A Big Life Change…

Hey everyone! I hope your summer is off to a fantastic start! I’m officially on my 4th day of summer, and I am LOVING my schedule. It’s so nice to be home in the evening. I have more time to clean, more time to cook, and more time to blog. So, here I am…and I have some big news.

As you all know, I decided to slow down my blogging at the beginning of April. While it’s true that April and May are extremely busy with the end of the dance and preschool year, that’s not the reason I decided to post less. The real reason is because I was preparing for a big job transition at work. After 8 years of teaching dance, I decided to leave our dance program. It was an incredibly hard decision, probably the most difficult decision I’ve made in my life. The decision came about after years of back pain, and me wanting to live pain-free. I worked with our director on finding other ways I could continue to work at the museum, but in March, a job opened up that I was extremely interested in. I applied, and was offered an interview. I spent weeks preparing, and after a successful interview, I was offered the job. My first day is Monday, and I am over-the-moon excited. The job is higher up in the Museum, and is going to keep me on my toes, but I truly feel I’m where I need to be.

With that being said, I also feel that it’s time to officially give up “Table for One.” This is a decision I’ve agonized over, as I really enjoy writing this blog, but it’s a necessary one. With the new job starting, this seems like the right time to finish this journey. I also made the decision for health reasons. At the beginning of 2015, I set a goal to lose 15 pounds this year. The first three months of the year were difficult, with my weight ping-ponging between the same three pounds, but never going down. However, since my blogging and mass recipe making has decreased, so has my weight. As of Monday, I’ve lost 5.5 of those 15 pounds. I am so proud, and want to keep my momentum going, and feel that giving up my blog will help with that.

I want to take a moment to thank you all for your support of “Table for One.” It became bigger than I ever thought it would be, and I can’t thank you enough for that! I will be leaving it online, so you can still search recipes. And who knows, maybe someday, I’ll pick it back up again! I’m not saying never, just for now. I will be taking down my Twitter and Instagram pages, but will be leaving the Facebook group up. If at any time you have recipe questions, please let me know! I am still going to be cooking; I’m just going to be doing more for me.

Thank you all so much! Until next time…


Cheesy Chicken Sausage and Tortellini Skillet

Happy Sunday, foodie friends!  I hope you’re all doing well, and enjoying a bit of nice spring weather. It’s been a very full 3 weeks since I last posted. The show I choreographed, “The Drowsy Chaperone,” was two weekends ago. It was wonderful! Every time I choreograph a musical, I’m always overwhelmed by how proud I feel, and this year was no exception!

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I am in the final stretch of the school year too! Four more weeks of preschool, and five more weeks of dance. I can’t believe how fast the year has gone. We are starting to prepare for preschool graduation, and starting our “farm” unit this week. We’re also in the midst of all of our end-of-the-year dance things; picture day was yesterday, and a ton of fun!

Everything else is good. Taking a step back from “Table for One” has been such a good thing. I’ve had so much more time to experiment in the kitchen, and come up with recipes that I love. I still plan to post as often as I can, and I’m hoping to get back into a regular routine when summer starts. But for today, I have a new recipe for you! Let me tell you why you need this recipe in your life.

1) It takes 30 minutes, from start to finish.

2) The prep is minimal. Aside from cutting up the onion and sausage, you just pour everything else into the skillet.

3) Everything cooks in the same pot. THE SAME POT!

4) It’s delicious. Like, really delicious.

Cheesy Chicken Sausage and Tortellini Skillet


What I’m Listening to: “Budapest” by George Ezra

Ingredients (makes 3-4 servings)

-1 tbsp cooking oil

-1/2 yellow onion, diced

-Salt and pepper

-2 cloves minced garlic

-4 links of your favorite chicken sausage, sliced (I used Johnsonville 3 Cheese Italian Style!)

-15 oz tomato sauce

-3 cups frozen cheese tortellini

-1 cup chicken broth

-2 tbsp cream cheese

-1 cup Monterrey Jack shredded cheese

In a large skillet, heat the cooking oil over high heat. Add the diced onion and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until the onions begin to brown. Add the garlic and stir; cook for an additional minute. Add the chicken sausage, tomato sauce, cheese tortellini, and chicken broth. Bring the skillet to a boil. Stir and cover, turning the heat down to medium low. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, until the tortellini is plump. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the cream cheese and Monterrey Jack. Stir to mix. Cover for 5 minutes; stir and serve with a green salad.


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Table for One Update!

Hey everyone! I hope you had a fantastic Easter weekend! It’s a big week here at Table for One: it’s our 1st birthday! While I am very excited and so grateful for the support the blog and myself have received, I do have an announcement I’d like to make. I’ve decided to take a step back from Table for One. Don’t worry; the blog is not over, and I’m not quitting. I’ve been making a lot of changes in my personal life this year, and one of the big things I want to do is simplify. I’m trying to simplify in all aspects of my life, and with the craziness that is the end of the school year, I’ve decided to simplify Table for One as well. Here’s what that means for you…

As I said above, Table for One is not going anywhere. The main difference will be that I will be posting less than my previous “two posts a week.” I’ll post when I’m able, and when I want to. I’ll still update my social media accounts, although it probably won’t be everyday. How long is this going to last? I’m not quite sure. I want to take (and enjoy) time for me. I also want to take time to experiment with new recipes! While I love blogging, it is very time consuming, and I don’t always have the time to experiment in the kitchen how I’d like.

I appreciate all the love and support I’ve received in the past year of this blogging endeavor. Never did I think Table for One would have the following that it does! Please, keep sharing and passing along your favorite recipes. It means so much to me to share good food with others.

Keep on cooking!

xoxo, Steph

Toffee Caramel Cream Cheese Bars

A few months ago, I decided to give Match.com a try. I’d done online dating one other time, and didn’t have much luck. But I thought I’d give it one more shot, so I signed up for a month long subscription. It actually went a lot better than the first time around. I talked to some nice guys, went on a few dates. One of the guys I talked to seemed really great at first. He was my age, cute, had a good job, and seemed genuinely interested in me. After a few days of talking online, we decided to exchange phone numbers so we could communicate more regularly. He was charming, flirty…and then it happened. I had come down with a cold, and he was asking about my favorite comfort foods. I told him I like ice cream. He asked what kind. I said anything chocolate. He asked if I liked fruit in my ice cream, to which I told him that I do like fruit, but not when it masquerades as dessert. I like to keep them separate…which is when he decided to school me on how and why I should be making my desserts healthy. Umm, what?! Who needs that kind of negativity in their life? Definitely not me. And, he thought it was outrageous that I drink Starbucks twice a week. Needless to say, it didn’t work out.

Now, this dessert right here…is probably as unhealthy as it gets, but worth every delicious, creamy bite. I got the idea when my mom brought “Better Than Sex” cake for my birthday. Or, as we call it, “Better Than No Cake” cake. I subbed out the german chocolate cake for a brownie base and created a ganache/frosting to top it off. I don’t like to toot my own horn, but this dessert is my new favorite!

Toffee Caramel Cream Cheese Bars

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What I’m Listening to: “Step Out” by Jose Gonzalez

Ingredients (makes an 8×8 pan)

-1 box of brownie mix (Note: check the box to make sure it makes an 8×8 pan, not a 9×13- I used Betty Crocker Supreme Triple Chunk mix)

-1/4 cup water

-1/3 cup vegetable oil

-2 eggs

-8 oz block cream cheese, softened (I used 1/3 less fat…you know, to be healthier)

-1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping

-2 heaping cups powdered sugar

-1 cup Heath toffee baking bits

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease an 8×8 pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine the brownie mix, water, vegetable oil, and eggs. Pour into the pan and bake for 32-35 minutes, until the brownies have set and a fork inserted in the center of the pan comes out clean. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed for 1-2 minutes. Pour in the caramel ice cream topping and mix until combined. Add the powdered sugar and beat for 3-4 minutes, turning the speed to low for the last minute. Pour evenly over the brownies. Sprinkle with the Heath baking bits and place in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes. Serve immediately or place in an air-tight container in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days.

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Mexican Chip Dip

Happy Saturday! I hope you’re all having a fantastic weekend so far! I had my last choreography rehearsal for “The Drowsy Chaperone” today. They open in two weeks, and I could not be more excited! Usually, I’m relieved when I finish choreographing a show. I love doing it, but it’s a lot of work. But this show has been so much fun for me that I don’t want it to be over! I’m sure I’ll feel differently when I have my Friday afternoons back, but right now, it’s a little bittersweet. Anywho, if you’re in the QC the weekend of April 10, pop on over to North High School; it’s going to be a great show!

I am SO looking forward to summer! I know, I know. That’s the understatement of the year. But, I can’t wait for nice weather, barbecues, baseball games, and time with my friends and family. Anyone else with me? Everyone? That’s what I thought. It’s never too early to start planning your first summer party, so you’ve got to check out this awesome dip! It’s very light and refreshing, and a must at any barbecue. It takes two minutes to whip together, but will taste like you spent your afternoon in the kitchen.

Cooking for Beginners: Mexican Chip Dip

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-2 cups of plain Greek Yogurt (If you don’t have any, sour cream is fine!)

-3/4 cup of red salsa

-1 cup of Mexican or Fiesta cheese

-1 1/2 tsp. dried parsley

-1/2 tsp. onion powder

-1/2 tsp. salt

-1 tsp garlic powder

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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Note: Adapted from The Weary Chef


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Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Dip

So, it seems like One Direction is the hot topic of the week! In case you’ve been living under a rock the past few days (or aren’t a fan of pop culture), Zayn, one of five guys comprising the pop group, has left the band. And everyone is talking about it! Every Buzzfeed article is mentioning it, Facebook is blowing up, and some girl started a GoFundMe to buy out One Direction’s contract, which has already raised 87.8 million dollars! (Seriously.) I played some One Direction in my dance classes this week as a good-faith gesture, and my students were almost in tears. It’s apparently that bad! I tried to compare it to when Kevin temporarily left the Backstreet Boys, but let’s face it: I don’t think Kevin was anyone’s favorite BSB member. So, the world is down one One Directioner…is this the new “day the music died?”

If it is, I’ve got a cure: this creamy, heavenly combination of chocolate and peanut butter, which, in my opinion, is better than a boy band any day! I love to serve this dip when I have company over, and I’ve made it for work a few times too. It’s always a huge hit! It’s very rich, so a little goes a long way.

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Dip

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What I’m Listening to: “Show-Off” from The Drowsy Chaperone Soundtrack


-8 oz block of cream cheese, softened

-1 stick of butter, softened

-1/4 cup of creamy peanut butter

-1/2 cup of brown sugar

-3/4 cup of powdered sugar

-1 tsp of vanilla

-1/2 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips

-An 8 oz bag of Reese’s minis

Place the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a mixer. Blend together until combined. Add the peanut butter, brown sugar, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Blend until smooth. With a spatula, stir in the chocolate chips and Reese’s minis. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with graham crackers or a spoon…I won’t judge.

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Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken Dip

How is it only Thursday?! Don’t get me wrong; my week has been going really well, but I am DRAINED. And really hungry. And want nothing more than to curl up in bed with all six seasons of LOST, the biggest coffee in the world, and a box of cupcakes. (Doesn’t that sound amazing?!) I’m going to blame the weather. It’s been really gray here, aka nap weather, so even though my week has been great, I’m ready for a relaxing weekend. So. Close.

I think, by now, you’ve become very aware of my love of all things buffalo chicken. The chili, the cupcakes, the dip. My favorite dip of all time. Or, at least it was, until I made this Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken Dip for the first time. This is by far the most delicious hot dip I’ve ever had. Don’t believe me? Try it out for yourself!

Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken Dip

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What I’m Listening to: “Ghost” by Ella Henderson


-2 large chicken breasts

-12 oz cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat cream cheese)

-1 cup of ranch dressing

-3/4 cup of barbecue sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Brown Sugar and Hickory)

-1 cup of cheddar cheese

-1/3 cup of mozzarella cheese

-1 tbsp garlic powder

-4 green onions, chopped

-Bread or chips for dipping

Place the chicken breasts in a slow cooker. Cover with water and cook on high for 2 hours. Drain the water, then shred the chicken with either an electric mixer or two forks. Add the remaining ingredients. Cook for 30-60 minutes, until the dip has melted together and is heated through. Turn the slow cooker to warm. Serve with warm bread or chips.

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Note: Adapted from The Cookie Rookie


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