Simple syrup

Try not to be blown away by the beauty of that picture, okay?

I saw bottled simple syrup for sale the other day for a kind of ridiculous price and I was kind of horrified. Its name is no accident, folks; this stuff is crazy easy to make.

Simple syrup


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water


  1. I fill my glass Pyrex to the one cup mark, then pour in one cup of sugar, and microwave. I leave a chopstick in it while microwaving because it helps the bubbles escape as it comes close to a boil, and because it’s handy dandy for stirring it every so often
  2. Microwave the syrup for a minute or so at a time, stirring after each minute, till the sugar is completely dissolved, then set on the counter to cool
  3. I store mine in a Wilton squeeze bottle, but any bottle or jar will work just fine.


Now you’re all set to make key lime amaretto sours! Iced coffee! Key lime margaritas! The possibilities are endless.

Chilpotle cheese dip

I’ve been doing a bit of desperation cooking around One Particular Kitchen.

In the initial thick of things with the flood we were trying to stay out of the way, stay home, and leave the available gas, water (oh the irony), roads and groceries for those who needed them far more than we did.

We figured since life gave us limes, we’d make margaritas. And margaritas call for chips and dip! A quick inventory of the pantry revealed no Ro*tel. How is that possible? So I threw together this.

Chilpotle cheese dip


  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can chiles chilpotles
  • 1 lb. Velveeta


  1. Pour can of tomatoes (undrained) into a large bowl
  2. Dice chilpotles and add to bowl
  3. Cut Velveeta into cubes and add to bowl
  4. Now melt this either in the microwave, stirring every minute or so, or by setting the bowl over a pan of boiling water, double-boiler style
  5. After it’s all melted either serve as-is or use an immersion blender (carefully! This stuff is hot) to make it totally smooth
  6. Serve with chips and mucho margaritas

Before I let you go make this, a note on my fair city: the water is going down. Nashville is open for business. We’d love to see you! Amazing things are happening here. The flood? We got this. Please come visit and see why I’m so proud to live here and why there’s no other place like this in the world. We are Nashville.

Creamy crockpot chicken

You know what I hate? When a recipe tastes SO GOOD but photographs SO POORLY. Le sigh.

Shall I just spare you the picture? Because really, it doesn’t do it justice. Just try this (it’s so crazy easy — you just have to try) and then come back and tell me what you thought.

Creamy crockpot chicken


  • What you need:
  • A slow cooker
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 jar of salsa
  • 1 block of cream cheese
  • frozen chicken breasts — I used 2 but you could do up to 4 or 5 without adjusting ingredients and be fine


  1. Put chicken breasts, corn (drained), beans (drained and rinsed) and salsa into the slow cooker and stir it up a bit
  2. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or until chicken is cooked through
  3. Add in block of cream cheese and cook another 30 minutes
  4. Stir up mix to make the whole thing creamy, then serve chicken and sauce together

Do you see how easy that is? And that you must try it? Please do. Make it, eat it, love it, and agree with me that a picture of it is no indication of its actual greatness.

Hot chocolate

The Kiddo loves him some Polar Express. He loves the hot chocolate song and wanted to make some to enjoy while we watched the movie. And by “enjoy” I mean “direct me to drink on his behalf” because he has very strict rules about drinking anything other than milk and water. Alrighty then.

This is actually so easy that it barely deserves to be called a recipe. Don’t you love that kind of recipe?

Stir together in a mug:

  1. 3 teaspoons cocoa powder
  2. 3 teaspoons sugar
  3. Pinch of salt

Now add either boiling water or steaming hot milk and stir. Add marshmallows at will.

Feel free to entertain your taste buds by adding peppermint syrups, Bailey’s, cinnamon, etc.

That’s all. Isn’t that easy? Don’t you want to quit buying those little packets?

Stay warm! 🙂

Chicken and broccoli rice bowl

This was such a quick and easy weeknight meal! And a light one too, which I love in the summer. Or spring. Whatever — it’s hot enough to be glow-inducing during the day already, so it sure feels like summer to me.

For this I made two cups of sushi rice in the rice maker:

And steamed two cups of broccoli, then sprinkled on some lemon juice:

And The Yankee grilled some teriyaki-marinated chicken:

Then we layered all that in bowls and added a bit of soy sauce. A la peanut butter sandwiches! Super easy fake-out take-out, minus the MSG headache.

What are your favorite summer meals when it feels too hot to eat?