Category Archives: Dinner

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. 

  • 10 Tomatillos
  • 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 in 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!!

Irish Beer Corned Beef and Cabbage Crockpot Dinner

If you have never tried corned beef before….go to the store right now and buy one!! They are so tender and incredibly flavored. Corned beef is a cut of beef with a large grain and it’s usually brined and then cooked. At the store you will most likely find one sealed in some brine with a little spice packet.


I have always loved corned beef. Either in a classic corned beef and cabbage stew or the enigma of corned beef hash. Yum yum yum!!!

We aren’t really beer drinkers here, but I have a few brands I enjoy. Killians is definitely one of my faves. So I saw a chance to buy some and I jumped on it!


My mom and dad have always loved cooking special dishes for different holidays and I’m glad they kept up with this tradition. I am not sure how they make their corned beef and cabbage, but it’s really good! My mom also always bakes Irish Soda bread which is super yummy. I’ll have to get her recipe next year!

I bought a 3 pound roast it would feed about 5 people.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 lb Corned Beef Roast- pre-brined with a spice packet
  • 1 Medium Yellow Onion, quartered
  • 1 Tbsp Rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp Thyme
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 24 oz Killians Irish Red Beer (or use 50/50 chicken and beef stock)
  • 5 Yukon Gold Potatoes, cut into 6 or 8 pieces
  • 3 Large Carrots, cut into 3 inch pieces
  • 1/2 Cabbage, cut into 4 or 5 wedges

Condiments: Horseradish sauce or Dijon Mustard

In a slow cooker add the onions first and corned beef roast fat side up, top the roast with the spice packet, rosemary and thyme. Add the beer and the bay leaves. Set the slow cooker on high for 6 hours. After 3 hours add the potatoes and carrots. When you have one hour left add the cabbage wedges.

Once it’s done remove the roast, let it rest for 5 minutes and slice it against the grain. The meat is so tender and juicy that you don’t really need a gravy, so just a little bit of horseradish sauce or mustard will really kick up the flavor a notch! Salt and pepper the veggies to taste.

 

Chicken and Bacon Risotto


Does anyone else ever come home work, no idea what you’re going to make for dinner and somehow you end up throwing together a delicious Risotto? Anyone? Just me?

Hahaha. This was so random! All I had in the fridge was chicken and bacon and I was thinking about doing some sort of casserole and after I threw away 2 bags of rock hard marshmallows I found a ton of arborio rice. And there you go. Random Risotto. Oh yeah….and throw some peas and Parmesan in there just for the hell of it.

Risotto is usually a side dish but you can easily make it a meal with some extra protein. This dish has about 4 servings. Takes about 40 total minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 8 slices Bacon, cut into 1 inch squares
  • 2 Chicken Breasts, sliced and seasoned
  • 1 medium Onion, diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 Cup Arborio Rice
  • 1 Cup White Wine
  • 4 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 1/2 Cup Frozen Peas
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan 

In a large skillet over medium heat, fry up the bacon pieces until they are just barely crispy. Remove the bacon and set aside, leave the grease in the pan. Cook the chicken and set aside with the bacon. Add the onion to the pan. Cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add the rice, cook until the onion is soft and clear and the rice is lightly browned. Add garlic and cook for one more minute.

Slowly add the wine, stir until it’s mostly absorbed into the rice. Add 1 cup of chicken stock and stir until mostly absorbed. Repeat with the remaining cups of chicken stock. When you are adding the last cup add the peas as well. Cook until fully absorbed. Remove from heat. Top with Parmesan and serve it up and enjoy!!

Rotini and Meatball Casserole

If you are looking for another super easy weeknight dinner this one is sure to satisfy! Add some french bread and a small salad on the side and it will taste like you spent an hour instead of just 5 minutes on prep!

I found this Barilla Rotini pasta that in enriched with extra protein and fiber…yummy and extra goodness to make your body happy! I used my own tomato sauce that I had frozen this summer so it was 100% veggies…..you can get the Garden Veggie Tomato Sauce recipe here! So this dish was cram jam full of goodness! I found out that I only have 1 package of tomato sauce left 😦  I don’t want to wait until August to make more!! My dad just started planting his seeds so I asked for 3 tomato plants this year. I can’t wait for my late summer afternoons in the kitchen whipping up huge batches of my new favorite spaghetti sauce.

I have a few upcoming Saturday’s off and I am so excited to finally get to Home Depot and get some upgrades for my photo staging! I haven’t 100% decided what I want to do but I look forward to even just walking around and daydreaming about all my options!

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Barilla Protein Plus Rotini
  • 15 Frozen Meatballs, thawed- You can also make your own with 1 lb italian sausage, 1/4 cup parmesean cheese and 1 tbsp basil and oregano. Roll into balls and cook thouroughly.
  • 1 Jar Spaghetti Sauce,should be around 20 oz
  • 3 Cups Water
  • 2 Cups Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese, Shredded
  • 1/4 Cup Parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large baking dish add the rotini, meatballs, water and sauce. Stir together. Cover tightly with tin foil. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Test the pasta, it should be just a little too firm still. Top with the mozzarella and then parmesan. Bake an additional 7-10 minutes until the cheese is nice and browned.

Serve it up with your favorite sides and enjoy!!

One Pot Beef Goulash


We are always looking for yummy, quick and easy meals! Especially since this week we are both sick 😦 and mostly just been living off of grilled cheese and soup. But I wanted to make something that would feed us for a few days with very little effort. And this is definitely it! As far as I can figure Goulash is just a fancy name for Beefaroni…..lol. But if you love spaghetti in a meat sauce this is definitely in your wheel house.

I have been busy busy busy like a really busy bee all week and haven’t had time for an actual sick day. Hopefully I will have some relaxing evenings ahead. Lots of shows to catch up on. 2 weeks into winter season and I haven’t watched any Grey’s Anatomy. I have been remiss! Or that new show Riverdale that is supposed to be a dark version of Archie comics. Man, I sure did love those growing up! I would save up allowance and keep an eye out for new books every time we went to the grocery store. I am hoping this new show lives up to the hype.

But first let’s eat!

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb Coarse Ground Beef
  • 1 large Onion, diced
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp Rosemary
  • 2 tsp Oregano
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 Cans(15 oz) Tomato Sauce
  • 2 Cans(15 oz) Diced Tomato
  • 2 Tbsp Worsteshire Sauce
  • 3 Cups Water
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 16 oz Macaroni

In a large Dutch oven or stock pot brown the Beef, drain the fat. Add the onions, Rosemary and Oregano. Cook until the onions are soft. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Salt and pepper to taste.

Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, worsteshire sauce, water, bay leaves and macaroni. Mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 until the pasta is cooked.

Serve it up with a garnish and some crusty bread. Yum!

Chicken Pot Pie

There used to be this little bakery in Logan that would make amazing family sized pot pies. That place closed a long time ago, but every time I want a good comfort food I always remember that pot pie with it’s golden flaky crust and savory gravy with beautiful chicken and veggies.

I was really sick one day and Levi and one of our good friends wanted to make a pot pie. I was fascinated by the whole procedure, I had always thought it was so complicated and was scared to try it myself. I sat on a chair in the dining room wrapped in a blanket and watched the whole spectacle. Which turned out to be incredibly simple! That first time we used pre-made pie dough, since then we have journey into the world of homemade pie dough. I like to add some garlic salt to my dough to add another layer of flavor.

One of the best things about pot pie is that you can put in whatever veggies you like! You could spice it up with some bell peppers, or add some of your favorite spices. It’s quite the chameleon dish.

Here is our favorite recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 3 Chicken Breasts, cooked and diced
  • 2 Tbsp Grapeseed Oil
  • 2 Potatoes, diced
  • 1 Medium Onion, finely diced
  • 3 Carrots, diced
  • 2 Celery Stalks, sliced
  • 1 Cup Frozen Peas
  • 1 Cup Frozen Corn
  • 1/4 Cup Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Rosemary
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Dried Parsley
  • 3 Cups Chicken Broth, you can substitute in 1 cup of milk if desired
  • Optional: 1/2 Cup 3 Cheddar Cheese Blend
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Pie crusts, store bought or make your own here

In a large skillet heat the Oil over a medium temperature. Add the potatoes cook for 4-5 minutes until tender. Add the onions, carrots, celery, peas and corn. Cook for another 8-10 minutes until the onions are soft and opalescent, add chicken. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium sauce pan melt the butter. Add the garlic, Rosemary, Parsley and Oregano. Once the butter starts to turn a golden color whisk in the flour. Cook for 2 minutes whisking occasionally. Slowly whisk in the chicken stock. Bring to a boil whisking occasionally. Salt and Pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 375.

Pour the sauce over the veggies and chicken. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Using a pie dish or a deep round baking dish line with pie dough. Spoon filling into the crust. Add cheese now if desired. Lay second pie crust over top. Trim and crimp the edges with a fork. Cut 6 vents in the top.

Bake for 30-45 minutes until crust is golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes. 

Serve and enjoy!