What’s Cooking

What’s Cooking with Melissa?

3-4 Chicken breasts, skinless and boneless, cut in half

1 lb. small red potatoes, quartered

1 lb. bag baby carrots, cut in half

8 oz. green beans, fresh and cut into bite size pieces

1 medium onion, roughly chopped

1 large red bell pepper, cut into bite size pieces

2 tsp. minced garlic

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp. each garlic & onion powder

1/4 cup honey

2 tbsp. Dijon mustard

3 tbsp. whole grain mustard

2 tbsp. water

3 tbsp. olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper to taste. In a small bowl mix together honey, the two mustards and water, set aside. Place potatoes, carrots, onion, red pepper and minced garlic in a bowl. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder and drizzle with 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Toss to coat. Place the chicken breast halves and vegetables mixture on a lightly greased large baking sheet. Spoon honey mustard over all. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Coat green beans with 1 tbsp olive oil, season to taste and add to pan. Cook for another 5-10 minutes or until chicken and all veggies are done.

*Use your favorite veggies. If using mushrooms add them when adding green beans. 

What’s Cooking with Melissa?

Back to school! Now that the kiddos are back in school preparing breakfasts and snacks are a must. Sometimes they need to be quick, but I still want them nutritious.  This week’s recipe is great for everyone, enjoy!

Apples & Banana Peanut Butter Snacks 

Peanut Butter Spread

1/2 cup Peanut butter or nut butter of choice

1 tbsp.  Cocoa powder 

Maple Peanut Butter Spread:

1/2 cup Peanut butter or nut butter of choice

1-2 tsp. Pure maple syrup 

Stir peanut butter with cocoa powder and peanut butter with maple syrup… set aside. 

Apples, cored and sliced into rings (if not serving immediately, soak for 10 minutes in 2 cups of water with 2 tbsp. of lemon juice to prevent browning) 

Bananas, peeled and cut in half 

Spread either of the peanut butter spreads on one side of apple rings and sprinkle with desired toppings. If using bananas spread over the entire half of the banana and then roll the bananas in the your topping of choice.

Topping Ideas

Sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, mini M&Ms

Chopped nuts, raisins, dried cranberries 

Granola, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds 

The ideas are endless and the best thing is you can make them with your favorites.

What’s cooking with Melissa?

One recipe that has so many variations is BBQ sauce. There is sweet, savory, spicy, fruity, tangy, etc. It is really a personal preference. One version that has become a favorite at our house is a tangy Carolina style BBQ sauce. This is easy to make and can be used on any meats that BBQ sauce is used for. (Note this is my version of the sauce)

Carolina Style BBQ Sauce

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1 cup ketchup

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup prepared yellow mustard

2 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. chili powder

1/4 tsp. salt

dash of ground black pepper

Whisk all of the ingredients together in a large sauce pan. Cook over high heat and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes or until sauce is reduced by about one third. Stir frequently. Remove from heat and pour on your meat (chicken wings, pork, etc.) and toss to coat.  

*Sauce can be cooled and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

What’s Cooking with Melissa?

This week I’d like to share a hot dog recipe that is good for a one dish supper or an alternative to cooking out. To make this recipe really good be sure to use your favorite kind of hot dogs.  

Hot Dogs and Potatoes

3 cups potatoes (washed, dried and cubed; with or without skins)

1/2 cup onion, chopped (optional)

1/2 cup bell peppers, chopped (optional)

1 pkg. 8 hot dogs

2 tbsp. canola oil

salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium/high heat. Add potatoes, onions and peppers, cover and stir frequently; add salt and pepper to taste. Cook about 20 minutes or until potatoes are slightly browned and softened. While potatoes are cooking slice hot dogs in bite size pieces. Add hot dogs to the potatoes and cook about 10 minutes or until hot dogs are cooked through.

*Serve with your favorite toppings like ketchup, mustard, shredded cheese, sauerkraut and/or chili.

What’s Cooking with Melissa?


Every year I can’t wait for peach season to get here for my canning and baking. This year I was able to get to the orchard early and the peaches are so good that I had to bake with them right away. Hope you enjoy this easy and delicious peach dessert.

Peach Streusel

8 peaches, peeled and sliced

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

3/4 cup flour (I use gluten free 1 to 1 flour)

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 or 7×11 baking dish. Place peaches in baking dish and sprinkle with 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, lightly toss to coat. In a bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and egg.  Mixture will be crumbly. Sprinkle over top of peaches. Bake for 50-60 minutes.

*It’s great served warm with whipped cream or ice cream.

What’s Cooking with Melissa?

Recently I had several bananas that needed to be used or thrown away. Instead of plain banana muffins, my granddaughter and I made Banana Blueberry Muffins. They turned out so well I wanted to share the recipe. Hope you enjoy them!

Banana Blueberry Muffins

3 bananas, very ripe

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 cup flour

Dash of salt 

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

2 tbsp. ground flaxseed meal

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

2 Eggs, beaten

1 tsp. vanilla extract 

1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place paper liners in a 12 muffin tin. In a large bowl, mash bananas well with a fork, and then stir in baking soda. Set aside for 2 minutes. Next mix into the banana mixture the melted butter, maple syrup, salt, eggs, and vanilla extract. Add the flour, ground flaxseed meal and cinnamon, mix well. Gently stir in blueberries. Scoop batter into muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes or until a knife or cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.  

* These muffins can be made using a gluten free flour blend that includes xanthan gum. (This is how I make them and they turn out perfect)

** Sugar can be used in place of maple syrup.

What’s Cooking with Melissa?


It’s really nice having fresh summer vegetables on hand. Zucchini is a unique vegetable in that it can be used in sweet or savory dishes.  

Chicken and Zucchini Noodles

1 lb. chicken breasts or tenderloins, cooked and cut into bite size pieces

3 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp. minced garlic 

dash of red pepper flakes

3/4 cup grape tomatoes, halved

salt and pepper to taste

3 medium zucchini, spiralized  

In a large skillet, heat olive oil, and saute garlic for about 30 seconds. Add chicken pieces, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and grape tomatoes, stir. Next toss in zucchini noodles and cook for a couple of minutes only.

*Optional:  Top with grated parmesan cheese and/or fresh basil.

**If you don’t have a spiralizer, use a vegetable peeler to make the zucchini noodles. Be sure to leave the skin on for a crunchy texture.

What’s Cooking with Melisa

Shark week starts Sunday and at our house it’s not just a television show, it’s a week- long event. I like to plan fun treats for the family to have while watching the shark shows. I’d like to share a couple of easy kid-friendly ideas with you.


Ocean Punch

1/2 gallon of Blue Hawaiian Punch

1/2 2 liter bottle of Lemon Lime Soda

1 1/2 cups pineapple juice

Mix together in a large pitcher and keep in refrigerator until ready to drink. To make fun ice cubes, freeze some leftover Blue Hawaiian Punch in ice cube trays with some gummy fish and gummy sharks in them. Use the ice cubes in the Ocean Punch.


Ocean Jell-O Mousse

3/4 cup boiling water

1 cup ice cubes

1 small package blue Jell-O (I use blue raspberry flavor)

2 cups cool whip topping, thawed

gummy fish and sharks (optional)

In a large bowl, pour boiling water into Jell-O powder and stir until it is completely dissolved. Add ice and stir until completely melted. Gently mix in 1 1/2 cups of cool whip. Spoon into dessert cups or bowls and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. When ready to serve top each one with a dollop of cool whip and some gummy fish and/or sharks. 

Weekly What’s Cooking with Melissa

I’ve had a raspberry bush for three years, and this is the first year I’ve had a good harvest. We’ve been eating a lot of raspberries. This is also the first year I’ve actually baked with raspberries. I hope you enjoy this week’s recipe for Raspberry Crumb Muffins.

Raspberry Crumb Muffins
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar (I use raw sugar)
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 cups raspberries

Crumb topping:
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 tbsp. butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a muffin pan or line with paper baking cups and set aside. Pour milk in a small bowl and add lemon juice, set aside. (This will “sour” the milk. Buttermilk can be used instead.) In a bowl whisk together, flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar. Stir in eggs one at a time and then add vanilla extract. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients then add “soured milk.” When well mixed, fold in raspberries.

For the crumb topping mix together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter with a fork. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to dip the batter into the muffin cups. Next spoon the crumb mixture on top of each, about 2 tsps each.

Place muffin pan in the oven and immediately reduce temperature to 375 degrees. Bake 30 minutes.
*To make these gluten free, I use Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour.

Weekly What’s Cooking with Melissa

If you like to have snacks while watching fireworks on July 4th, try this week’s White Chocolate Popcorn. Popcorn is one of my all time favorite snacks. I’m not a big fan of white chocolate on its own, but add it to popcorn with some sprinkles and I love it!


White Chocolate Popcorn

10 cups popcorn, lightly salted

1 12 oz. bag white chocolate chips

1 tbsp. shortening

red and blue sprinkles

Melt white chocolate chips in a double boiler with shortening, stir frequently. On a large baking sheet or two, spread out popcorn then pour white chocolate over top. Gently toss to coat then sprinkle on the sprinkles. Let set for about an hour or longer before storing in an airtight container or bag. You want the chocolate to harden.  Have fun, be safe and have a happy July 4th!