Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Italian Sausage and Tortellini

We L-O-V-E this recipe! Not only is it super easy, but it is super yummy too!
Italian Sausage and Tortellini

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb Sweet Italian Sausage (I can usually only find links)
  • 1 cup Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 24 oz package of fresh cheese Tortellini
  • 3 cups spaghetti sauce (1-24 oz jar) + 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  1. Remove skins from Italian Sausage.
  2. Heat olive oil in an oven safe skillet. Add sausage (I usually tear each link apart by hand and add small bite-size pieces) and cook until no longer pink.
  3. Add spaghetti sauce, Italian seasoning, water, and tortellini. Stir until combined.
  4. Bring mixture to boil and turn down to low. Cover and simmer for about 8 minutes or until tortellini is soft. While pasta is cooking, turn broiler on (optional).
  5. Remove from heat. Sprinkle mozzarella and Parmesan evenly over top.
  6. Place pan in the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until cheese is melted.Or, if your skillet is not oven safe,  you could just put the lid back on and let the heat from the pasta melt the cheese.

Jalapeno Dip

I modified a recipe I found to make it a little easier and a little spicier.  I've taken this to a few events this season already. The first time, I was asked to hide it in the back to one of the my co-workers could just take it home! PM can't get enough of it either!

Jalapeno Dip


10 slices of bacon, diced and cooked crispy
2 8-oz packages of cream cheese, soft
1 cup of mayonnaise
2 jalapeno's, chopped (leave seeds in when chopping!)  
3 jalapeno's, chopped and deseeded
1 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup of mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup diced green onion
  1. Preheat oven to 350. 
  2. Combine all of the ingredients into a medium bowl.  Stir well.
  3. Place in small casserole dish and bake about 30-35 minutes. You want the top to start to brown, but that's about it.

To serve, either let people scoop directly out of the casserole dish, or do what I did. I used my Velata party warmer and spooned enough in at a time to keep it full and kept it warm.  I placed my Velata Party Bowl around it and served it with both Scoops tortilla chips and Pretzel chips.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Greek Chicken Legs

This was super easy to make, and the whole family liked it!

Greek Chicken Legs

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1-2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • freshly cracked peppep
  • 2 Tbsp dry parsley
  • 3½ to 4 lbs chicken legs
  1. Mix yogurt, olive oil, minced garlic, oregano, lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl.
  2. Add chicken legs and marinade to a large Ziploc bag. Close tightly and toss to cover all chicken legs. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 375.
  4. Place chicken legs in 9x13 glass baking dish and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until golden brown.
We served with flavored rice and green beans!

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Beef Merlot

Sunday I felt like making something a little "fancier".  Well, Beef Merlot sounds fancy, but it's actually quite easy and very good.  The best part? It calls for 2 cups (about 1/2 bottle) of wine.  So, I get to drink the other half while cooking!  That is the BEST type of meal to cook!

Beef Merlot

2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 1/2 lbs Chuck Roast, cut into bite sized pieces
Salt and fresh ground pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Flour
2 carrots, cut into small pieces
2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 bay leaf (or dried bay leaves)
4 sprigs fresh Thyme
2 cups Merlot
2 cups beef broth

  1. Salt and pepper beef.  Heat vegetable oil in dutch oven until very hot and sear meat. Remove meat, set aside.
  2. Add onion, let sweat, add a pinch of salt, butter and flour. Cook 3-4 minutes, until onions soften, but don't burn flour.
  3. Add 1/2 bottle (2 cups) of wine. Reduce by about 1/2 (takes about 10 minutes). Add carrots, celery, meat w/juices, pinch of salt, bay leaf and tied thyme sprigs. Cover with 2 cups beef broth.
  4. Bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours on very low.
  5. Uncover and simmer 1/2 hour longer.
  6. Serve over mashed potatoes

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Smothered Cheesy Chicken

Now that I am leaving work at 3pm every day, and NOT logging back in from home, I've been able to make dinner for the family.  There is a downside though. We still really don't have time to eat together, as one kid or the other has practice or games every night of the week, except Friday, around 6pm.  So, the kids and I sometimes eat and then BD eats really quick when he runs in and out.  Sometimes, I get everything ready and either already in the oven so BD and PM can eat while DQ and I are gone, or I have it all ready and BD puts it in the oven at the designated time.

This recipe was one of those that I left in the oven, with instructions on when to take it out.  It was enjoyed by all.  I used my Pampered Chef Mandolin to slice the potatoes very thin.  The chicken was very juicy and tender.  Unfortunately, the bacon grease left a mess of my stovetop!

So, here it is: Smothered Cheesy Chicken

Until next time... "It's gonna be ok"...

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

I'm being published!

How exciting! A recipe I submitted to Gooseberry Patch on a whim is being published in their Mom Knows Best cookbook. I'll receive a free copy in January 2015! Check out the recipe, Balsamic Chicken & Penne Pasta!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Food Snobs?

Have we all become food snobs? As I browsed through "Outstanding Standby Suppers" on the Betty Crocker website, I found myself scrunching up my nose at the recipes on the list. I read the description for Creamy Cajun Pasta, "Fresh bell peppers, thyme and onion meet a cheesy marinara sauce for super-easy Cajun flavor..." and made a face when I got to the "cheesy marinara sauce". Is that out of a jar or can, gag! I read further and found Pulled Chicken Sandwiches and saw it used a store cooked rotisserie chicken, the horror! 

My next thought was of Hamburger Helper and the like and it just sounded disgusting.  Then I started really thinking, I used to eat everything above.  In fact, sometimes I still buy a rotisserie chicken to use in a meal or a jar of spaghetti sauce (but not Ragu, never Ragu, only the good stuff, right?).  

This got me thinking about our kids. They have grown up getting to CHOOSE what we have for dinner.  That's right, they get to pick.  No, our house isn't like a restaurant, everyone doesn't get a separate meal.  What I sometimes do is let each kid pick a meal for the week, then I choose the others.  But, what they pick isn't Hamburger Helper, chicken nuggets or corndogs.  For example, this week, PM picked Salmon, Rice and Broccoli as his meal of the week (of course, DQ didn't eat that and had leftovers from a super yummy pork chop recipe). DQ picked Creamy Chicken Alfredo, which I am making tonight.

My kids have never even tried Ramen noodles.  I think they've had Hamburger Helper and Tuna Helper less than a handful of times.  DQ's favorite meal to order at a restaurant, or that she always tries to get us to make for dinner (which we don't), is Prime Rib.  PM always wants Salmon or steak.  They rarely eat chicken nuggets any longer. Forget corn dogs, that's a rarity too.

I think we've created children with expensive taste and food snobs!  A few weeks ago, when they were to stay a few days with my parents, they were asked what they'd like for dinners.  DQ immediately piped up with, "Prime Rib!"  They settled on my mom making Tommy's Ham Casserole, which I guess is pretty close to a "ham helper", so maybe they aren't totally ruined.  ;-)

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Time to start fresh!

It's time to start posting to my blog again! Starting everyone off with a recipe I made last week that BD and I used to make for dinner all the time, back before the kids started eating the same food as us! The verdict? BD and I loved it. PM liked it. DQ said it was too spicy. As a suggestion, serve with Fat Free Sour Cream!

Tortilla Lasagna


1TBLSP Vegetable Oil
1 LB Ground Turkey
1 Cup Chopped Onion
1 ½ Cup Chopped Green and/or Red Peppers
½ cup (4 oz) Diced/Chopped Green Chiles
1 PKG Taco Seasoning
2 Cups (16 oz) Ortega Thick & Smooth Taco Sauce
10 Flour Tortillas
2 cups Mexican Blend Shredded Cheese

  1.  Preheat oven to 375⁰ and grease 13x9 baking dish.
  2.  Heat vegetable oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add ground turkey and cook , stirring  occasionally for 5-6 minutes, or until no longer pink.
  3.  Drain meat, stir in onion, bell peppers, chiles and seasoning mix.
  4.  Reduce heat and cook for 3-4 minutes, until vegetables are slightly tender, stirring occasionally.
  5.  Spread ½ cup taco sauce over bottom of prepared baking dish, cover with 5 tortillas.
  6.  Spread with half of meat mixture and ½ cup of taco sauce. Top with 1 cup of cheese.
  7.  Repeat with remaining 5 tortillas, meat, taco sauce, ending with cheese on top.
  8.  Bake 15-20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.