Taco Empanadas Blackberry Coconut Impossible Pie Beef Burgundy in the Crock Pot The Secret to Olive Garden’s Breadsticks Olive Garden Copycat Zuppa Toscana 2 Ingredient Pumpkin Peanut Butter Crescents

Taco Empanadas

Taco Empanadas from Amanda's Cookin'

Empanadas are in my blood, only I’m not of Latin decent, but rather of British decent. And in England, they aren’t called empanadas, they’re called pasties. You’ve probably heard of the Cornish Pasty, named for Cornwall, England, where my uncle lives today. During the 17th and 18th centuries, tin miners would take pasties to work with them which could be   Read More »

Blackberry Coconut Impossible Pie

Blackberry Coconut Impossible Pie

In the 1970’s Impossible Pie was a common household term. What is Impossible Pie you ask? The word “impossible” was originally used to mean “impossibly easy” because instead of working up a sweat making a perfect pie crust, you use a baking mix (Bisquick) and fillings all mixed together then baked. The results are custard-like and quite nostalgic, especially for anyone   Read More »

8 Simple Ways to Help Fight Child Hunger in Your Own Neighborhood


I love bringing you simple meal ideas that work for families. While there’s no shortage of food in the Formaro household, not all families are as lucky. One in five children in America is food insecure – they may go to bed hungry and often don’t know when they’ll be able to eat next. These children can be found everywhere:   Read More »

Beef Burgundy in the Crock Pot

Beef Burgundy in the Crock Pot - a delicious slow cooker recipe my family loves!

About thirteen years ago I made a beef burgundy from a recipe that a coworker had given to me. My neighbor had come over and tried it and to this day, claims it’s her favorite dinner I’ve ever made. This time, I wanted to make a crock pot version, so I adjusted the recipe to work with my slow cooker.   Read More »

The Secret to Olive Garden’s Breadsticks

The Secret to Olive Garden's Breadsticks - From Amanda's Cookin' - Amanda Formaro

I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone that doesn’t love Olive Garden’s breadsticks. It’s not necessarily their dough, any soft roll dough will work. The secret behind their breadsticks is actually what happens as soon as they come out of the oven. In fact, my recipe for Olive Garden Copycat Breadsticks is made using my Homemade Pull Apart Dinner Rolls as   Read More »

Olive Garden Copycat Zuppa Toscana

Olive Garden Copycat Zuppa Toscana

I love a good Olive Garden copycat recipe. This particular recipe was scattered all over the Internet already, so all I had to do was make it! It’s really delicious, so I can see why so many people would want to make it at home. It’s not hard to make either, and great for fall and winter. Olive Garden Copycat   Read More »

2 Ingredient Pumpkin Peanut Butter Crescents

2 Ingredient Pumpkin Peanut Butter Crescents

With fall here, my tastebuds are craving pumpkin. It’s funny how just a few years ago I didn’t really care for pumpkin treats and now I’m in love. So when JIF asked me to try their new whipped peanut butter with pumpkin pie spice I was all over it. In fact, I knew I was going to make these crescents   Read More »

4 Ingredient Blueberry Hand Pies

Recipes with less than 5 ingredients: 4 Ingredient Blueberry Hand Pies by Amanda Formaro of Amanda's Cookin'

Recipes with less than 5 ingredients can be hard to come by. Everyone loves a quick and convenient recipe, but hand pies? Not something that’s usually quick, especially if you like to make your pie dough from scratch. Some occasions just don’t allow for that extra time, and that’s where shortcuts come in. These blueberry hand pies can be changed   Read More »

Beef Stew Biscuit Pot Pie

Beef Stew Biscuit Pot Pie - Amanda Formaro of Amanda's Cookin'

I grew up eating pot pies; the kind you take out of the freezer and cook in the oven. I love homemade beef stew, but it always feels like it needs a dinner roll or a biscuit to go with it. So I decided to combine the two, because frankly I don’t have time to make pie dough for pot pies   Read More »

Hummingbird Cake

Recipe for Hummingbird Cake on Amanda's Cookin'

In the late 1970′s Southern Living magazine published a recipe from L.H. Wiggins called Hummingbird Cake. While that may have been the first known publication, it’s said that this cake has been a traditional favorite in southern cuisine since the mid 19th century. Recipe for Hummingbird Cake Hummingbird Cake is usually three round layers containing bananas, cinnamon, pineapple and pecans,   Read More »

70+ Breakfast Recipes

70+ Breakfast Recipes from Amanda's Cookin' - Includes eggs, frittatas, muffins, quick breads, coffee cakes, hash browns, freezer breakfasts, rolls and more!

I’m one of those people that must eat breakfast. Not first thing mind you, but after a cup of coffee followed by a glass of water I’m ready to fuel my body with the first meal of the day. It’s lunch that I often forget! Do you know I actually have a daily reminder on my computer’s calendar so that   Read More »

How to Make Magic Cream Pie

How to Make Magic Cream Pie

Have you ever heard of Magic Cream Pie? It’s been around for what feels like forever, made by one family member or another. You can take the original recipe and change the flavors, like I did with this butterscotch version. I asked a neighbor to taste test it for me, and it passed with flying colors! If butterscotch isn’t your   Read More »

Jif Whipped S’mores!

Jif Whipped S’mores!

National S’mores Day was August 10th, but this family loves s’mores any time of year. In the summer and fall, it’s roasting marshmallows in the backyard over our fire pit. In the colder months, they are happy to make s’mores in the microwave! So when JIF asked me to try their new whipped peanut butter and s’more dip there was   Read More »

15 Homemade Muffin Recipes

Holy breakfast, snack and dessert! MUST try those sugar crusted plum muffins! 15 Muffin Recipes to Try from Amanda's Cookin'

It doesn’t matter what the season, homemade muffin recipes are always welcome in this house. I make muffins and quick breads often, though probably more in the fall than any other time. They are fabulous as after school snacks, perfect for a grab and go breakfast, and even make a nice dessert after dinner. Besides, it’s an excuse to technically   Read More »

Vintage Recipe: Watergate Salad

Watergate Salad4

Seems odd to me, calling this a vintage recipe. After all, watergate salad was something I ate at family gatherings when I was a child. So calling it a vintage recipe makes me feel old! I think it’s probably safe to say that just about everyone has tried this recipe at least once. Maybe you’ve adapted it, changed the ingredients   Read More »

Quick Cranberry Apple Cobbler

Recipe for Quick Cranberry Apple Cobbler from Amanda's Cookin'

Honestly, it wasn’t until I hit my thirties that I thought apple cobbler was worth eating. Give me a piece of cake with frosting and I was all over it, but cobblers just weren’t my thing when I was younger. I think part of the reason stemmed from my childhood, as growing up I just don’t remember ever being offered   Read More »

25+ Homemade Ice Cream Recipes

25+ Homemade Ice Cream Recipes

I absolutely love making homemade ice cream! I’ve made both kinds: French style, which is an egg custard you cook and cool, and what is known as the Philadelphia style, or New York style ice cream. Philadelphia style is much easier, does not require cooking, and often uses sweetened condensed milk in the base. Once I learned how to make   Read More »

Lemon Desserts: Citrus Lover’s Poke Cake

Lemon Desserts: Citrus Lover's Poke Cake by Amanda Formaro of Amanda's Cookin'

I have always loved lemon desserts, ever since I was a kid. Every holiday my aunt would make a traditional English Trifle and my favorite, lemon curd tarts! In fact, I can’t believe I don’t have those on this blog yet. Will need to fix that! I always have a jar of lemon curd in my refrigerator. It’s fabulous on   Read More »

Quaker Oats Meatloaf

Quaker Oats Prize Winning Meatloaf - Amanda Formaro - Amanda's Cookin'

While I have a favorite meatloaf recipe that I make all the time, this Quaker Oats meatloaf is a quicker alternative. This is the recipe that appeared on the back of the Quaker Oats oatmeal container many years ago. They still have the recipe on their site, however it has been changed from the original in that they have lowered   Read More »

Vintage Recipe: Lazy Daisy Cake

Vintage Recipe: Lazy Daisy Cake - Amanda Formaro of Amanda's Cookin'

I’m not positive how Lazy Daisy Cake got its name. Some people say it was because this cake was perfect for those lazy days, while others say that it’s a simple cake without any fancy frosting or decorating, therefore making it a no-fuss cake for the day you wanted to be a lazy baker. is there such a thing?? Plus,   Read More »

Vintage Recipe: Square Dance Party Cake

Vintage Recipe: Square Dance Party Cake by Amanda Formaro at Amanda's Cookin'

When my friends at Recipe Lion asked me to revamp some vintage recipes, one that I came across was this Square Dance Party Cake. The original recipe was printed on an old advertisement for Dexo, which was a brand of shortening. Since Dexo is long gone and no longer being produced (at least from what I could find), I used   Read More »

Olive Garden Peach Tea Copycat

Olive Garden Peach Tea Copycat by Amanda Formaro of Amanda's Cookin'

How do they make that peach iced tea at Olive Garden? I’m not sure, I don’t really know anyone that works there. However, I’ve discovered something very simple and everyone that tries it completely agrees, it’s just as good as Olive Garden’s peach tea! It’s called peach nectar. I actually found mine in the Mexican food aisle of the grocery   Read More »

Vintage Recipe: Ambrosia Salad

Vintage Recipe: Ambrosia Salad @amandaformaro Amanda's Cookin'

Growing up we always had Ambrosia Salad on the holiday table. Potlucks, barbecues, family get togethers, it’s just one of those desserts that everyone likes and someone always brings! There are different version, some with sour cream, some without, some with cream cheese, and so on. As long as there’s lots of maraschino cherries, I’m there. Get my recipe for   Read More »

Seven Layer Bars Recipe

Seven Layer Bars, also known as Hello Dollys or Magic Cookie Bars. Great for take alongs!

This vintage recipe has gone by several names over the years: Hello Dolly Bars, Magic Cookie Bars and Seven Layer Bars. This is one of the easiest recipes around as it doesn’t require a bowl or even a mixing spoon. All you need is a pan and your ingredients. The “magic” is in the layering. There are seven ingredients that   Read More »