Chicken Rigatoni 

I made this for dinner tonight and we really enjoyed it. I was surprised with the addition of peas in the recipe, but I have to say that I loved them and will probably add even more next time! Delicious! 

Ingredients: 

– 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced into bite sized pieces 

– 1 1/4 cups marinara sauce 

– 1/2 cup Alfredo sauce 

– 2 tsp. butter 

– 1 cup frozen peas 

– 9 oz. rigatoni pasta 

– 4 cloves garlic, minced 

– salt and pepper to taste

– 2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, more or less depending on your heat preference 

– 2 tbsp. olive oil 

– oregano, garlic powder, and basil, to taste 

– Parmesan cheese to garnish 

Directions: 

Begin by cooking the rigatoni. Drain and set aside once tender. 

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the red pepper flakes, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Sauté for about a minute or so and then add in the chicken pieces. Cook the chicken until no longer pink in the middle, about 6-7 minutes. 

Once the chicken is cooked through, add in the marinara and Alfredo sauces. Season with the oregano, garlic powder, and basil, to taste. Let the sauce thicken for a couple minutes then add in the butter and frozen peas. Add in the rigatoni and give it a big stir, making sure the pasta is well coated. 

Top with shredded Parmesan cheese and serve with garlic bread. Enjoy! 

   
                     

Frito Taco Casserole 

This was a tasty casserole that was quick and simple. A perfect weeknight meal! 

Ingredients: 

– 1 1/2 pounds ground beef 

– 1 small onion, diced 

– 1 small can of diced green chiles 

– 1 can red enchilada sauce 

– 2 oz. cream cheese 

– 1/2 bag of Fritos corn chips 

– 1/2 can mild rotel 

– 1/2 can red beans, drained and rinsed 

– 1 – 1 1/2 cups shredded chedder cheese 

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350F. 

Begin by browning the ground beef in a large skillet with the diced onion. Drain the fat and return the meat to the pan. Add in the chiles, enchilada sauce, beans, rotel, and cream cheese. Cook on medium heat until the cream cheese is melted and all the ingredients are incorporated together. 

In a large baking dish, begin assembling the casserole. Spoon the meat mixture into the dish, then top with the Fritos, and then the cheese. Repeat three times. 

Bake in your preheated oven for about 20 minutes. Once the time is up, remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes. Top with sour cream and salsa. Enjoy! 

   
                     

Vitamix Blueberry Ice Cream 

We just bought a Vitamix last week and wow! What an amazing machine, it really is more than a blender! Did you know that you can even make soup in it, hot soup?! Amazing! One thing that we learned to make straight away was ice cream, of course! Let me tell you, this ice cream is heavenly and it only has 4 ingredients! So simple! The great thing about this ice cream too is that it’s very versatile. You can use any frozen fruit, so far we’ve tried this blueberry one and also strawberry peach! We will be experimenting with making a chocolate one too in the future, so stay tuned! 😉 

Ingredients: 

– 2 cups frozen blueberries (or any frozen fruit you like) 

– 1 cup half and half (we tried it with the fat free half and half, and had great success)! 

– 1/4 – 1/2 cup sugar 

– 1 tbsp. vanilla extract 

Directions: 

Place all ingredients in the Vitamix, turn to variable speed 1, increase speed quickly to 10 and flip to high. Let blend up until frozen. You can store this in a Tupperware in your freezer and pull it out about 15 minutes before you want to have it. Enjoy! 

   
   

Stuffed Shells 

I put these stuffed shells together the other night and they were a big hit. The original recipe called for ricotta and an egg, but I decided to just fill the shells with the meat sauce mixture and an unnatural amount of mozzarella and Parmesan 😉 

Ingredients: 

– jumbo shells, I used about 20 

– 1 1/2 pounds ground beef 

– 2 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese

– 1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese

– jar of your favorite marinara sauce 

– garlic, oregano, basil, salt and pepper, etc. Your favorite seasonings, to taste 

Directions: 

Preheat your oven to 350F.

 Spread 1/2 cup of your marinara sauce in the bottom of an 8×11- inch baking dish. 

Begin by getting your pasta cooking. Once the noodles are al dente, drain and set aside. 

While your pasta is cooking, begin browning your ground beef in a large skillet. Once it is browned, drain the fat and add in the rest of your marinara sauce. Season the sauce to taste and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. 

Mix together the mozzarella and  Parmesan cheeses in a small bowl. 

Lay out the shells open side up in your baking dish, and sprinkle the bottom of each shell with some of your cheese mixture. Next, spoon in a good helping of the meat sauce into each shell. Once all the shells are filled, sprinkle the rest of the cheese mixture over the top of the shells. Cover the top tightly with foil.

Bake in your preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes until the cheese is browned slightly and bubbly. 

Serve with a nice side salad and garlic bread. Enjoy! 

   
                       

Beef N’ Gravy 

This was a very good recipe that we all enjoyed. It isn’t the prettiest looking dish, but it is quite tasty! It makes great leftovers too and is a pretty versatile dish. We served it over mashed potatoes, but it can be served over rice or egg noodles too. 

Ingredients: 

– 1 packet of brown gravy mix 

– 1 envelope of onion soup mix 

– 2 pounds beef stew meat, cubed and trimmed 

– 1 can cream of mushroom soup 

– 1 cup water 
Directions: 

Preheat oven to 300F. 

Place your trimmed beef tips in an 8 x 11-inch baking dish 

In a medium bowl, combine the other ingredients 

Pour the mixture over the beef and cover tightly with tin foil. Cook for three hours, and don’t open the foil in the process. 

Once the three hours is up, remove from the oven. Allow to slightly cool, and serve over mashed potatoes, rice, or noodles. 
   
   

Teriyaki Chicken and Broccoli 

I have another chicken and broccoli recipe on here that’s very good. However I wanted a bit more of a teriyaki taste and not as savory. I gave this one a try and we all were very happy with it. I served it over brown rice and it was delicious! 

Ingredients: 

– 4 cups fresh broccoli, cut into small florets 

– 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Diced into bite size pieces.  This last time I used chicken tenderloins and they were very good

– 1 tbsp. olive oil 

Sauce: 

– 3 cloves garlic, minced 

– 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce 

– 1/4 cup water 

– 2 tbsp. rice vinegar 

– 1/4 cup brown sugar 

– 2 tbsp. cornstarch 
Directions: 

In a small bowl, whisk together all the sauce ingredients and set aside. 

Steam the broccoli, once it’s tender rinse it under very cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside. 

In a large skillet, heat up the olive oil. Once it’s ready, add in the chicken pieces. Cook the chicken until it’s slightly brown on both sides. Add in the broccoli and slowly pour in the sauce. Let the sauce thicken and cook about 5 minutes. Give everything a big stir, coating well. 

Serve over brown rice. Enjoy! 
   
   

White Beans and Smoked Sausage 

I love white bean and ham soup, although my husband doesn’t care for ham too much, so this recipe appealed to me since it was made with smoked sausage and I could use beef smoked sausage. It was delicious and I served it with cornbread with butter and honey, yum! 

Ingredients:

– 1 pound smoked sausage, the oval shaped one, sliced into 1- inch rounds 

– 2 cups chicken broth 

– 4 cloves of garlic, minced 

– 1 tsp. oregano 

– 1 tbsp. Olive oil 

– 2 cans cannellini beans (white beans), rinse the beans from just one can

– 1/2 can of petite diced tomatoes (you can use more if you want) 

– black pepper to taste 

Directions: 

Begin by heating up some Olive oil in a large skillet with tall sides. Add in the sliced sausage and cook until browned on both sides. Remove to a paper towel lined plate, set aside. 

Drain off some of the oil from the pan the sausage cooked in. Pour the chicken broth into the pan and add the garlic. Turn up to medium heat and then reduce to a simmer. Add in the beans, oregano, and diced tomatoes. Then add in the browned sausage and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Let the liquid reduce and mash up a few of the beans to make the broth a little thicker. Once the mixture gets to desired thickness, remove from heat and serve with grated Parmesan cheese and cornbread. 

   

                                 

BBQ’d Hamburgers 

My husband got a meat smoker a few months back and we have been thoroughly enjoying it! You can also use it as a regular grill for quick things like hamburgers, hot dogs, and we even made pizza on it the other night! Best purchase ever! The last time we made burgers I tried a new recipe that we were pretty impressed with, so I thought I’d add it to my collection on here. 

Ingredients: 

– 2 pounds ground beef, we usually do 85/15 

– 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese 

– 1/4 cup good quality BBQ sauce 

– onion powder, seasoning salt, and cracked black pepper. I didn’t really measure these but would probably say a 1 -2 tsp. of each. Add more or less depending on your taste buds. 

Directions: 

Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Mix well with your hands and form into patties. I usually get 5-6 patties for this recipe. Grill a few minutes per side until done in the middle. Top with more slices of cheese and serve with all the burger fixings. 

   

       

Also, how cool is this silicone steamer basket?! My husband bought it for me and I love it! It’s dishwasher safe and flexible to fit many different sized pots. 

   

     

Easter 2015 

Easter was especially special this year with our newest addition. We did an Easter egg hunt with our three year old, Easter baskets, played outside, and I made a delicious Easter dinner. As I’ve mentioned before, my husband isn’t a huge ham fan so I normally go a non traditional route for Easter dinner. This year I made a pot roast with all the fixings and the most delicious double carrot cake for dessert. The carrot cake and pot roast recipes are on here if you want to check them out. 

I hope everyone had a great Easter! 

Rejoice! He Is Risen! 🙂