Macaroni and Cheese with Ham 

I had leftover ham from Easter that I needed to use up so I found a version of Mac and cheese with ham and sort of made it my own. It came out really good and my whole family loved it. 

Ingredients: 

– 2 cups diced ham 

– 1 onion, diced 

– 3/4 box of bow tie pasta (or any pasta) or 2 cups cooked pasta 

– 2 cups cheddar cheese 

– 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese 

– 2 cups whole milk 

– 1/4 cup butter 

– 3 tbsp. flour 

– pinch of salt and pepper 

Directions: 

Preheat your oven to 350F. 

Spray a 9×13-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside. 

Begin by heating up a pan and adding a tbsp. of butter. Add in the onion and diced ham. Cook for a few minutes until the onions are translucent. Pour into a bowl and set aside. 

Cook the pasta. 

After the pasta cooks, add the butter to the pan you sautéed the ham and onions in. Once the butter is melted, add in the flour and whisk for two minutes constantly. Then, add in the milk slowly and continue to whisk. 

Next, slowly add in the cheddar and Parmesan cheeses and whisk until the cheese is incorporated and begins to thicken. 

Add the pasta to the cheese sauce and then add in the ham and onion mixture. Give it all a big stir and pour into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle with a bit more cheese and bake for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn the oven to broil and broil until the top is golden. 

Serve with a side of veggies. Enjoy! 

   
    
    
    
    
    
 

Lasagna 

I believe this was only the second time making lasagna in my adult life. I am kind of weird about cheese and do not care for ricotta, which has caused me to shy away from lasagna. My inlaws made it when they were visiting a few months ago and I actually really enjoyed it, ricotta and all! So I gave it a try and it came out pretty good. I served it with garlic bread and a Caesar salad. 

Ingredients: 

– 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage

– 1/2 lb. ground beef 

– 1/2 cup onion, diced 

– 2 cloves garlic, minced 

– 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes 

– 2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste 

– 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce 

– 1/2 cup water 

– 1 tsp. sugar 

– basil, oregano, onion powder, parsley seasoned to taste 

– 12 lasagna noodles (I used the no-boil) 

– 1 (16 oz) container or ricotta 

– 1 egg 

– 3/4 lb shredded mozzarella cheese 

– 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese 

Directions: 

In a large pan with tall sides, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until cooked through and browned. Drain the fat and return to pan. 

To the meat, add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Stir everything together. 

Next add the sugar, basil, oregano, onion powder, parsley, taste and adjust accordingly. Stir to combine. 

Simmer, covered for at least 1 1/2 hours or longer. 

In a medium sized bowl, combine ricotta, egg, a bit more parsley, and a pinch of salt. 

Preheat oven to 375F. 

To assemble: grab a 9×13-inch pan and spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce on the bottom of the pan. Place a single layer of noodles on top of the sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta mixture, and top with 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat layers and add Parmesan to the top layer. 

Cover with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Place a cookie sheet on the rack below to catch any drippings that may fall. Remove foil and bake for an additional 25 minutes. Cool 15 minutes before serving. 

   
    
    
    
    
 

(Healthier) Tatertot Casserole 

So I am totally not above making Tatertot casserole, my only issue with it is, I think cream soups are disgusting and I try and avoid them in all of my recipes. This kind of resembled more of a shepherd’s  pie with tatertots on top, but it was really yummy, regardless! 

Ingredients: 

– 1 lb. ground beef 

– 1 onion, diced 

– 1 cup frozen vegetables (I used a mixed vegetables assortment) 

– 1 1/2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce 

– 1 tbsp. chili powder 

– 1/2-1 cup of water or beef broth (beef broth would give more flavor, I was just lazy) 

– 1-2 cups shredded cheese 

– 3/4 of a 32oz bag of tatertots 

– salt, pepper, and garlic powder, to taste  

Directions: 

Preheat your oven to 350F. 

Begin by browning your meat and onions. Once no longer pink, drain the fat and return to pan. 

Add to the mixture: Worcestershire, seasonings, chili powder, frozen veggies, and water/broth. Give everything a big stir and taste and adjust seasonings, as needed. Also adjust your liquid amount too. Just try not to add too much liquid, you don’t want a soup! Cook for a few minutes until vegetables are no longer frozen, and you have a good consistency. 

Pour into an 8x 11-inch baking dish. Sprinkle on shredded cheese, and then top with frozen tatertots. (You could sprinkle on a bit more cheese on top, if you really want to get wild 😉

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the tatertots are crispy on top. Remove from oven and let set a few minutes before serving. I served mine with a fresh fruit salad and it was a nice light addition to our meal. Enjoy! 

   
    
    
 

Grandma’s Enchiladas 

My Grandma is a wonderful cook, although she claims to just “get by”. She’s silly and I love her, and her cooking! These enchiladas are super easy, but for some reason I just love when she makes them. I follow her recipe to a T, but hers are just always better (isn’t that the way it goes?!) So anyways here’s her recipe. 

Ingredients: 

– 1 can (10 oz) red enchilada sauce 

– 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (we like the Mexican blend cheese too) 

– 8 whole wheat tortillas 

– 1 pound ground beef 

Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Spray an 8 x 11- inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. 

Brown the ground beef, once cooked, drain the fat and return the meat to the pan. Add 1/2 cup of cheese and half the enchilada sauce to the meat. Stir and remove the mixture from the stove. 

Lay out a tortilla and spoon a good amount of the meat down the middle. Sprinkle some cheese down the center of the tortilla, roll up the enchilada and place in the baking dish. Roll up the rest of the tortillas and then pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over the top of the rolled up tortillas. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake it your preheated oven for 20 minutes. 

Enjoy with sour cream and other garnishing of your choice.

   
   
   
    
 
   
   
 

  

L


 

Chicken Broccoli Pasta Skillet 

I roasted a chicken last week and thought this would be a good way to use up the leftover meat. It was very good and I even made my own cream of chicken soup to go in it 🙂 

Ingredients: 

– cooked, diced chicken, about 2 cups or so 

– 2 broccoli crowns 

– 10 ounces dry pasta (any kind will do) 

– cream of chicken soup (recipe below) or 1 can of the store bought soup 

– 1 cup shredded cheese, divided 

– salt and pepper to taste 
Cream of Chicken soup: 

– 1 1/3 cup chicken stock 

– 2/3 cup milk (I used half and half, but any will do) 

– 1/3 cup all purpose flour 

– 1/4 tsp. garlic powder 

– 1/4 tsp. onion powder 

– 1/4 tsp. thyme 

– 1/2 tsp. salt 

– 1/4 tsp. pepper 

Whisk together the milk and flour in a small bowl and set aside. In a large skillet, heat the chicken stock until it comes to a boil. 

Add in the flour/milk mixture to the chicken stock over medium heat, whisk for about 5 minutes until it starts to get thick. Add in the seasonings and continue whisking until it is very thick and resembles the canned product. 

You can use right away or store in a container in the fridge for up to one week. Allow to cool before placing it in the refrigerator. 

   
 
Directions for casserole: 

Boil the pasta and steam the broccoli. Once both are done, place in a large skillet with tall sides. Add in the diced chicken, cream of chicken soup, and 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese. Give it a big stir and sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese. Turn the oven to broil and broil on high until the cheese is spotty and golden. Enjoy! 

   
    
    
 

Tamale Pie 

I made this the other night for my husband since he’d never had it before and it was a hit! Delicious! 

Ingredients: 

Cornbread: 

– 1/2 cup cornmeal 

– 2/3 cup flour 

– 3 tbsp. sugar 

– 1 tbsp. baking powder 

– 1/4 tsp. salt 

– 3-4 tbsp. olive oil 

– 1/3 cup milk 

– 1 egg 

– 1 small can of diced green chiles 

– 1 can of corn 

Meat: 

– 1 pound ground beef 

– 1 tsp. cumin 

– 1 tsp. chili powder 

– 1/4 tsp. salt 

– 1/4 tsp. pepper 

Tamale Pie: 

– 1 1/4 cup enchilada sauce 

– 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese 

Sour cream, Salsa, Olives, Etc for topping 

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 400F. 

Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the oil until soft crumbles form. Whisk in the milk and egg. Gently fold in chiles and corn. Pour into a greased 9x 13-inch pan . Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the toothpick passes the toothpick test. 

While the cornbread is baking, make the meat sauce. Brown the ground beef, drain, and mix in the seasonings. 

Remove the cornbread from the oven, and reduce the temperature to 350F. Poke holes in the cornbread with a fork and pour the enchilada sauce over it. Top with the ground beef and shredded cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 7-8 minutes or until cheese begins to brown. 

 Let cool for about 10 minutes and top with your favorite toppings. 

   
    
    
    
    
    
 

  

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! 

   
                     

Scalloped Potatoes and Ham

This recipe is from the Pioneer Woman and boy is it yummy! My family always made scalloped potatoes and ham growing up so when I stumbled upon this the other day I knew I had to try my hand at it. It was absolutely delicious! You can search her original recipe online, but in this one I scaled it back a little bit and I’ll give you my measurements. It was plenty for our family of three with a big Tupperware of leftovers for tomorrow 🙂

Ingredients:
– 6-7 russet potatoes, washed and dried
– 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
– 2 cups diced ham
– 1/2 cup half and half
– 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
– 1/8 cup all purpose flour
– black pepper to taste
– 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
– 1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray an 8×11-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large skillet, heat up some olive oil, and add the onion. Sauté about 2 minutes or until they start to turn translucent. Add in the ham and cook for about 4 minutes and thoroughly heated. Remove from heat and set aside.
Slice up your potatoes very thinly, about 1/8 inch thick and set aside.
In a glass mixing cup, add the heavy whipping cream and the half and half. Heat for about a minute or so in the microwave, until warm. Whisk in the flour and the pepper until completely combined. Set aside.
Combine the jack and cheddar cheeses in a bowl and set aside as well.
Now we’ll move on to assembly:
Take your casserole dish you prepared earlier and start with a layer of potatoes, next spoon 1/3 of the ham/onion mixture on top, followed by 1/3 of the grated cheese mixture, and pour 1/3 of the milk mixture over the top. Repeat this three times finishing with a good layer of cheese on the top. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 50 minutes in your preheated oven. Remove the foil and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Check the potatoes for tenderness after the 20 minutes is up, you may need to put it back in for an additional 10 minutes or so.
Remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes before serving. Serve with a side of veggies.
This is a very toddler friendly meal also! 🙂

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Deconstructed Biscuit Pot Pie

My husband’s favorite meal is biscuits and gravy, and it’s probably one of my least favorite meals :/ So tonight we had a compromise! I made a pot pie filling and we had it over biscuits so it was like a biscuits and gravy in a sense. It was really good and we all enjoyed it.

Ingredients:
– 2 tbsp. butter
– 1 small onion, diced
– 3 carrots, diced
– 3 ribs celery, diced
– 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
– 2 cups chicken broth
– 1 1/2 cups milk
– 2 chicken breasts, diced and cooked
– 1/2 cup frozen peas
– salt, pepper, and celery seed seasoning, to taste
Biscuits (I just used refrigerated ones)

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 400F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Start by melting the butter in a large skillet with tall sides. Add the onions, carrots, and celery to the pan. Cook for about 3-4 minutes. Whisk in the flour until lightly browned, then gradually whisk in the chicken broth and the milk. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, whisking constantly, until the mixture is slightly thickened. Stir in the chicken and the peas, and season with the salt, pepper, and celery seed.
Add chicken mixture to your prepared baking dish and bake in your preheated oven for about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and while it is cooling, bake your biscuits. I just had to bump down my oven to about 350F for the biscuits.
Spoon filling over your baked biscuits and enjoy! 🙂

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Green Chile and Chicken Enchiladas

I have always used the red sauce when making enchiladas for some reason. I think it’s just that’s what my family used and since I’m a person of habit, I just continued to follow suit. Well the other day when I was making out my menu I came across this enchilada recipe from the Pioneer Woman that uses green enchilada sauce. In her recipe, she states that you can use red sauce if you prefer, but I was feeling adventurous and decided to give the green sauce a try. Oh man! Am I glad I did! These enchiladas were awesome and that sauce just took them to an entire different level. I know we’re approaching the weekend of the 4th and enchiladas aren’t really “American” food, but make these ASAP! So delicious!

Ingredients:

– 2-3 cans (15 ounce) green enchilada sauce, I used two but I think it would have been better with just a bit more sauce
– 9 corn tortillas
– 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
– cumin, for seasoning
– chili powder, for seasoning
– 1/4 cup olive oil
– 1 large onion, diced
– 3 cups shredded cheddar/Monterey Jack cheese
– sour cream, cilantro, and diced tomatoes for garnishing

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F.

Trim your chicken breasts and sprinkle both sides with chili powder and cumin. Heat up a large skillet with oil and fry them on both sides, about 8 minutes per side or so until the juices run clear and they are cooked through. Shred the chicken and set it aside.
Heat your tortillas up in the microwave for about 30 seconds or so until they are soft and pliable. You don’t want them breaking on you while you’re trying to roll them up.
Add a bit more olive oil to the same skillet you cooked the chicken in and add the onions. Sauté the onions until they are caramelized and have a nice brown color to them. Remove them to a plate and set aside.
Pour the cans of enchilada sauce into the same pan and heat the sauce up for a couple of minutes. Remove the sauce once it’s warm and now you can start the assembly!
Place about a cup or so of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of an 8×11-inch baking dish. I always line up everything I’m going to use to assemble my enchiladas in a line on my counter to make things easier. Start by dipping your corn tortilla into the enchilada sauce, coating both sides, then set it on a plate. Sprinkle some cheese down the center, followed by some chicken, and finally, some of the caramelized onions. Roll up tightly and place seam side down in your baking dish. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas.

Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the top of your rolled up enchiladas, and top with the rest of the shredded cheese. Sprinkle some chili powder on the top for a bit of added flavor and some color.

Bake for 30 minutes in your preheated oven or until hot and bubbly. Let the enchiladas sit for about 10 minutes once you remove them from the oven so they can firm up a bit. Top them with sour cream, cilantro, and some diced tomatoes. I don’t know if I’ve divulged how much I ADORE cilantro, but I do, and it’s my absolute favorite herb ever!!! It’s absolutely amazing on these enchiladas!
Enjoy!!!

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