Pineapple Jalapeno Salsa

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Sweet bits of pineapple and spicy jalapeño combine to make this easy pineapple salsa one of our favorite condiments and snacks.

If you’ve been reading this blog for very long you already know that there are not many recipes that I label “the best”. This salsa is well qualified for that title.

Pineapple Salsa

There is a Mexican restaurant in my city that serves a pineapple salsa that I have enjoyed for a while now.

I have no idea why it took me so long to try making my own, but a sale on pineapples finally pushed me to try. What was I waiting for? This pineapple jalapeno salsa absolutely smokes my former favorites.

Jalapeno Pineapple Salsa

I ate this salsa three days in a row and I am not even going to pretend that I shared more than a taste or two with my family. They all liked it, but I lucked out and was able to hide it away.

Most of it, I ate straight out of the bowl with tortilla chips (and, if I’m being honest, a few times with a spoon). I also spooned some on top of some leftover chicken and salad for lunch.

I am making more of this today and will have to share this time because I promised. My oldest son was not happy that the first batch “disappeared” so quickly.

pineapple salsa in mixing bowl with lime wedges

Pineapple Jalapeno Dip

Over the past ten years, this spicy pineapple salsa has become a solid favorite with family and friends. I’ve given this recipe out countless times after sharing the salsa with friends.

We love this salsa on Hawaiian Hot Dogs, Carnitas Street Tacos, and Carnitas Salad Bowls. I make a double batch of this salsa almost every time we’re barbecuing with friends and it disappears fast. Eaten with a spoon, scooped up with chips, or piled over burgers,

Hershey’s Chocolate Cake

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This cake. Hershey’s Chocolate Cake is the most versatile and the easiest perfect one-bowl chocolate cake recipe I have ever made.

As long as I can remember, I’ve seen the well-known chocolate cake recipe on the side of the Hershey’s cocoa box and I’ve made it countless times. On a whim, I decided to try making a gluten-free version of the famous Hershey Cake a few years ago.

WOW. It turned out beautifully the very first time and I have made this cake many more times since then, both the original recipe and the gluten-free variation.

There is nothing quite like having a lightning-fast homemade cake recipe that turns out perfectly every single time. 

Hershey's One-Bowl Chocolate Cake is truly perfect!

Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake

The cake is sturdy enough to hold together in layers, as cupcakes or to slice as a bundt cake. I’ve made this recipe into cupcakes and topped them with Fresh Strawberry Frosting.

I’ve made a layer cake filled with strawberry frosting, and a layer of berries, and then topped the cake with chocolate frosting.

I’ve made bundt cakes and simply poured the warm frosting over the cake. Every way I’ve served this cake, it has disappeared in no time at all!

Hershey Chocolate Cake

Nothing sparks that warm fuzzy feeling like the aroma of chocolate cake baking in your home. Put something chocolatey in the oven and watch as all the members of your family suddenly flock to the kitchen like moths to an iridescent light.

Don’t get me wrong. I love an adventurous dessert ( hello, Flourless Hot Chocolate Cake) and sometimes you need an elegant showstopper like Chocolate Lava Cakes to wow a table.

But at the end of the day, it’s hard to beat the familiar pleasure of a simple Hershey’s chocolate bundt cake.

Chicken Tetrazzini

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The BEST chicken tetrazzini recipe begins with chicken, mushrooms, and pasta tossed together with a creamy, garlicky sauce.

Layer that deliciousness in a baking dish and sprinkle it with just a handful of cheese before baking just long enough to melt everything together. Served with warm bread and a salad, this meal is a hit every time.

creamy pasta with chicken on a blue plate with a wooden fork

Almost 18 years ago now, my sweet friend Lisa brought my family a pan of this Chicken Tetrazzini. It was a night just a few days after my middle son was born; and in the midst of our new baby fog and sleep deprivation, we managed to eat an absurd amount of this dish.

You know those dishes you taste once and can’t stop thinking about? This chicken Tetrazzini recipe is one of those. When you’re exhausted from a new baby, a hot meal at the end of the day is extra divine.

I promised Sean I’d get the recipe as soon as possible. Lisa shared her recipe with me and this pasta has made regular appearances on our table ever since. 

Best Chicken Tetrazzini Recipe

At the time, this was the best chicken and pasta dish we had ever tasted, giving it the honor of being christened “The Best Chicken Tetrazzini.” (And it still stands as one of the tastiest chicken pasta dishes you’ll ever make!)

It’s an easy and comforting dinner that I make so often I can just about cook it from memory at this point. And I have a feeling that chicken tetrazzini will be a meal my boys think of when they think of favorite family dinners from their childhoods.

Chicken tetrazzini in large stainless pan on floral towel

My whole family enjoys this meal very much and one of my boys would happily do his best to eat this entire recipe on his own! As I began to make this for dinner last night, I was surprised to realize that I didn’t already have this recipe on the blog.

It’s become such a favorite, I

Summer Strawberry Cookies

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a photo of several baked strawberry cookies lined up on a white parchment paper. some of the cookies are stopped with a white glaze and other have been rolled in sugar.

Strawberry cookies made with real strawberries! These cookies are soft with slightly crispy edges and a thick, chewy middle. You can top them with a light glaze or roll them in sugar.

I was about to make our lemon drop cookies a few months ago when I got the brilliant idea that if a candy could be blended to flavor a cookie, surely freeze dried fruit could as well. Sure enough, a summer strawberry cookie was born! 

I thought strawberry was the absolute best flavor as a kid. Now I actually tend to go more raspberry out of the berry family (curious what you all would pick), but my kids are for sure on the childhood bandwagon of fresh, juicy red strawberries. They love that these cookies are dense and chewy but they have the pick of rolling in sugar or topping with a crackly glaze.

I personally prefer to make a lemon glaze to brighten up these sweet cookies, but you can do whatever makes you happy!

Ingredients for Strawberry Cookies

Most of the strawberry cookie recipes out there use strawberry cake mix or strawberry pudding to get the strawberry flavor (in fact we have our own strawberry pudding cookie recipe here on the blog), but I love using real strawberries in this recipe to get that true strawberry flavor. Here is what you will need to make these cookies:

For the Cookies

  • Freeze Dried Strawberries: Don’t use fresh strawberries. They will add too much moisture to the dough and make the cookies cakey.
  • Sugar: regular granulated white sugar
  • Butter Flavored Shortening: You can also use regular shortening (you’ll lose a little richness in flavor) or just regular butter but they end up more dry with just butter.
  • Unsalted Butter: softened, combined with the shortening, the cookies are tender and still rich in flavor
  • Eggs: add structure to the cookies
  • Vanilla: adds flavor
  • Strawberry Extract: just for a little boost in flavor
  • Flour: use all-purpose flour
  • Baking Soda: leavening agent to give the cookies rise and fluffiness
  • Baking Powder: leavening agent that works with the baking soda to help the cookies rise
  • Salt: enhances all the flavors

For the Glaze

  • Powdered Sugar: adds sweetness and structure to the glaze
  • Milk or Water: milk will be a little more rich in flavor
  • Lemon Juice: I love to add a little lemon juice to give a nice flavor burst to the cookie, but it is totally optional.
    • BONUS: You could also add a little strawberry extract to the glaze if you want even more strawberry flavor.


  • Sugar: Roll the cookie dough balls in sugar before baking if you prefer that instead of the glaze.

The measurements for all the ingredients and the instructions for making these cookies can all be found in the recipe card at the

The Little Things Newsletter #366 – Life, laughter, and lots of great food!

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Welcome to the weekend, my friends! We’re home again at last. We had a whole lot of fun exploring Tennessee with our youngest son. (And before I forget, big thanks to Mary for emailing me and recommending we try Hillbilly Golf while we were in Gatlinburg. What a fun afternoon!) Let me just admit right now that I am ecstatic not to be leaving home again until mid-July for our annual family camping trip.

Bring on the summer company, barbecues with friends, and lazy afternoons in the hammock and the rocking chairs. I am ready for it all. (Lest you think my life is picturesque at all times, there will also be 14,793 dishes to wash, piles of laundry for everyone to do, and many more mundane tasks.)

But amidst it all, there will be blue skies, sunshine, warm rain that brings on disgusting humidity (reality check there), and as many outdoor moments as possible. 

ON THE BLOGS this week: Crisp warm tortillas filled with chicken, bell peppers, and plenty of melting cheese are a terrific dinner or an excellent way to use up just a bit of leftovers. Who would turn down a piping hot chicken fajita quesadilla for lunch? (Not me!)

Red potatoes seasoned with Mexican spices are roasted and then tossed with sauteed onions, peppers, and beans, finished with a handful of barely wilted, warm spinach in this Black Bean Breakfast Skillet. Topped with a soft egg or scrambled eggs, this is a hearty and filling, slightly spicy weekend breakfast that can easily be doubled to feed a crowd.

Thanks to the magic of slow cooking, you can create these wonderfully buttery Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions with almost no effort at all.

With crunchy greens, juicy tomatoes, tender peas, cheddar cheese, plenty of bacon and eggs, and a bright, smoky dressing, this old fashioned 7 layer salad delivers more than you might be expecting.

Sweet corn, ripe bell peppers, red onion, and jalapenos are seasoned with a medley of aromatic spices and a touch of fresh cilantro to make each spoonful of this Fiesta Corn a fabulous blend of flavors.

Rhubarb Bars with a shortbread crust and tangy rhubarb custard filling are a fun, easy spring dessert. And this Rhubarb Sauce with Strawberry Jello is a favorite old-fashioned rhubarb treat. Serve it over ice cream or eat it in a bowl just like you would applesauce.

Moist, sweet, and lightly spiced, this car