1
Leftover Spaghetti Casserole
2
Chinese Takeout General Tso’s Chicken
3
Crispy Baked Ranch Chicken
4
Slow Cooker Peanut Butter Potato Stew
5
Hot and Sour Udon Noodle Soup
6
Chinese Takeout Chop Suey
7
Homemade Vegetable Chicken Noodle Soup
8
Fresh Veggies Pasta Dish
9
Pepper Jack Jalapeno Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese
10
One Juicy Turkey for Thanksgiving
11
Easy, Budget Friendly Basil Pesto Pasta
12
Chicken and Broccoli In White Sauce
13
Not My Mom’s Meatloaf
14
Easy Tamale Taco Soup
15
Easy Leftover Turkey Dinner Ideas
16
Mini Biscuit Pizzas
17
Fresh Mexican Corn Salad
18
Autumn Spiced Whole Roasted Chicken
19
Easy Cheesy Lasagna Skillet
20
Chopped Mexican Chicken Salad

Leftover Spaghetti Casserole

LEFTOVER spaghetti casserole recipe!  Don’t panic, I got a easy casserole recipe for you that’s delicious!  You’re going to love this cheesy spaghetti casserole!

Do you like leftovers?  I am pretty picky about them.

Last week I made my favorite Crockpot Tacos and we had them 4 days in a row, and every single night I looked forward to them.  That’s one leftover I love!  Then there are those leftovers where you just don’t  know what to do with.  Usually I can talk Matthew into eating them for lunch, but sometimes there’s even still a few meals left over (I tend to cook for a army).  

Leftover-Spaghetti-Casserole_4

Leftover Spaghetti

When I make spaghetti, there’s usually always leftover noodles.    I’d rather not have spaghetti two nights in a row, so I wanted to find something a little more exciting to do with the leftover spaghetti so I came up with this casserole.

How good was it?  Matthew asked if we could have it again, which made me feel pretty happy in having a meal requested from leftovers!

Leftover Spaghetti Casserole_1

So next time you have leftover spaghetti, don’t you dare toss it.. make this Leftover Spaghetti Casserole!

Leftover Spaghetti Casserole

Do you eat leftovers?  Are there any leftovers you won’t eat?  Do you also cook for a army? 

Leftover Spaghetti Casserole_3

Looking for more delicious dinner recipes? Try my Stuffed pepper casserole

Leftover Spaghetti Casserole

LEFTOVER spaghetti casserole recipe!  Don't panic, I got a easy casserole recipe for you that's delicious!  You're going to love this cheesy spaghetti casserole!

Course Main Course
Servings 2

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces leftover spaghetti noodles
  • 1 cup leftover pasta sauce
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • optional: 1/2 cup shredded leftover chicken

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix leftover spaghetti noodles and pasta sauce with egg, Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese and shredded chicken (optional).
  3. Place spaghetti mixture into baking dish and bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
  4. Spread mozzarella cheese and mushrooms on top and bake for a additional 10 minutes until cheese is melted.

Chinese Takeout General Tso’s Chicken

I’m back with another Chinese Takeout recipe!  If you haven’t noticed I have a crush on Chinese takeout, but not so much on the ingredients that sometimes can be added in the restaurant kitchen.

Some past recipes I’ve made that are Chinese inspired:

Chinese Takeout Chicken and Broccoli
Egg Drop Soup with Sugar Snap Peas and Greens
Chinese Vegetable Noodle Soup
Chicken and Broccoli In White Sauce
Homemade Chinese Pork Wonton Soup
Chinese Takeout Chop Suey
Hot and Sour Udon Noodle Soup

I love it!
I also love the comments that the Chicken and Broccoli recipe gets.  Nothing makes me happier seeing a new comment that someone made it for dinner and loved it.  It makes my Chinese Takeout loving heart so happy!  

So after I completed the Chicken and Broccoli recipe I had one more on my “Must Master” list.  That was General Tso’s Chicken.  How do they make it so good? How does the sauce stay on so well? How do you keep the chicken crispy with the sauce?  How do you get a hint of spice?  I must have tried to make this dish a million times (ok not that much, but you get the idea) and every time it just didn’t turn out right.  Then finally I got it!  It was a beautiful moment. I cheered, I cried, I ate it, I made it again and ate more.  I love this General Tso’s Chicken!  Finally… you can have the takeout version at home! No wok required! 

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Chinese Takeout General Tso's Chicken

Chinese Takeout General Tso's Chicken_3

Chinese Takeout General Tso's Chicken_1

Chinese Takeout General Tso's Chicken_2

Chinese Takeout General Tso's Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless chicken breast - cut up into bite size pieces.
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 6 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 8 tablespoons rice wine
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 9 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chopped red chilies
  • vegetable oil to fry

Instructions

  1. In a bowl mix 1/2 cup of cornstarch with eggs. Add chicken and mix to coat.
  2. In a small bowl mix 6 teaspoons cornstarch, rice wine, sugar and soy sauce.
  3. Heat 1-2 inches of vegetable oil in a large pan to medium heat (use a thermometer to get it to 350 degrees).
  4. Carefully add the chicken and fry just long enough until it's cooked.
  5. Remove the chicken carefully to paper towel to let sit and absorb grease.
  6. Leave two tablespoons of vegetable oil in pan, remove the rest.
  7. Add chopped red chilies to pan and fry until fragrant.
  8. Return the chicken to the pan and stir fry until crispy brown.
  9. Add sauce mixture and toss with chicken to coat and turn into a glaze (about 1 minute).
  10. Serve over rice with steamed broccoli.

Crispy Baked Ranch Chicken

CRISPY chicken made with RANCH dip and baked in the oven!  This easy Crispy Baked Ranch Chicken recipe only needs a few ingredients and makes a healthy dinner!  Serve with a salad or some fresh vegetables on the side!  I love making this recipe with chicken breasts and drumsticks so my entire family is happy!

This chicken is:

Baked – I always prefer this method!
Crispy – Thanks to some bread crumbs, it has a great crunch to it.
Moist – The meat is still juicy inside!
Flavorful – Thanks to marinating in Buffalo Ranch Dip this chicken is bursting in flavor boldness.

CRISPY chicken made with RANCH dip and baked in the oven! This easy Crispy Baked Ranch Chicken recipe only needs a few ingredients and makes a healthy dinner! Serve with a salad or some fresh vegetables on the side! I love making this recipe with chicken breasts and drumsticks so my entire family is happy! 

And even better, I made this with assorted pieces, drumsticks and breasts, so everyone was happy at the dinner table. I’m a drumstick kinda girl, Matthew is a breast kinda boy (too easy, going to ignore) so when we both get our chicken of choice then it’s a happy night.
CRISPY chicken made with RANCH dip and baked in the oven! This easy Crispy Baked Ranch Chicken recipe only needs a few ingredients and makes a healthy dinner! Serve with a salad or some fresh vegetables on the side! I love making this recipe with chicken breasts and drumsticks so my entire family is happy!

It’s such a simple meal to make, one that  I’ll definitely keep coming back to for dinner time.  I hope you enjoy!

Make sure to check out my dinner section for more dinner recipes!
 

Crispy Baked Buffalo Ranch Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Buffalo Ranch Dip
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts can also do 1 breast, 2 drumsticks
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup dry Italian bread crumbs

Instructions

  1. Mix Buffalo Ranch Dip and brown sugar together in bowl. Add chicken and coat completely. Put chicken in refrigerator (covered) and let marinade for a few hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease baking sheet with vegetable oil.
  3. Dip chicken into bowl of Italian bread crumbs to coat. Press on chicken so bread crumbs stay attached.
  4. Arrange on baking sheet and cook 50-60 minutes or until the internal temperature of chicken is 165 degrees.

 CRISPY chicken made with RANCH dip and baked in the oven! This easy Crispy Baked Ranch Chicken recipe only needs a few ingredients and makes a healthy dinner! Serve with a salad or some fresh vegetables on the side! I love making this recipe with chicken breasts and drumsticks so my entire family is happy!

Slow Cooker Peanut Butter Potato Stew

Just in time for St. Patrick’s day I bring you a delicious potato stew!
Slow Cooker Peanut Butter Potato Stew Finished 2

Even better? It’s a slow cooker recipe so relax for the day.
Slow Cooker Peanut Butter Potato Stew Finished 1

Even better better?  There’s peanut butter in it!
Slow Cooker Peanut Butter Potato Stew Ingredients 2

Head on over to Peanut Butter & Co to get my Slow Cooker Peanut Butter Potato Stew recipe!

Slow Cooker Peanut Butter Potato Stew Finished 4

Slow-Cooker-Peanut-Butter-Potato-Stew

Enjoy and have a great hearty dinner!

Slow Cooker Peanut Butter Potato Stew recipe can be found here.

Hot and Sour Udon Noodle Soup

Hot and Sour Udon Noodle Soup is a delicious Chinese soup ready in less than 15 minutes!

I made this soup a few nights ago and I loved every bit of it, especially how long it takes to make.  Want some delicious Chinese soup in less than 15 minutes? Done.  You just throw in your soft doughy udon noodles, your vegetables (want more vegetables? pile them in!), your broth and some seasoning and your soup is done.  
Hot and Sour Udon Noodle Soup is a delicious Chinese soup ready in less than 15 minutes!

 Can we also talk about how delicious udon noodles are? I found this pack of noodles in my local grocery and immediately knew they were destined to be in a soup.
Hot and Sour Udon Noodle Soup is a delicious Chinese soup ready in less than 15 minutes!

 

Hot and Sour Udon Noodle Soup is a delicious Chinese soup ready in less than 15 minutes!

Hot and Sour Udon Noodle Soup is a delicious Chinese soup ready in less than 15 minutes!

Hot and Sour Udon Noodle Soup is a delicious Chinese soup ready in less than 15 minutes!

 Enjoy this soup, let me know how you like it!

Hot and Sour Udon Noodle Soup

Servings 4
Author Courtesy 125 Best Vegan Recipes by Maxine Effenson Chuck and Beth Gurney © 2014 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 1 ⁄3 cups snow peas ends trimmed and cut (can also use frozen peas)
  • 1 can baby corn
  • 1 bunch chopped bok choy
  • 3 green onions white and green parts coarsely chopped
  • 1 ⁄4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 ⁄4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 1 ⁄2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 lb udon noodles

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, combine vegetable stock, snow peas, baby corn, bok choy, green onions, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and black pepper to taste. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  2. Add noodles. Increase heat to medium and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until noodles are tender.

Recipe Notes

For a more heartier soup you can add broccoli florets, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts or 1 inch cubes of tofu. Add this when you add the bok choy.

Adapted from 125 Best Vegan Recipes Cookbook

Hot and Sour Udon Noodle Soup is a delicious Chinese soup ready in less than 15 minutes!

Chinese Takeout Chop Suey

Do you love Chop Suey in the can? I’m totally guilty of loving it. I’m also totally guilty of eating that sauce by the spoonful. Goodness, it’s delicious.    

If you love it you can probably agree that it’s not the most healthy for you.  Low in calories, sure, but not exactly the best homemade ingredients that a dinner can offer you, so I set out to make a homemade version of La Choy’s Chop Suey.

Chinese-Takeout-Chop-Suey_1

 

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Homemade Vegetable Chicken Noodle Soup

Homemade Vegetable Chicken Noodle Soup recipe – just like how Mom used to make it!  The perfect bowl of comforting soup on a cold Winter day!

Guys, is this winter just crazy?  

Besides a few wild snowstorms over the past few years winter has been on the mild side.   Sure, we had a record setting snowfall a few times during those years, but that was it for the winter.  This year, it’s just winter, all the time.  We’re talking snow, ice, slush and cold all the time.    It seems to me that whenever I check the weather forecast there’s some type of snowy mix being talked about.  And can we talk about how much it stinks to have to walk in the snow?   Living in a city is great for so many reasons, one being that I can walk and get anywhere that I want to go, but that means walking through the snow and slush  and trying not to fall in the process.  It’s a nightmare.   On every single corner there will be a giant puddle of slush just waiting for you.  

 

The good thing through all this cold and snow is seeing all the creatures the kids (and adults) create on the sidewalks to cause some smiles.  This always cheers me up.
Homemade Vegetable Chicken Noodle Soup recipe - just like how Mom used to make it! The perfect bowl of comforting soup on a cold Winter day!

What else cheers me up?  Coming inside from a super cold day and warming up with a big bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup.  That totally cheers me up.

Homemade Vegetable Chicken Noodle Soup recipe - just like how Mom used to make it! The perfect bowl of comforting soup on a cold Winter day!

The secret I’ve found to some great Chicken Noodle Soup is always to use a whole chicken.   Not only is this going to provide the meat in your meal but it gives you that real rich chicken broth that no bouillon or boxed broth can give.   Pair this with some fresh vegetables and spices and you’ll have one big bowl of soup that will be sure to warm you up.

Homemade Vegetable Chicken Noodle Soup recipe - just like how Mom used to make it! The perfect bowl of comforting soup on a cold Winter day!

Homemade Vegetable Chicken Noodle Soup recipe - just like how Mom used to make it! The perfect bowl of comforting soup on a cold Winter day!

Homemade Vegetable Chicken Noodle Soup recipe - just like how Mom used to make it! The perfect bowl of comforting soup on a cold Winter day!

Homemade Vegetable Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken cut up
  • 3 carrots diced
  • 3 stalks celery diced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 2 teaspoons parsley flakes
  • 12 oz bag of egg noodles
  • 3 tablespoons flour

Instructions

  1. Cover chicken in 4 quarts of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Remove chicken from pot carefully. Remove all the meat you can from the bones, but carefully as it is hot. Set meat aside. Put bones back into broth and simmer for 45 minutes, covered.
  3. Remove the bones from both, be sure to get them all out.
  4. Add carrots, celery, salt, turmeric, white pepper, thyme and parsley flakes to the pot. Stir and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Turn heat back to high and add in egg noodles and chicken. Cook for 6-8 minutes, or until your noodles are cooked.
  6. Mix your flour with a few tablespoons of water until smooth in a small bowl. Pour into soup and continue to stir to make the broth creamier.
  7. Serve and enjoy.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from Tasty Kitchen

Homemade Vegetable Chicken Noodle Soup recipe - just like how Mom used to make it! The perfect bowl of comforting soup on a cold Winter day!

Fresh Veggies Pasta Dish

This is one of those recipes that I cannot count the amount of times we have had it.  25? 50? 100? 200?  More?  

During the garden season it becomes a staple and we have it a few times a week.  It’s simple, it’s delicious, and you can totally customize depending on the vegetables you have on hand to use.  We usually always have it with carrots and sugar snap peas, but don’t be scared to experiment with your own loved veggies!   Maybe one week you have a bunch of kale left over and some radishes, throw it in!    This pasta dish is known as “Matthew’s Pasta Dish” in our house as he is always the chef of it.   Many times during the summer we make smaller bowls for lunch.  Sometimes we even have a bowl of it at night in bed.   It’s a win win situation all around.

Speaking of carrots,  many of you seemed pretty pumped for the upcoming garden season and are interested in starting your own garden.   If I could recommend a easy vegetable to start out with, it would definitely be carrots and radishes.  Carrots because they are pretty easy to grow, you just kind of plant them and they grow (ok maybe a bit more, but basically).  Radishes are great because the turn around is less than a month, and in gardening some quick satisfaction really makes you feel real good.

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Pepper Jack Jalapeno Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

Hello beautiful Macaroni and Cheese.
I love you.
Please be mine.
Would you like to dance?
Let’s be friends.

These are all ways I like to greet this macaroni and cheese.  Its real special.

Pepper Jack Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese recipe. Extra cheesy with a kick of spice!

This macaroni and cheese mixes a bunch of cut up cauliflower with pepper jack jalapeno cheese to add some spice.  Then it’s all melted over pasta shells.   Oh and there’s bread crumbs on top to add a bit of crunch.  

Do you love pepper jack jalapeno cheese as much as I do?  I love the kick of it.  When I saw it the grocery store I threw it in my buggy right away.  I knew I had to make something with it (besides eating it by the slice because I did alot of that too).  Next time you’re in the supermarket try to look for this! 
Pepper Jack Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese recipe. Extra cheesy with a kick of spice!

The cauliflower comes straight from the garden.  In the winter.  Seriously.  We still have vegetables growing under the green house.  It makes my gardening heart pretty happy to go up to the roof in my winter coat and cut off a cauliflower head (and then cover it in cheese).
Pepper Jack Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese recipe. Extra cheesy with a kick of spice!

Pepper Jack Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese recipe. Extra cheesy with a kick of spice!

Pepper Jack Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese recipe. Extra cheesy with a kick of spice!

Pepper Jack Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese recipe. Extra cheesy with a kick of spice!

 Next time your’e craving macaroni and cheese, give this a try!

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Pepper Jack Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese recipe. Extra cheesy with a kick of spice!

Pepper Jack Jalapeno Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 2 cups pasta shells
  • 3 cups cauliflower cut up into pieces
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 10 ounces pepper jack jalapeno cheese
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Boil water and cook pasta shells as instructed on box. When there are 3 minutes left, add your cauliflower to the boiling pot. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large saucepan melt your butter over medium heat. Slowly add flour, dry mustard and pepper until smooth.
  4. Add your milk and cheese slowly and keep stirring until it's smooth and melted. Take off burner.
  5. Add your macaroni and cauliflower to cheese mixture saucepan and stir until all shells are coated.
  6. Transfer your mixture to a baking dish and sprinkle bread crumbs on top.
  7. Cover and bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.
  8. Enjoy!

One Juicy Turkey for Thanksgiving

Juicy turkey recipe for Thanksgiving!  Nothing fancy, just good old fashioned turkey recipe!

Juicy Turkey

You guys are just the best.  All your comments you left on Essy’s post are so beautiful and caring.  Reading through and seeing all the love, reliving stories of your own past losts and just being the sweetest really made me feel better.  I owe you all a donut.   When you’re in Brooklyn, you holla at me, we have a date.  Thanks again, it really means alot to our family. <3

One Juicy Delicious Turkey_5

In the post I shared Essy’s favorite holiday because it meant her favorite food, Thanksgiving and turkey.   Give that girl a whiff of turkey and she was there.   From the time the turkey was taken out of the wrapper until it came out of the oven, Essy was pacing like a nervous lady.  She would be on the floor staring into the oven, on the kitchen island staring at the oven, on the table staring into the oven.   When we opened the oven to get the turkey in and out someone had to hold her because there was no stopping her.  She wanted that turkey.  The best way to honor Essy we decided was to have Thanksgiving Dinner in January.  Essy would want nothing more.

One Juicy Delicious Turkey_6

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Easy, Budget Friendly Basil Pesto Pasta

EASY, BUDGET FRIENDLY Basil Pesto Pasta recipe made with fresh basil and almonds! This easy, healthy homemade recipe makes delicious basil pesto that can be served over pasta, as appetizers or on a sandwich!  Pine nuts are expensive so this is a much more budget friendly pesto.  Recipe also includes a vegan alternative. 

I’m in love with this Basil Pesto. Big time.

BUDGET FRIENDLY Basil Pesto Pasta recipe made with fresh basil and almonds! This easy, healthy homemade recipe makes delicious basil pesto that can be served over pasta, as appetizers or on a sandwich! Pine nuts are expensive so this is a much more budget friendly pesto.

Growing up, pesto wasn’t big in our house. It’s one of those things that I honestly can’t even remember having until I was in my 20’s.   Then I started to make it and fell in love. Then when started to grow our own basil and could pick it and immediately make the freshest pesto possible, then I really fell in love with it.

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Chicken and Broccoli In White Sauce

Chicken and Broccoli In White Sauce is a savory Asian recipe that uses a creamy sauce. Your family will fall in love with it!

Do you love chicken and broccoli as much as I do?  Goodness, I just love it.  This is the chicken and broccoli recipe I love dearly and I have gotten such nice comments, emails and messages about it – I’m so glad you love it as much as I do!  

I was in Chinatown a few weeks ago where I was feeling hungry after acupuncture so I ran across the street to a shop called “Excellent Dumpling House”.    There I got some Chinese takeout goodies to go, along with a amazing pork dumpling.    While I was waiting for my order to be done so many people came in and ordered the Chicken and Broccoli in White Sauce.   My eyes rose every time someone ordered it,  I had never heard of this at a Chinese restaurant.  So I did what everyone else would do, I took out my phone and begun googling furiously.

In the next week, something was telling me to make this dish. I received not one, but two completely random comments and email asking me if I had a Chicken and Broccoli in White Sauce recipe.  Can you believe that?  First in line, then real life questions.    It’s like I was meant to make this.

This is a great dish that is creamy and full of yummy vegetables (hello broccoli, sugar snap peas and carrots).  It’s more rich than your usual Chicken and Broccoli due to the  sauce which is made with heavy cream and Parmesan cheese.

Next time you’re in the mood for Chicken and Broccoli, give this dish a shot, I hope you enjoy!

Chicken and Broccoli In White Sauce is a savory Asian recipe that uses a creamy sauce. Your family will fall in love with it!

Chicken and Broccoli In White Sauce is a savory Asian recipe that uses a creamy sauce. Your family will fall in love with it!

Chicken and Broccoli In White Sauce is a savory Asian recipe that uses a creamy sauce. Your family will fall in love with it!

Chicken and Broccoli In White Sauce is a savory Asian recipe that uses a creamy sauce. Your family will fall in love with it!

Make sure to check out my Chicken and Broccoli Chinese Food recipe too!

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Chicken and Broccoli In White Sauce is a savory Asian recipe that uses a creamy sauce. Your family will fall in love with it!

Chicken and Broccoli In White Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 pound cooked chicken breast - cut up into bite size pieces
  • 1 carrot - peeled and cut up into bite size pieces
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas - cut into thirds
  • 1 head broccoli - cut up into florets
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup heavy creamy
  • 1 clove garlic - minced
  • 1 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. While oven is preheating melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add heavy cream and simmer for about 5 minutes
  3. Add mined garlic and Parmesan cheese to heavy cream mixture, stirring until combined and completely melted and creamy.
  4. In a baking dish, layer your chicken on the bottom. Then spread your vegetables on top.
  5. Pour your creamy Alfredo sauce on top to cover.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!

Not My Mom’s Meatloaf

Do you like the title?  I hope you do.    So many of my favorite meatloaf recipes are inspired by the cook’s mother or grandmother, but because this recipe is inspired by Amy’s mother’s meatloaf, and she’s not my mother, I decided to name it Not My Mom’s Meatloaf.   

I don’t think meatloaf gets the love it deserves but I’m here to change that.  I love meatloaf. It reminds me of my childhood, it reminds of plaid printed aprons, and mothers with perfect hair and televisions with antennas.  Doesn’t it have that vintage feel to it?  I like to think June Cleaver in the picture below is whisking eggs for meatloaf.  Also I’d like to think that one day I will look that fabulous in the kitchen.  Someone remind me to buy a strand of pearls.
June-Cleaver

Have you been to Disney World before? AKA, the greatest place on Earth (honestly, it’s amazing).  At Hollywood Studios they have a restaurant named 50’s Prime Time Cafe and it’s everything you hoped it would be like, from the tables to the waiters.   Everything on the menu is home cooking inspired from Dad’s Grilled Pork Chops to Aunt Liz’s Golden Fried Chicken to Grandma’s Chicken Pot Pie and of course Cousin Ann’s Traditional Meatloaf. I got the Meatloaf when I was there and it was served with green beans by our waiter Uncle Gary.  Throughout the dining experience he would introduce us to our cousins and just be that Uncle we all know.  When we left we we wrote him a love letter, he was so much fun. 
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Meatloaf is often made with ketchup but I love this recipe because it uses spaghetti sauce instead which personally I find more pleasing and tasty.  The spaghetti sauce acts like a gravy that you can lather your meatloaf in which I love, I definitely will put a few spoonfuls on.    Also, this meatloaf has mushrooms that are baked in it which will cause your entire dinner table to fight over who gets the mushrooms, so be sure to fight hard for them. 🙂  

Hope you enjoy this delicious dinner table favorite! 

 Not My Mom's Meatloaf_4

Not My Mom's Meatloaf

Not My Mom's Meatloaf_3

Not My Mom's Meatloaf_1

Not My Mom's Meatloaf_5

Not My Mom's Meatloaf_2

Not My Mom's Meatloaf_6

 

Not My Mom's Meatloaf

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds ground turkey
  • 3/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 2 cups pasta sauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried mustard
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 8-10 whole fresh mushrooms

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix ground turkey, bread crumbs, egg, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup of the pasta sauce together completely. I use my hands for this to mix thoroughly.
  3. Form turkey mixture into a loaf and put in a loaf pan.
  4. Push mushrooms into the top of the meatloaf, pushing their stems into the loaf.
  5. Mix the rest of the pasta sauce, brown sugar, dried mustard and worcestershire sauce together in a bowl. Pour this sauce mixture over the mushrooms and meatloaf.
  6. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  7. Enjoy and be sure to slather in sauce!

Easy Tamale Taco Soup

Easy to make tamale soup recipe that only takes 20 minutes to make!

Tamale Soup Recipe

Are you like us and are extremely indecisive when it comes to dinner when there are no plans?  “What’s for dinner?” is the worst question in the world when the response is “I don’t know, what do you want?”  That leaves Matthew and I both opening the freezer, looking in the vegetable drawer, browsing the pasta selection and usually ends up with me on the ground crying “Just eat without me! I can’t decide!”.   That’s what hungry bellies do, they make you irritable.    

So enter this Easy Tamale Taco Soup.  I’m really big on quick meals when we’re on deadline for projects.  Slow cookers rule, but sometimes I don’t have time in the morning to get it started so I need something super quick.  That’s why canned goods and frozen vegetables rule.  

Easy Tamale Taco Soup_2

This Taco Soup is made in 20 minutes. You use up all your energy opening up the cans, dump them into a pot, boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Then you sit at your dinner table and eat it about 2 minutes because you are that hungry.

Easy Tamale Taco Soup_4

Do you guys know about Homel Beef Tamales in Chili Sauce?  I recently came across them in my travels at the grocery store.   They are basically Tamales in a can.  They scream out “lazy”.  I love it.  

Easy Tamale Taco Soup_5

And the ingredients aren’t frightening at all for Tamales in a can: Water, Beef, Tomatoes (Water, Tomato Paste), Corn Meal, Corn Flour, Masa Harina, Salt, Chili Powder (Chili Peppers, Flavoring), Lime, Cornstarch, Paprika, Spice.” No additives, no preservatives, no words I can’t pronounce.  Pretty cool right? And even better the entire can is 340 calories.    Throw this in a pot with just a full lineup of beans and corn and you got a pretty healthy extra quick meal.

I hope you enjoy this easy Tamale Soup!
Easy Tamale Taco Soup

 

Easy Tamale Taco Soup

Easy to make tamale soup recipe that only takes 20 minutes to make!

Course Soup
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword taco soup, tamale soup
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 can Ro*Tel Tomatoes With Diced Green Chilies
  • 1 can Hormel Beef Tamales in Chili Sauce
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • Handful of shredded cheddar cheese optional
  • Handful of fresh cilantro optional

Instructions

  1. Remove paper wrappers on tamales and cut Beef Tamales up into quarters.

  2. Mix all ingredients in large pot. Bring to boil, simmer for 20 minutes.

  3. Serve in bowls, add shredded cheddar cheese and fresh cilantro on top.

Easy Leftover Turkey Dinner Ideas

I hope everyone who celebrated Thanksgiving had a great day full of plenty of stuffing and pies!  

We celebrated with a sea salt overnight brined turkey, stuffing, roasted carrots, creamy mashed potatoes, soft potato rolls and a oreo chocolate mousse pie (recipe coming soon!).     We had a nice dinner, lit a few candles, cats each had their own bowl and we got down to business.    Essy who has the best nose in the business, smelled the Butterball turkey as soon as it was unwrapped the night prior.  Essy would eat turkey every single day of her life if she could, it really is the greatest day for her.  She begins to pace the kitchen as soon as she gets the first whiff of the turkey (cooked or not), then she starts meowing (or howling in excitement), then she finally jumps up to our table and watches every single recipe step we do with her nose wiggling and tongue licking her lips.    Essy has been celebrating Thanksgiving since 1994 – she is the Turkey Queen.
Big Mom Is Ready To Rumble!

Because we will be having turkey in different forms for the next few days I wanted to share some of our favorite recipes to feature some yummy ways to use left-overs!  

Mexican Pumpkin Chili – a delicious chili with green chiles, salsa verde and corn.  Shred the turkey up, or throw in the food processor to make it ground turkey.
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Turkey and Gravy Sandwich – it doesn’t get easier than this, doesn’t it look super delicious? I love this open faced sandwich.
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Easy Turkey Tacos – throw in some  taco seasoning mix and you got a easy and delicious meal!
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Creamy Corn & Turkey Soup – creamy soup and corn? Sounds like heaven to me.
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White Bean and Turkey Chili – I love white beans so I’m all over this chili.  You could use canned beans, throw on a pot on the stove to make it super quick.
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Healthy Baked Penne with Turkey, Tomatoes and Basil – I love a baked pasta dish!
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Leftover Nachos – does this not look like the best meal right now?
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Breakfast Sandwich – why not have breakfast for dinner?
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Turkey Potpie – great for using leftover vegetables too.
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Apple, Turkey Grilled Cheese Sandwich – Instead of using deli turkey, use up shredded turkey.  If  you have no apple butter, just go with the apples.  My mouth is watering just thinking about this combination.
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Lemon Pesto Turkey Pasta Dish – I love a great smelling lemon pasta.
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If you have any other suggestions, please feel free to leave in the comments!  Have a great weekend everyone!

 Easy Leftover Turkey Dinner Ideas

Mini Biscuit Pizzas

Mini Pizza Biscuits recipe makes individual mini pizzas using biscuit dough in 15 minutes. This is a a easy weeknight meal to make for the family!  The pizzas also freeze well, perfect for school and daycare lunches!

How many times do we have pizza a month? Don’t ask.  We love pizza! Is it our favorite food? It’s hard to choose, it’s like telling me to pick a favorite cat (all of them!).  But pizza is definitely up there in the ranking!  Is pizza your favorite food?

Sometimes we’re craving pizza but don’t want to spend the money on takeout and we are running low on time to make homemade dough.  The problem is solved with these Mini Biscuit Pizzas!

Mini Pizza Biscuits recipe makes individual mini pizzas using Pillsbury biscuits in 15 minutes.

Biscuit Dough Pizza

Not only are these mini pizzas delicious, but they’re so easy to make because they’re made with biscuit dough. You can find this in your refrigerated part of your grocery section where the other refrigerated dough and rolls are located.

Mini Pizza Biscuits recipe makes individual mini pizzas using Pillsbury biscuits in 15 minutes.

You’ll want to add your favorite tomato sauce on top of each with a nice handful (ok maybe 2!) of mozzarella cheese.
Mini Pizza Biscuits recipe makes individual mini pizzas using Pillsbury biscuits in 15 minutes.

Now add your favorite toppings on the pizzas!   I usually dice up some green peppers and mushrooms for mine!  These Mini Pizzas are great because they take 12 minutes in the oven.   That means you can have yummy pizza to eat in about 15 minutes!   Isn’t this a great hectic weeknight recipe for the family?

Mini Pizza Biscuits recipe makes individual mini pizzas using Pillsbury biscuits in 15 minutes.

In the recipe I suggest pepperoni, green peppers and mushrooms but feel free to make these pizzas your own! Top them with whatever you like.  These pizzas are great to make with kids because they can customize their toppings how they’d like. 

Speaking of kids, they’re also great to send to school for lunches.  We often pack mini pizzas for my daughter to take to daycare.  You can make a bunch at once and freeze them too! 

Mini Pizza Biscuits recipe makes individual mini pizzas using Pillsbury biscuits in 15 minutes.

I hope you enjoy these Mini Pizza Biscuits!

Mini Pizza Biscuits recipe makes individual mini pizzas using Pillsbury biscuits in 15 minutes.

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Mini Pizza Biscuits recipe makes individual mini pizzas using biscuit dough in 15 minutes. This is a a easy weeknight meal to make for the family!  The pizzas also freeze well, perfect for school and daycare lunches!

 

 Looking for more pizza recipe? Try my Pepperoni Pizza Cauliflower Casserole

Mini Biscuit Pizzas

Mini Pizza Biscuits recipe makes individual mini pizzas using biscuit dough in 15 minutes. This is a a easy weeknight meal to make for the family!  The pizzas also freeze well, perfect for school and daycare lunches!

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8 mini pizzas

Ingredients

  • 16 oz can Pillsbury Grands refrigerated biscuits
  • 1 cup Pizza sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 24 pepperoni slices
  • 1/2 cup diced green peppers
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Press each biscuit down with your hand or rolling pin until it becomes around 5 inches round.
  3. Place biscuits down on greased cookie sheets.
  4. Top each biscuit with pizza sauce, cheese, pepperoni, peppers and mushrooms.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown.
  6. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Makes: 8 Mini Pizzas

Fresh Mexican Corn Salad

Fresh Mexican Corn Salad is a easy and delicious recipe using fresh ingredients! This salad only takes 5 minutes to make and uses NO mayo!

Mexican Corn Salad

Fresh Mexican Corn Salad is a easy and delicious recipe using fresh ingredients! This salad only takes 5 minutes to make and uses NO mayo!

Growing corn in a box on a rooftop in New York City is pretty cool.  When we start to spot the ears of corn and I can start to shake the plants to help pollinate I get very excited.  As you probably can guess, I do a corn dance. It looks the same as my broccoli and pumpkin dance. I pretty much have the same garden dance move for all our plants, I put my hands out to my side and do a 60s Twist move.    One day I might post the dance on here but I’m not sure if you are ready for that yet.

Fresh Mexican Corn Salad - it's a quick and delicious recipe using fresh ingredients!

Lately I’ve been craving vegetables for dinner. Lots and lots of vegetables and nothing else.  My other half loves meat for dinner (like these Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos) but I have been persuading him to try a happy veggie meal once a week, and I’m hoping we can get that up to 2 nights a week soon.    If I served this Mexican Corn Salad more than once a week I know I could because we love this dish.

Fresh Mexican Corn Salad - it's a quick and delicious recipe using fresh ingredients!

Mexican Salad Recipe

 It’s full of fresh corn kernels cut right off the cob, black beans, diced tomatoes, bell peppers and my favorite: hominy.  To spice it up we add in cumin, cilantro and lime juice.    Just thinking about this salad makes me want to cancel dinner plans for tonight and cut up some corn.

Speaking of corn, isn’t it just beautiful?

Fresh Mexican Corn Salad - it's a quick and delicious recipe using fresh ingredients!

Even the husks are pretty.

Fresh Mexican Corn Salad - it's a quick and delicious recipe using fresh ingredients!

And when the salad comes together you are going to be in love too.  The best thing about this salad is that it takes 5 minutes to make- amazing, right? The only thing that is cooked is the corn and that is only for 3 minutes.    

Fresh Mexican Corn Salad - it's a quick and delicious recipe using fresh ingredients!

 So if you’re craving a delicious dinner full of vegetables and you want it made within minutes, look no further.  Enjoy!

Want more garden fresh salad recipes? Check out my Kale Salad and Cantaloupe Salad.

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Fresh Mexican Corn Salad - it's a quick and delicious recipe using fresh ingredients!

Fresh Mexican Corn Salad

Fresh Mexican Corn Salad is a easy and delicious recipe using fresh ingredients! This salad only takes 5 minutes to make and uses NO mayo!

Course Salad
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword corn salad, mexican corn salad, mexican salad
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 can black beans - rinsed and drained
  • 1 can hominy - rinsed and drained
  • 4 ears corn - kernels sliced from cob
  • 1 can Ro*Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies
  • 1 bell pepper - chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Place corn in large pot of boiling salted water and cook for 3 minutes.
  2. When corn is cool, cut kernels off cob.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Serve and enjoy.

Autumn Spiced Whole Roasted Chicken

Does it feel like Fall to you?  The weather is changing here to the point of my mittens have made a few appearances already.  The pavements are covered with leaves ranging in shades of yellows, oranges and reds.   The heat has been turned on and usually at least 2 cats can be found in front of the heater warming up their bellies.   The days feel shorter as it becomes dark out around 5PM.    At home I wear the fluffiest socks to stay warm with cement floors in our loft.  

Fall.

As Fall approaches into Winter our meals begin to change.  There’s more slow cooking, many more soups from creamy to vegetable and more weekend roasts and chickens.  Last weekend we were craving a chicken dinner to help us feel warmer and fill the house full of delicious cooking smells.

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If Autumn had a taste this would be it.    This is a dinner that screams out that the seasons are changing.

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The chicken is seasoned with rosemary, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and sugar.   Can you already smell Autumn?

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Inside it’s incredibly moist and juicy.  

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My favorite part of a chicken is always the drumstick.  I will fight for this piece, but usually that doesn’t happen as Matthew is more of a breast man (too easy – stop it).  Occasionally I do have to fight off Essy who tries to nibble but she ends up getting her own bowl full of shredded chicken.  All our cats look forward to chicken and turkey dinners, they smell it before it even goes into the oven. 

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If you’re looking for a comforting chicken dinner, look no further.  You will love this spiced and moist chicken.  Enjoy!

Autumn Spiced Whole Chicken

Ingredients

  • 6 pound chicken
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 8 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 onion - sliced

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
  2. In a bowl mix salt, rosemary, sugar, cloves, allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon. Rub the chicken all over on both sides with this mixture.
  3. Stuff the chicken with minced garlic and onion slices.
  4. Place chicken, breast side down on a pan.
  5. Put chicken in oven for 15 minutes.
  6. Reduce heat to 450 degrees and cook for 15 minutes.
  7. Reduce heat to 425 degrees and cook for 30 minutes.
  8. Make sure chicken has internal temperature of 180 degrees.
  9. Let cool for 15 minutes, serve.

Easy Cheesy Lasagna Skillet

Welcome to a new week, I hope you all had a lovely weekend.   

We have a new favorite dinner that we’ve been making almost bi-weekly now, it’s Easy Cheesy Lasagna Skillet.   Lasagna is hands down one of our favorite dinners, but sometimes you just don’t have the time to organize the layers and bake in the oven, this skillet is quick, cheesy and oh goodness is it delicious.    What makes this lasagna extra special?  Well besides the ricotta cheese which makes everything creamy, there’s Sweet Italian Sausage which I’m pretty  much in love with at the moment.  After I brown the sausage there’s a good 3 minute period where I just stand by the stove and eat it out of the pan.   

Easy Cheesy Lasagna SkilletIMG_7431

Added into the lasagna is garden fresh spaghetti sauce, fresh basil, green peppers and some mushrooms.  In my opinion life is better when there is mushrooms and green peppers involved.  Lately, we’ve been putting them on our pizza too – what a great combo.  

Easy Cheesy Lasagna SkilletIMG_7463

So next time you are craving lasagna but don’t want to wait or do the extra work, throw all these ingredients in a skillet and you’ll have the creamiest dinner in all the land!  This is definitely a keeper.  Bonus: Leftovers are delicious!

Easy Cheesy Lasagna SkilletIMG_7445

Easy Cheesy Lasagna SkilletIMG_7440

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Easy Cheesy Lasagna SkilletIMG_7430

Easy Cheesy Lasagna SkilletIMG_7448

Easy Cheesy Lasagna SkilletIMG_7450

Easy Cheesy Lasagna Skillet

Ingredients

  • 12 lasagna noodles - broken in half
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage - out of their casings
  • 24 oz jar of spaghetti sauce
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 8 oz cut up mushrooms
  • 1 green pepper diced
  • handful of fresh basil

Instructions

  1. Brown sausage in skillet.
  2. Break lasagna noodles in half and cook as directed. Drain.
  3. When noodles are cooked add them to the skillet of browned sausage. Add in spaghetti sauce, ricotta cheese, 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, mushrooms and diced green pepper.
  4. Cook until melted and well heated, about 10 minutes on medium heat. Stir so ricotta is distributed evenly.
  5. Put remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese on top, sprinkle fresh basil on top. Cover and cook until cheese is completely melted.
  6. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Servings: 4

Chopped Mexican Chicken Salad

Chopped Mexican Chicken Salad is a quick and healthy recipe that uses fresh ingredients.  You can serve it as a main or side dish. 

Mexican Chicken Salad

Chopped Mexican Chicken Salad

As some of you know I’m not a huge salad eater and that is pretty much a sin coming from a gardener.   To get to me eat more salads, I have found that if I make it more Mexican inspired it becomes a instant hit.     I gave this salad a Mexican taste with ingredients and spices and I loved it so much we had it for dinner twice in 1 week!

Chopped Mexican Chicken and Corn Salad

Chicken Salad Ingredients:

You will need:

skinless, boneless chicken breasts
corn
romaine lettuce
arugula
queso fresco
cherry tomatoes
scallions
cilantro
lime
radishes

Fresh lettuce from the garden, can’t beat the taste!

Chicken Salad Ingredients
Arugula, Cilantro, Scallions, Radishes, Tomatoes and Corn!
Chopped Mexican Chicken Salad is a quick and healthy recipe that uses fresh ingredients.  You can serve it as a main or side dish. 

This chicken was some of the yummiest chicken I ever tasted.


Chopped Mexican Chicken Salad is a quick and healthy recipe that uses fresh ingredients.  You can serve it as a main or side dish. 

Minutes later throw all your vegetables and herbs in a bowl..


Chopped Mexican Chicken Salad is a quick and healthy recipe that uses fresh ingredients.  You can serve it as a main or side dish. 

Add your cut up chicken..
Chopped Mexican Chicken Salad is a quick and healthy recipe that uses fresh ingredients.  You can serve it as a main or side dish. 

Sprinkle your olive oil dressing on top..


Chopped Mexican Chicken Salad is a quick and healthy recipe that uses fresh ingredients.  You can serve it as a main or side dish. 

Mix up and you have one beautiful and fresh salad!


Chopped Mexican Chicken Salad is a quick and healthy recipe that uses fresh ingredients.  You can serve it as a main or side dish. 

Serve and sprinkle some Queso Fresco on top.


Chopped Mexican Chicken Salad is a quick and healthy recipe that uses fresh ingredients.  You can serve it as a main or side dish. And enjoy!

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Chopped Mexican Chicken Salad is a quick and healthy recipe that uses fresh ingredients.  You can serve it as a main or side dish. 

Mexican Chicken Salad

Chopped Mexican Chicken Salad is a quick and healthy recipe that uses fresh ingredients.  You can serve it as a main or side dish. 

Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American
Keyword chicken salad recipe, mexican chicken salad, mexican salad recipe with chicken
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 17 minutes
Servings 2

Ingredients

  • 2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Ear of Corn
  • 1 Head Romaine Lettuce
  • 2 Ounces Arugula
  • 2 Ounces Queso Fresco
  • 4 Ounces Cherry Tomatoes
  • 2 Scallions
  • 1 Bunch Cilantro
  • 1 Lime
  • 4 Radishes

Instructions

  1. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season it all over with salt and pepper.In a large pan, heat some olive oil on medium until hot. Add the chicken and cook 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through.
  2. While the chicken cooks and cools, wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut the radishes into wedges. Cut the cherry tomatoes into quarters. Thinly slice the scallions. Roughly chop the cilantro. Peel off the husks and remove the silks from the corn. Using a knife in a sawing motion, cut the kernels off the cob. Chop the romaine lettuce into small, bite-sized pieces.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the juice of the whole lime and about 2 tablespoons of olive oil.Whisk until blended and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Chop the cooled chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add the chopped chicken to a large bowl along with the radishes, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, corn, romaine lettuce, and arugula. Add some of the dressing (you may not need all of it) and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Divide the salad between 2 bowls. Crumble half the queso fresco over the top of each. Garnish with the scallions. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Adapted from Blue Apron

 

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