Category Archives: Dinner

Cheddar Chive Waffles


Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/8 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
  • 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 5 chives (1/8 cup) chopped

Directions:

Preheat your waffle iron, we put ours on 5. Our waffle iron is a rotating Belgian waffle type.

Preheat the oven to 200° F.

In a large bowl, whisk to combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk to combine the egg yolks, milk, and butter. Make sure the let the melted butter cool enough to avoid curdling the milk. Set aside.

In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to whip the egg whites to soft peaks.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix until they are almost combined. Add the egg whites, cheese, and chives to the bowl, and gently fold them in until combined. If you are a fan of the Great British Baking Show and Mary Berry, you will know this as, “Around the outside and through the middle.” Make sure not to be too rough as this will defeat the purpose of the whipped egg whites which is to make the waffles light and fluffy.

I use the portion cup that came with the waffle iron which will make 3 large waffles. I cook for approximately 5 minutes, until golden brown. Rotate it just after putting in the batter and then once the steam stops, rotate it back and check until you have reached the desired golden brown color. If the waffle isn’t crisp at this stage, that is just fine as they will crisp in the oven.

Place a cooling rack on a cookie sheet and place the waffles on that in the oven to let the waffles crisp up.

Once all waffles have crisped, top with whatever you’d like and enjoy! We love to use these waffles with fried chicken and gravy for delicious chicken and waffles. You can also leave out the cheddar and chives for non savory waffles! Enjoy these delicious waffles!

Recipe adapted from FifteenSpatulas.

Southwestern Mac and Cheese with Sausage

When you’re a busy adult with many important things to do it can be hard to make sure you have a homemade meal and not too much fast food for lunch every day. I used to try and meal plan so that there would be enough from every meal for leftovers……and that plan ended with way too many casseroles. I do enjoy a good casserole every now and then, but almost every day is just way too much.

So I started this whole meal prep thing. I’ve discovered some really good Crockpot and one pot recipes  and of course just a few casseroles. That way I can just spend a little time every Sunday making enough lunch to last the whole week. And then that free’s up dinner time for something simple on busy days like steamed veggies and rice or chicken salads.

What is your favorite thing to make for lunch?

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz Macaroni Elbows, cooked according to package directions
  • 6 Johnsonville Hatch Green Chile Sausage, cut into bite size pieces and fully cooked
  • 1/4 Cup Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Cups Milk
  • 30 oz Tomato Sauce
  • 12 oz can Seasoned Black Beans, rinsed
  • 7 oz Chopped Green Chiles, hot or mild depending on your preference
  • 2 Cup Colby Jack Shredded Cheese

Boil the pasta according to package directions. Once it’s cooked to your liking drain the pasta and toss with 1 tbsp butter. In a medium skillet over medium high heat add 1 Tbsp cooking oil to a medium skillet and add the sausage and cook about 3-5 minutes until well done.

In a 6 quart pot over medium heat melt the butter. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in the flour, you should have a thick paste texture. Add the milk 1/2 cup at a time whisking thoroughly. Whisk in the tomato sauce and green chiles, bring to a low boil. Lower heat and simmer until your sauce starts to thicken, stirring occasionally about 5 minutes.

Once the sauce will coat the back of a spoon add the cheese and black beans. Stir until cheese is melted. Remove from heat and add the macaroni and sausage.

Dragon’s Breath Pulled Pork

Who watched the first episode of Game of Thrones Season 7 last night? I was enthralled from start to finish. I mean that first scene almost had me in tears. You go, Arya Stark! I especially loved the scene of Daenerys Targaryen finally coming home to Dragonstone. The silent joy and resolve of that moment was one of the most moving parts of this entire series.

I just can’t wait to see what happens for the rest of this season! Will Jon Snow and Daenerys meet? Will he find out the truth about his past? Will little Arya get her chance at revenge on Cersei, or will Jamie beat her to it? Will we see more of Ed Sheeran? (seriously, what was that all about?) All these burning questions and only 6 more episodes!

I like to make a special dinner for GoT night. This week it was one of our old favorites re-imagined. Pulled pork with an extra spicy bite and just a hint of sweetness seems more than fitting. Definitely give this one a shot the next time you sit down with friends or family to another thrilling episode!

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 lbs Pork Loin Roast
  • Pork Rub- I created my own with 1/2 cup brown sugar and  1 Tbsp each: garlic salt, paprika, red pepper flakes and black pepper.
  • 1-2 liter of Dr. Pepper
  • 3 Serrano peppers- the smaller the pepper the more heat you get
  • 2 Jalepenos, plus more if you want some for a raw topping
  • 1 Green Pepper
  • 1-2 Cup of Jack Daniels Spicy BBQ sauce.

These ingredients will give you a nice little mild to medium spicy bite. If you really want to kick it up a notch you can get 2 of the following: cayenne pepper, tobasco pepper or habanero peppers.

Rub the pork rub onto your roast and let it sit for 5 minutes. In your slow cooker add the roast fat side down. Slice the peppers at least in half and add to the slow cooker. Pour in the Dr. Pepper in so that the roast is at least 3/4 submerged. Pour 1/2 Cup of BBQ sauce onto the roast.

Cook for 6-8 hours on low.

Once your meat is tender carefully move the roast into a large bowl. The meat should easily pull apart with a fork. Shred the roast and add 1/2 cup BBQ sauce.

Toast your buns and add your favorite toppings such as Colby Jack Cheese, Jalapenos, Onions, or Cole Slaw. Don’t forget to top it with even more BBQ sauce to your taste!

Cheesy Beef and Potato Bake

Here is another simple weeknight dinner. 15 minute prep and then into the oven for 90 minutes while you work on those pesky chores! There is just always so much more to do in the summer. Between gardening and yard work and there always seems like there is more cleaning that needs to be done. That pesky spring cleaning seems like it will never be done!

This year I have definitely learned the value of putting down new mulch every year. The weeds have just taken over my whole life, I simply can’t catch up. I am mostly just trying to keep them from over running my veggies at this point. How is everyone’s garden doing this year? I am finally having some success with basil this year. I mean big success. I think we’re going to have to make some basil pesto this year. I garnished this dish with mt first basil cuttings. And they were delicious! This whole dish was a wonderful comfort food. Let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

  • 5 Yukon Gold Potatoes, sliced (the thicker the slice the longer to cook)
  • 1 Yellow Onion, diced
  • 1 lb Ground Beef
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Rosemary
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 Cups Tillamook Thick Shredded Colby Jack Cheese
  • Garnish with fresh basil and parsley

Thin Gravy:

  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Flour
  • 4 Chicken Buillon cubes
  • 1 tsp Red pepper Flakes
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Rosemary
  • 1 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup Milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium skillet add 1 tbsp cooking oil and add the onion. Saute over medium heat until the onions are soft. Add the beef and rosemary. Cook until the beef is nicely browned. Drain the fat. Return to heat and add garlic, saute for just another 1-2 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

To make the gravy in a medium saucepan melt the butter with the buillion cubes, rosemary and red pepper flakes. Whisk in the flour. Cook for 1-2 minutes until it starts to brown a little. Slowly add the water 1/2 cup at a time, whisking it together until all the lumps are gone. Add the milk and garlic powder. Bring to a simmer for 5-7 minutes whisking occasionally until it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Spray a 9×9 cooking dish with cooking spray. Lay down half the potato slices in a single layer slightly overlapping them. Cover with half the beef, sauce and cheese. Repeat a second layer of potatoes, beef, sauce and cheese. Cover with tin foil.

Bake for an hour, test the potatoes with a fork. There should be minimal resistance. Bake longer if needed.

Top with your favorite garnish…I always for go for basil and parsley.

Apple Cinnamon Dutch Baby

You can call them Dutch Baby or you can call them German Pancakes. Either way, they are completely delicious and fun to make! I can believe I’ve never made this before. It’s so easy to make and kinda feels like you’re having a fancy dinner in about 30 minutes!

I remember my parents made something similar to this when we were kids. And I just loved it! They are very light with a sweet buttery flavor. Which makes them the perfect blank slate for any added flavors you like! I decided to go with the ultimate comfort with Cinnamon and apples. Next time I’m thinking a summery mixed berry!

I used a 9 inch cast iron pan but you could also use a 9×11 baking dish.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp Allspice
  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 4 Tbsp Sugar, split
  • 3/4 Cup Flour
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 5 Eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place the butter in the pan and put it in the oven until melted.

In a large bowl toss together the apple slices with 2 tbsp sugar, cinnamon, ginger and allspice. Remove your dish with melted butter from the oven. Stir in the brown sugar, this gives you a start of a caramel. Add the apples to the dish and stir to coat them. Place back in the oven for about 5 minutes while you prepare the batter.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, salt and 2 tbsp sugar. Add the milk and vanilla and whisk until there are no lumps left. Whisk in the eggs one at a time.

Remove the apples from the oven. Evenly pour the batter over the apples. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Once the pastry has puffed up and the edges are browned and the center doesn’t jiggle you will know that it’s done!!

Lightly dust with powdered sugar and serve up with some patty sausages or crispy bacon….yum!

One Pan Bacon and Bowtie Pasta

I’ve been on somewhat of a meal prep kick lately. In an effort to try and save some money we’ve been taking lunch to work for quite some time now. We started out just taking leftovers from dinner the night before. The problem with this is that I have to plan a dinner every night that is going to have enough for 2 meals. This proved to be a challenge week in and week out. Thus enter the idea of meal prep.

I’ve done different crockpot meals and those work out really well! I like the idea of making a lot of food with very little effort. So a one pot meal is right up my alley. This dish was quick to put together while I was cleaning the kitchen and starting my gardening chores. This turned out really yummy and you can really just throw in whatever veggies you feel like! This is just a nice comfort food, but the fresh veggies won’t make you feel guilty about it!

Ingredients

  • 8 pieces Thick cut Bacon, chopped into 1 inch squares
  • 6 Johnsonville Sausages…pick your favorite flavor (I like Italian), sliced
  • 1 Green Pepper, finely diced
  • 1 Yellow Onion, finely diced
  • 2 Tomatoes, diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 24 oz Jar pasta sauce
  • 24 oz Water
  • 1 Tbsp Rosemary
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 16 oz Bowtie Pasta
  • 1 Bag Kraft Italian Blend Cheese

In a large skillet brown the bacon over medium heat. Once it starts to get crispy add the sausage. Cook until lightly browned. Add the green peppers, onions and tomatoes, saute for about 5 minutes until veggies are tender. Add garlic, rosemary and oregano, saute for another minute.

Add the pasta sauce and water. Bring to a low boil. Add the pasta and cover. Simmer for 12 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. If you’re eating it now then go ahead and add the cheese and cover for another minute until the cheese it nice and melted.

If you are prepping lunches then let it cool for 20 minutes. Place in tupperware and top with cheese. Store in the fridge. It will take about 2.5 minutes to heat up in a microwave.

Crockpot Chile Verde


When we go my favorite Mexican restaurant I look over and over the menu and always go back to my favorite Chile Verde Burrito. And I seriously can't get enough of their salsa verde! So I decided it was time to try making it for myself.

I have no idea why I never tried this before. I've been making my own salsa verde for over a year now. All you have to do is add the salsa and some pork into your crockpot and boom! Deliciousness! It's incredibly tender and full of flavor! As soon as Levi had his bite he just said "Wow! That is so good!" When I accomplish that statement it's one of my favorite parts of life! He is still a relatively picky eater and so it's so gratifying when he really enjoys trying something totally new!

There is just a little prep work. You can make the salsa ahead of time and store in your fridge until ready to use.

You can use the Chile Verde for a smothered burrito, enchilada topping or just eat it with some sides of rice and beans.

This version is a little more meaty than what I usually see. And it's enough to feed 2 people for at least 3 meals. So it's also a great idea for lunchtime meal prep. 

Ingredients:

  • 10 Tomatillos, husks removed
  • 1 Large Onion, quartered
  • 3 Jalepenos
  • 6 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 Lime, juiced
  • 1/2 Cup Cilantro
  • Salt
  • 5 lb Smithfield Pork Shoulder Seasoned Carnitas
  • Butter and oil
  • 7 oz Roasted and chopped Green Chiles

Preheat oven to 450.

On a large baking sheet spray with cooking spray. Place the Tomatillos, jalapeños, onions, and garlic cloves. Bake for 10 minutes, turn over and bake an additional 10 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes. Chop the tops off the jalapeños and add everything to a food processor. Add the lime juice, salt and cilantro. Blend completely.

Chop the pork into 1 inch cubes. Heat a pan to medium high. Add 2 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp oil. Quickly sear all sides of the meat, add more butter and oil as needed. I had to do this in about 5 batches.

Add meat, salsa verde and green chilis into your Crockpot. Cook for 4 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low.

Bacon Wrapped Gouda Stuffed Chicken


In our line of new fun experiments we decided to wrap some super yummy ingredients into some chicken and bacon! We spent about 10 minutes looking at the specialty cheese case at Smith’s. I wanted something different, and that would melt really nicely. We decided on some  Kerrygold Blarney Stone cheese. It says it’s a soft white gouda style cheese. This dinner was so yummy.


Lately I feel like I’ve just been looking around the spice rack and throwing a few things together and I’ve been pretty happy with the results! If you don’t randomly have a spice rack with Herbs De Provence it usually includes savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme and oregano.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 4 Strips Bacon
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp Herbs de Provence
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tsp Onion Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Spinach
  • 6 Asparagus Stalks
  • 4 oz Gouda, thinly sliced- We used Kerrygold Blarney Stone cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Butterfly each chicken breast and pound thin with a mallet. Season the inside with the garlic, herbs, salt, and onion salt. Lay down the spinach leaves in a single layer, lay the cheese on top. Trim the end of the asparagus so that it’s just barely longer than the chicken.

Lay the asparagus at the end of the chicken and carefully roll the chicken up around the asparagus. Wrap the bacon around the chicken, skewer in place with toothpicks if necessary.

Spray a cooking sheet with cooking spray. Place chicken on the baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Make sure your chicken is 165 degrees. If your bacon is still pink turn on the broiler for 5 minutes and you will have some nicely cooked bacon.

We had some of our new favorite garlic cheesy smashed potatoes. 

Amazing Tilapia! 


I seriously sat here for about 10 minutes trying to figure out what to call this recipe. There are tons of Parmesan crusted or Lemon and herb tilapia recipes. Levi got us these gorgeous filets from Smiths today and I just kept thinking of delicious things to put on top! So here is a lemon herb Parmesan crusted tilapia. It is simply amazing! It was so flaky and tender, and flavor has so many different notes that it keeps it interesting with each bite.

If you’ve been following the blog lately you know that I’ve been trying to get rid of these tubs of Parmesan and Romano cheese that we got a few weeks ago. And they are almost gone…….hooray! But I am really loving some of the recipes they have inspired.


A year or so ago Levi and I tried to be a little healthy. So we ate fish this one time. Lol. Now we are on a health kick again and we have literally doubled that effort! Last week we had a nice little Halibut. It was pretty good, but after I tasted this tilapia today I knew I HAD to share the recipe!

Ingredients

  • 2 Tilpia filets
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan and Romano Cheese blend
  • 2 tsp Paprika
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Parsley
  • 1 Tbsp Basil
  • Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 400.

Spray your cookie with cookie spray. Drizzle the oil and lemon juice over the filets. In a small bowl mix together all the other ingredients. Sprinkle each side of the filets with the mix and gently press in.

Bake for 10-12 minutes.

We’ve been enjoying some wild rice and asparagus with our fish.


Happy weekend everyone!

Cheesy Garlic Smashed Potatoes


Smashed potatoes seem to be all the rage now! And I can see why! They are like light and fluffy baked potatoes with the crispiness of fries. And you can top them however you like! We are obsessed with garlic. I use it in basically everything I make. And this year we planted about 20 of our own garlic plants. They are coming in quite nicely so far! I can’t wait for garden fresh garlics and not have to sneakily steal them from my parents garden bounty.

We’ve been trying to find ways to get rid of these tubs of Romano and parmesean cheese we got for whatever reason. So those cheeses are going on top of everything! Rice, veggies, baked meats, and now these potatoes……yum!!

Let me know what you like to top yours off with!

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • 4 Tbsp Butter, or reserved bacon grease if you have it
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 Clove Garlic, minced
  • 4 Tbsp Romano cheese, grated
  • 2 Tbsp Parmesean cheese, grated

In a medium pot bring salted water to boil. Add the potatoes and boil for 35 minutes until they are tender when a fork is inserted.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

On a baking sheet spray with cooking spray.  Use a potatoe masher or the back of a large spoon and gently press on the top ofeach potato until it’s about halfway smashed down, careful not to totally mash the potato and try to keep as much peel in tact as possible. 

In a small dish melt your butter. Stir in the garlic and parsley. Evenly spoon out over your smashed potatoes. Bake for 15 minutes. Sprinkle the cheeses on top and bake for another 3 minutes. 

Salt and pepper to taste and then…..Dig in!!