we went on a week long vacation. HOWEVER, I think we’ve got most of the bugs worked out and I am back!

    When I started this food blog I wasn’t real sure which direction I wanted it to go. In truth, when I started this blog I HATED to cook. But the idea of food blogging intrigued be, as I LOVE to EAT!  I had hoped that if I started a food blog, it would give me the incentive I needed to break out of my box and try new recipes, and hopefully learn to like cooking. Well in only a few months this blog has already done way more than I expected ! I have learned to love to cook! I have learned that I LOVE fresh ingredients. I have learned that I love using herbs and spices, and that I HATE using boxed and bagged foods! They are so unfulfilling!  I have learned that it gives me great pride and joy to serve my family a home cooked meal of fresh foods. I have also learned that my style seems to consist of “Simple and Delicious” and thats OK!! That there are MILLIONS of recipes out there that cater to busy family’s, and we don’t have to eat boxed and bagged crap!

    Having this blog also opened a new world and direction for me. I have always known that I like desserts. OK OK not just eating them! I have always enjoyed baking over cooking. This blog introduced me to the world of baking I never knew about. And I LOVE it! It opened the doors to so much that I didn’t even know was out there. And I can’t forget the people! So many wonderful people out there that I never would have met otherwise.

    Which leads me to now say, that I am so pleased to announce that I have made the descision to follow my heart and start my own baking company! It’s a bit scary but I’m more excited than anything. Who knows where this journey will take me next!

    Here is the Website if anyone is interested in taking a peak! I will be serving the greater DFW area of Texas.

     Itroducing: Sweet Addictions Sugar Art Bakery !!




    Not to worry to my readers! I won’t be abandoning this food blog. The Reluctant chef will still be here. And I will still find the time to publish more recipes!  If you’d like to start following my bakery blog too, you can do so here :



    And we are also on Facebook! We’d love you to stop by and become a fan! 😉 



    Many thanks to all my readers out there! With out you guys I wouldn’t have a blog and may never have found this new direction in my life!  HUGS TO YOU ALL!  I appreciate your support and look forward to a bright furture together! 🙂




    Grilled Kabobs, Garlic Corn, and Seasoned rice, equals Heaven!


    This is what my family had for dinner last night. Let me tell you how wonderful it is when your children start singing you praises and worship you, and your husband wants to propose all over again. This is the reception I got at dinner time. Yes it was THAT good! I know there are tons of Kabob recipes out there, but I would like to share with you what I did anyway, since it really did taste awesome. Everything I used was stuff we already had around the house. That it important to me, as I am not the type to go hunt out strange ingredients for a dish. I have three kids and one income, Let’s be reasonable here!

    So let’s get started!

    I do want to mention that I did all my prep work early in the day so that the meats could marinate for several hours. This is the key to great kabobs!


    So in the morning or early afternoon at the latest……


    First you want to soak your skewers ahead of time. This is so they do not burn while cooking. So throw them in a pan of water and forget about them.

     Now pull out some chicken breast, a couple steaks, and a bag of shrimp. If your meat is frozen, defrost that now.



    Now get you an onion or two and chop them up into hunks, set aside



    Grab a few green peppers (and red if you have them, i wish i did, it would have added great color) and chop them up into pieces as big as a quarter or so, set aside

    Now your veggie prep work is done! Don’t put them away though, we’ll use them in a min.


    let’s move on to the meat



    Shrimp is the easiest thing to prep so we will do that first so we can get the marinating started immediately. Start with a bag of  cleaned & peeled RAW shrimp. Don’t use pre-cooked, or they will be rubbery after cooking on the grill. Mine still have the tails on but that part is up to you.

    Put the shrimp into a bowl and pour on Italian salad dressing. That’s it! that’s all you have to do! mix it up well, cover, and stick it in your fridge. Shrimp is done! (see isn’t this easy!! that’s the reluctant chef way!)


    Moving on , let’s tackle the chicken!



    Chop your chicken into chunks. you don’t want them too big, but not too small that you can’t get on the skewer either. we’re looking for bite sized pieces. I’d say about an inch to an inch and a half.  Try to keep them uniform in size so that cooking time will be the same for all of them. Place chicken in a bowl.



    Now season with your favorite seasonings. I used our favorite season salt (sold only at our meat market so the brand name wouldn’t help you) I also used Onion power and a little garlic powder



    Add two tablespoons of honey. I think this step really took the chicken over the edge into Heaven sent. This honey came fresh, strait from my dad’s bee hive. Thank you bee’s! (oh and thank’s Dad 😉 My dad loves his bee’s. He has named every one of them, just don’t mention the name bruce to him. Bruse was his favorite bee until my mom stepped on him. He’s very sensitive about bruce. I’m kidding, no bee’s were harmed, but my kids love that joke. My dad even knits them little sweaters in the winter. Not really, that would just be silly, as it doesn’t get cold enough in Florida for sweaters! I know thats not true either, but work with me lol. ok ok, moving on!



    Now add you in a bottle of BBQ sauce. I believe this one was Honey Hickory flavored



    Mix it all up well


    Now toss in half of your vegetables. Don’t be afraid of this step! there is nothing wrong with letting your veggies touch your chicken here, because we are cooking it all together, and once the chicken is cooked, the bacteria will be cooked off your veggies too, so your veggies are safe! We want the oils and flavors of the onions and peppers to permeate and marinate through the meat to give it that extra punch!



    Mix it all up again ( I didn’t use many veggies as my kids won’t eat them in chunks like this, so I am doing it more for the flavor, you are welcome to use as many as you want!)


    Now cover and get in in the fridge!


    Moving on to the steak



    Chop up your steak much like you did your chicken, into uniform cubes



    Toss into a bowl



    add your favorite seasonings. I’m petty sure I used basically the same as I did for the chicken



    Now I poured in a bottle of Stubb’s steak marinade. I think it’s important to know that you don’t have to marinade all of your meats in the same thing, just because its cooking together. WE want to bring out the individual flavors, so don’t be afraid to mix it up! As you can see I did something different with all three meats, as I wanted to bring out the best of each meat.



    Now add you in a couple shakes of Worshestshire sauce, I also added what was left of my A1 steak sauce. Prob a few Tablespoons. Notice I don’t have exact measurements. That’s ok! You can’t really go wrong here, just go with your gut, you know what you like!



    Mix it up.


    toss in the rest of your veggies, mix again, cover and refrigerate

     Meat is DONE!

    Now let’s prep the corn to make it even easier at cooking time




    Get you a small bowl and throw in a couple tablespoons of either butter or margarine. just make sure its soft enough to be spreadable. Add in a few tablespoons of Garlic powder. Trust Me!



    Mix it all up. I stopped adding garlic when I could start to see the seasoning floating in the butter



    Now take you some frozen corn cobs (like I said stuff I had lying around already, and it’s convenient!) And lay them on Two sheets of foil



    Smear on your butter mixture and salt them



    Wrap them up tightly and pinch the ends closed. stick them back into the freezer until your ready to cook!


    Now, when dinner time rolls around, preheat  your grill. While the grill is going, assemble your kabobs. You’ll want to work fast, or get some help depending on how much meat you prepared, so your coals don’t get too cold (unless your gas grilling then never mind 😉  


    Assembled chicken skewers (this is only about half of what I made)


    I assembled all the meat separately in case they cooked at different times. That way the kids could also choose what they wanted to eat without wasted food as well



    You SHOULD, however, cook the shrimp separately anyway, as it cooks VERY fast, and if you leave it on too long it will be a rubbery mess. I cooked these last until they were just pink and opaque




    Before you add your meat to the grill , carefully oil the grate with some olive oil to prevent sticking. I cooked the meat in two batches as I made a ton of food. you want to cook the kabobs on a low heat. Ideally the corn should be cooked at a high heat, so you can throw them on the grill while your assembling your kabobs, they only take about 10-15 min on high heat, but what I ended up doing was throwing them on the grill at the low heat with the kabobs and just leaving them on the whole time that the meat batches were cooking. It worked out nicely for me.



    Don’t mind my rusty seasoned work horse of a smoker, It’s clean I promise



    When all is done it will look like this! Oh man I can still taste it! The garlic corn was amazing. The aroma alone when you open the packet was incredible. The taste is knee buckling.

    Somewhere in the middle of Grilling I whipped up a batch of seasoned rice to lay under the meat. I didn’t have a chance to snap any pictures as I was elbow deep in cooking everything else, but here’s what I did.


    Boil 4 cups of water in a pot. Add in 4 cubes of chicken bouillon, 1 tbsp season salt, 1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning (measurments are close guesses) when water is boiling remove from heat and add in 4 cups of instant rice. Cover and let set at least 10 min or until the rest of your food is cooked. EASY! and it was light, refreshing, and really good! the entire family loved it, it was a perfect compliment to the meat.



    I hope you try this and ENJOY!




    Beef Hecka



    Two days ago my kids and I got trapped inside walmart for a Lock down during a tornado. It was scary stuff. We quickly lost power in the store and the front doors shattered. The wind was whipping around all the hanging signs, the thunder was booming monstrously. Did I mention it was scary stuff? After the main danger has past Walmart decided to kick everyone out into the storm since their power was still out. Nice. The point of all this on my cooking blog, is that we had to leave our shopping cart and head home battling the storm with no food or supplies. Nice. (again) Which brings us to today’s recipe. We didn’t have much food left at home except for some staples, hence the outing to the grocery store. So I whipped up a meal that I grew up with that required very little ingredients. My mother has always called it Beef Hecka. But I hate that name, so personally I refer it to my family as beef and rice. However, since in the recipe world beef and rice could mean millions of things,  I went ahead and let you in on what the recipes is really called. True to Reluctant chef form, this recipe is simple and delicious!

    Let’s get started.

    (on a quick side note…. I just noticed that when I go on to this website on my laptop all the pictures are cut in half 😦  My main computer has a monster 27 inch monitor so I have been making all my pics big and bold, not realizing that it would hack off part of the picture for people with average sized monitors . So from now on I will be scaling down my pics, at least for the horizontal ones. My apologies for anyone who has experienced this issue!)



    Slice up one onion



    Slice up some steaks in thin strips. (this one here is a london broil freshly cut strait from the cow just for me from my meat market butcher. mmmmm!) I am SO a carnivore!



    To feed a family of five, I cut up about 3 steaks. I’d say it was around 3 pounds or so



    Drizzle some olive oil (or butter if you don’t have any oil) in a hot pan and saute your onions until they are soft or about half way done (since onions take longer to cook)




    toss in your meat and stir. continue to stir until brown



    like this




    add in 1/2 cup of sugar and mix well



    this will caramelize the meat. It brown’s quick so let’s move on fast



    pour in 1 cup of water  and 1 cup of soy sauce



    Let simmer for 10 min, it will reduce down a bit. Now serve over rice! don’t forget to pour some of the sauce over your rice, it is mmm mm good!






    this recipe is easily halved if making smaller portions. Enjoy!


    Beef Hecka


    3 pounds sliced steak

    1 onion

    1/2 cup sugar

    1 cup soy sauce

    1 cup water

    Cooked white rice


    Brown onions in small amount of grease or oil. When onions are cooked halfway and soft add in meat. Cook until brown. Add sugar and mix well. Will caramelize fast! Add in soy sauce and water. Simmer for 10 min. Serve over rice!