Tag Archives: cheesy dinner

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.

Mac and Cheese with Bacon and Peas

Looking for an easy weeknight dinner? I love mac and cheese, but once you reach a certain age and don’t have kids it just doesn’t seem right to make it out of a box (especially when you are trying to run your own food blog 🤗.) I have another mac and cheese recipe that is pretty good and it is made with some pesto. This one is similar. I had to have a recipe with peas in it though.

When I was growing up I absolutely love mac and cheese. And my mom always wanted to try and add something healthy when her kids were eating junk. I absolutely loved it! I always wanted peas in my mac and cheese. When I told Levi about this tonight he looked at me like I was crazy. But trust me. It’s delicious! I love how it adds a little bit of crunch and just a little bit of sweetness.

Let me know what you think!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Macaroni elbows, prepared according to package instructions
  • 6 slices Bacon, fully cooked, cooled and chopped or crumbled.
  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • 3 Tbsp Flour
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • Pinch of salt and Ground pepper
  • 3 Cups Milk
  • 1 cup Medium Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup Colby Jack Cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Peas, cooked

In a medium saucepan add the garlic and butter over low heat. Slowly melt the butter then whisk in the flour. Increase heat to medium and whisk for about 2 minutes until it starts to thicken and bubble. Add the salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in milk. Keep whisking until it also starts to thicken and simmer. This could take 5-10 minutes.

Add both cheeses. Whisk until melted. Remove from heat. Your sauce should be thick enough to coat the spoon, but still easily stirs. If you need to make it a little thinner then add a little milk. Pour the cheese sauce over the noodles. Add the bacon and peas and mix until combined.

I hope you enjoy this cheesy masterpiece!

What do you like to add to your mac and cheese? Comment below!

You can now follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/squishycupcakes

Or follow us on Instagram @squishycupcakesblog

Have a Happy New Year friends!

Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadilla

I am not a fan of leftovers. I have accepted them into my life as a permanent lunch staple for purely economical reasons. But it is very rare that leftovers make it into the dinner lineup. We’ve been having some lunch parties at work lately which is really cool because I love celebrating success and it’s always nice to take a break from the everyday and have a little party. Of course when you are ordering food for tons of people it’s best to err on the side of caution. So we’ve had some leftovers that have been distributed among some of the staff. I have taken home some fried chicken and some of THE BEST gravy ever.

So fried chicken in pretty high on my list of foods that I cannot deal with as leftovers, until now. As I stared at this huge bag of cold chicken I was desperate to find a way to re purpose it so that it’s appetizing. And then it came to me…….quesadillas!! I usually just use some shredded chicken, cheese, onion and salsa for my quesadillas so this leftover chicken would just fit right in! Except…….we are taking this one to the next level!! Oh yes, adding bacon and ranch makes a super awesome dinner that is guaranteed to satisfy.

One of the best things about quesadilla’s is that they are a totally blank canvas that  you can make it exactly what you want! I like mine just a little bit different than Levi and it’s no big deal, which makes life so easy. And it is so easy make dinner for just one….or two! Back in my “single” days this was one of my go to dinners at least 2 times a week because it is so easy and very little prep or clean up.

Ingredients for 1 quesadilla:

  •  1 Cup Chicken (I used leftover fried chicken and pulled it off the bones and cut into bite sizes and kept some of the skin too. But you can also use shredded or thick sliced chicken breast)
  • 1 Tbsp Ranch
  • 2 Pieces of Bacon
  • 4 oz Colby Jack cheese (I prefer to get 8 thick slices off of a brick of cheese, but you could use shredded or pre-sliced cheese.) Use more or less depending on your preference, but this amount will make it very cheesy!
  • 1 Large Tortilla
  • Butter
  • Optional: Thin onion slices, green pepper, jalapeno or whatever other veggies you may want. It’s best to slice these thin so that your quesdilla isn’t too big. I like to add them fresh but you can grill them up a bit first if you want. Just be careful about adding anything that is too juicy because you don’t want a soggy quesadilla.

Heat your griddle or pan to a medium heat. Fry up bacon, once done remove bacon and add chicken and skins and heat up and get the skin nice and crispy. Remove from heat and mix in with ranch.

img_0182img_0183

Reduce heat to low. Butter one side of tortilla, place in pan butter side down.

 

img_0184img_0185

Add 1/2 cheese, optional toppings, bacon, ranch chicken and then other 1/2 cheese. Arrange on half of the tortilla leaving a little room around the edge. Fold tortilla over so the round edges are even. Turn up heat just a little bit. Cook on each side about 2 minutes until the tortilla is evenly browned.

Serve with a side of salsa, or ranch or both!