Back to Basics: Seasonings

Hi Ya’ll! I know we all LOVE to scroll, watch, and drool over those amazing TikTok and Instagram food videos BUT it occurred to me recently that maybe we need to get down some kitchen and cooking basics prior to attempting these fabulous recipes! A question I’m asked often in my comments or DMs when I post my food videos is what seasonings did I use? I figured I would start this Back to Basics series by talking about basic seasonings I feel you should have in your cabinets or pantry for flavoring your food. I created the PDF below to save to your phone when you’re out shopping for groceries and I did a quick overview of what you need in a reels video on Instagram and Facebook. I hope this helps and let me know what seasonings you love to use and what else you would like me to share in the Back to Basics series!

The Powders!
My favs

Love Ricki

Hot Chocolate Bombs!

Last year the Christmas season was lit after hot chocolate bombs (HCB) went viral! I sold so many of these! They are some work but easy to make and I am sharing a tutorial here as well as a video on my Instagram and Tiktok!

Here’s what you’ll need:

Make n Mold candy melts from Hobby Lobby
  • Silicone sphere mold (here is one from Amazon)
  • Candy Melts (these are easier to use than chocolate because you don’t have to temper it and almond bark because they are made to melt!) I get mine from Hobby Lobby but you can use the Wilton’s or store brand version as well
  • Vegetable oil – 1-2 tsp
  • Plate
  • Measuring cup or microwave safe dish to melt your chocolate
  • Cocoa mix
  • Marshmallows
  • Sprinkles, candies, peppermints, sanding sugar or whatever you want to decorate your HCBs with
  • Cupcake liners
  • Plastic sandwich ziploc bag
  • Scissors
  • Cookie sheet
  • Parchment paper (optional)
  • Spoon

Start off by pouring your candy melts in a microwave safe bowl or cup and adding 1 tsp of vegetable oil. Mix and melt in microwave in 20 second intervals. You don’t want to melt it too fast or you will burn your chocolate. You want to mix after each interval. You may need to add an additional tsp of oil to get it to an easy to pour consistency. Once chocolate is melted set aside. You want the chocolate to have some time to cool down before pouring because you never want to pour hot chocolate it will mess up the look of your HCB.

Cut your silicone mold into individual pieces and set on a cookie sheet. I actually use a 3 pc mold but I wanted to do the tutorial with the silicone molds since they are easier to get your hands on.

Once you have your individual pieces of mold cut, stir your chocolate and add a spoonful to the mold. Move the mold around until the chocolate covers every area. Pour excess chocolate back into the cup or bowl and scrape side of mold with a knife or small offset spatula. Repeat this process and the place molds in freezer for about 3-5 minutes until set. Remove from freezer and then let sit for 1-2 minutes at room temperature. Repeat process of adding chocolate so you have a stable shell to work with. Don’t worry about what it looks like inside, no one will see that!

Once you have your shells complete carefully remove them from the mold. This should be easy since we cut them in individual pieces. Place one half of the shell on a cupcake liner. Take a glass plate and place in microwave on 30 second intervals til hot (make sure you use a pot holder to remove!) I actually heat my plate on my gas stove because it’s quicker but be careful. You can also use a griddle if you are making a large batch. Put it on the lowest setting and add a sheet of parchment paper on top to cut down on clean up.

Now you can actually take both side of the shell and place them on the plate to get smooth seams but I forgot to do that in the video. I filled one half with cocoa, marshmallows, candies etc and set aside in the cupcake liner. I placed the other half of the shell on the plate until the side was melted and attached it to the shell in the cupcake liner. If you have gaps you can simply take your finger or a spatula and add melted excess chocolate from the plate to fill in (see video) but melting both sides (before you place one half in the cupcake liner and fill) to make them even will mostly avoid this and is easier! Don’t forget that like me!

Once you have your bomb formed it’s time to decorate which is my favorite part! This is a great time to let the kids help and make it a family activity! I add chocolate to a ziplock bag and cut a tiny tip and drizzle on top. After you drizzle you can add sprinkles, candy canes, etc to decorate it’s up to you!

Once you have your bombs decorated you can place in a cupcake box and add candies or whatever and give as gifts. Or add to a hot chocolate station which I will be showing in an upcoming video. You enjoy these by adding to your favorite mug and pouring hot liquid (I prefer milk), stir until melted drink! I hope this tutorial was detailed enough and helpful. If you have questions please don’t hesitate to ask!

“Snow balls” in H-town!

Love Ricki

Peach Cobbler Dump Cake

Hi y’all if you know me you know I don’t cook for major holidays. It’s my time to enjoy family and relax. But I will bring a dessert and this year it will be this one!

Peach cobbler dump cake is the perfect recipe for my non bakers or beginners because you literally dump everything in layers and bake! You can’t mess this one up lol. Wanna make it? Recipe is below!


•1 box of cake mix – you can use any brand as long as it’s a yellow or butter cake
•2 sticks of butter (I always use salted butter but it’s your preference)
•2 (15 oz) or 1 (29 oz) can of peaches in heavy syrup
•Pumpkin pie spice or you can just add nutmeg
•1/4 cup sugar (optional)
•1/4 cup brown sugar

Directions: Dump peaches in pan and add sugar and spices and mix. Pour even layer of cake mix and add brown sugar, more cinnamon and butter sliced on top. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for about 45 mins to 1 hour. Let set for about 15-20 minutes then serve & enjoy!

I made a video on Instagram to show you how to make it so follow along there.

Y’all this was sooo good!!! Bean said it tasted just like peach cobbler! You can bring this to the family gathering and sit back and watch everyone enjoy like a proud granny!!! Let me know if you try this & tag me on Instagram @severalpeoplesmama

Love Ricki

Greek Chicken and Veggies Sheet Pan Dinner

My goal for the summer is to spend the least amount of time possible in the kitchen and the perfect way to accomplish that is to cook meals that require me not standing around the stove! Sheet pan dinners are perfect for this!

Now this meal did require some prep but you can cut down by not marinating the chicken ahead of time or preparing during a weekly meal prep. Let’s cook!


  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of chicken (I used boneless, skinless chicken tenders and thighs to cut down on cooking time. If you use larger pieces or skin cook for an extra 20-25 minutes or until chicken reaches internal temperature of 165 degrees)
  • 1 cup Greek Vinaigrette (I used Ken’s)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of oregano
  • 2-3 tablespoons of garlic salt
  • 2-3 tablespoons of all purpose seasoning (I used Trader Joe’s 21 seasoning salute but Italian seasoning can work here as well)
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 8-10 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/2 red onion finely chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • 1-2 cups zucchini sliced into coins
  • 1-2 cups yellow squash sliced into coins
  • 1-2 cups of yellow potatoes quartered


Place chicken in bowl and add 1/3 of olive oil, 1/3 cup of Greek vinaigrette, 1/3 of minced garlic, 1/3 garlic salt, 1/3 oregano, 1/3 all purpose seasoning & 1/3 red onion. Add juice of 1/2 lemon. Add all of red wine vinegar. Mix until chicken is coated and set aside to marinate for at least one hour. When ready to cook, pre heat oven to 400. As a shortcut I pre-cooked my potatoes only in the microwave for 3 minutes so they would be fork tender. In another bowl add potatoes and 1/3 of Greek vinaigrette, oil, seasonings, garlic and red onion. Mix to coat and add to sheet pan sprayed with oil. Repeat with zucchini and squash in same bowl and then add to sheet pan. Add juice of the other half of the lemon over veggies. Cook in oven for 45-50 minutes or chicken reaches internal temp of 165 then (you may want to check and turn the chicken and veggies about 20 minutes into baking). Set oven on broil and broil for 5-8 minutes. I garnished with crumbled feta cheese, kalamata olives, and banana pepper rings. Then dinner is done!!!

The flavors of this meal were amazing and we all enjoyed it. It was even better the next day as leftovers. We will definitely add this to the rotation. Make sure you check out my reels on Instagram to see how I made this!

Love Ricki

Cajun Sausage Ravioli

Recently I was gifted some delicious sausage from a friend and I challenged myself to come up with a quick 30 minute meal using it. The sausage is Lord & Barrett Sausage Co. Creole Style Green Onion Smoked Sausage & I highly recommend because it was delicious and I’m personally not a big fan of smoked sausage. Let’s make the recipe!


  • Smoked Sausage (sliced)
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup of peppers chopped (I used a combo of red, yellow and orange mini sweet bell peppers but you can certainly just use a green bell pepper)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
  • 2 packages of fresh ravioli – I only used one but you definitely need mor because not a lot come in the package
  • Seasonings- I used Cajun seasoning, garlic & onion powder
  • 1-2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp of butter
  • Chopped fresh or dried Basil (optional)

Directions: Prepare water to boil for pasta according to package. Heat skillet on medium heat and add a tablespoon of oil and sauté sausages until crispy or cooked though which took me about 5-8 minutes. Remove sausage and drain oil excellent for about a teaspoon. Add butter and cook onions, garlic & peppers until soft. Make sure once water boils to add ravioli and cook til al dente. Reserve a cup of pasta water in case you need to thin your sauce out later. Season lightly & then add heavy whipping cream to onions and peppers mixture. Let cook until simmering and then add sausage, cooked ravioli and Parmesan cheese. Taste for more seasoning and add if needed. Top with more cheese and Basil.

This recipe is delicious, quick, doesn’t require a lot of ingredients and easy to make. Perfect to get you in and out of the kitchen during the summertime! I also made a video to show how I made this on Instagram. Follow me @severalpeoplesmama Let me know if this is something you or your family would enjoy!

Love Ricki