Thursday, September 15, 2016

Baked Ravioli

This is a new favorite pasta dish of ours.....perfect when you want to have an easy, quick, meatless meal.  Throw in a salad and bread and you're good to go!

Baked Ravioli
recipe from Damn Delicious

You will need:
-package of cheese filled ravioli (I normally use frozen)
-1 (25oz) jar spaghetti or marinara sauce, or 2 cups of homemade sauce
-1/3 cup cream cheese, cubed
-1/2 tsp dried thyme
-1/2 tsp dried parsley
-1/2 cup (or more if desired) shredded mozzarella cheese
-1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

*Preheat oven to 350, and spray baking dish with cooking spray
*Boil ravioli in a large pot of boiling water (2-3 minutes) until just tender
*Combine spaghetti sauce and cream cheese in sauce pan over medium heat. Stir until cream cheese has  melted.  Add parsley and thyme and stir.
*Spread ravioli into baking dish.  Top with sauce mixture.  Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top.
*Bake, uncovered, about 20 minutes or until cheese has melted.
*Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve

Pioneer Woman's Blistered Green Beans

This is our new favorite veggie/side dish!  Pioneer Woman is still the best in my book.  And these are so simple and quick to make.  They are great paired with chicken, or  grilled steak.....or just about any main dish!  

Blistered Green Beans

You will need:
-fresh green beans (ends trimmed off)
-2 Tablespoons butter
-soy sauce
-sea salt (optional)
-lemon  (optional)
note: I like to use my cast iron skillet for these.  If you don't have one, just use a regular skillet, but I wouldn't recommend a non-stick skillet

*Wash and trim the green beans
*Heat butter in skillet on med-high heat (you'll want it pretty hot so it will blister the beans)
*Add green beans and saute for several minutes (I use kitchen tongs to toss around)
*When they start to blister and blacken a little bit, drizzle a few tablespoons of soy sauce over beans
*Lower the heat and continue to toss in skillet for another minute or two
*Optional: If I've got a lemon I will squeeze a little lemon juice over the top and a little sprinkle of sea salt

Crispy Italian Chicken Thighs

These chicken thighs are seriously one of my kids (and husband's) most requested meals! They call it
"crispy chicken". And they are SO simple......budget friendly too!  A good friend of mine posted this recipe on a group I'm part of a long time ago, and I've been making these ever since, at least a few times a month.  And I've recently discovered our new favorite way to eat green beans!  It's a Pioneer Woman recipe, which never disappoints, and they are equally simple and delicious. I'll post the green bean recipe to follow!

Crispy Italian Chicken Thighs
recipe from Stupid Easy Paleo

*Note: I think the key to getting the chicken skin nice and crispy (which is the best part) is making sure the skin is DRY before putting on the seasoning.  So make sure and pat the chicken dry first!

You will  need:
-1 package bone in chicken thighs (with the skin)
-1 Tablespoon garlic powder
-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
-1 teaspoon dried oregano
-1 teaspoon sea salt

*Preheat oven to 425.  Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
*Mix together all seasonings in a small bowl
*Place chicken thighs on baking sheet and pat dry with a paper towel
*Sprinkle half the seasonings on each side (you'll want to bake the chicken skin side up, so season the bottom of the chicken first, then flip and season the skin side second)
*Bake 45 minutes

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

S'more Cups

I recently made these for a PTA meeting that I had forgotten I was supposed to bring something to. Whoops. I didn't have time to go to the store, so I looked in my pantry to see what I could come up with and it hit me we had just done s'mores the weekend before and I still had leftover ingredients.  After a pinterest search for anything s'more related, I came across these little cuties.  They were easy to make and were delicious, the perfect bite sized sweet treat.  I may have sampled several:)

S'more Cups
recipe from In my own words

You will need:
-Marshmallows (regular sized)
-Milk chocolate chips (or chocolate bar), semi sweet morsels...basically whatever chocolate you have
-Graham crackers (approx 7 whole crackers to make a cup)
-1/4 cup powdered sugar
-6 Tbsp melted butter
-mini muffin pan

*Crush graham crackers (7 whole crackers should make a cups worth)
   I used a small food chopper, you could also put in a ziploc and smash
*Put crumbs in a bowl and add powdered sugar and melted butter. Stir to combine
*Spray muffin pan with cooking spray
*Press 1 Tbsp of mixture into each muffin compartment.  I used the back of my measuring spoon to press into perfectly!
*Bake in a 350 degree oven for 4-5 minutes
*Take the pan out and add a few chocolate chips to each cup (I used 4-6 morsels per cup)
*Cut marshmallows in half (kitchen shears), and place each marshmallow cut side down in each cup
*Put back in the oven so the marshmallows will soften.  Watch them.  I left mine in there until they were barely starting to brown on the top
*Remove from oven and place on cooling rack
*Hint: easiest way to remove from pan is to let them completely cool.  I tried to get one out while still warm and it didn't work well
*Once completely cooled remove from pan onto serving dish.  
*Melt remaining chocolate chips (or chocolate bar) and spoon a little over the top
*Add a few crumbles of graham crackers on top, just to make it pretty
*Makes about 24 cups

Friday, July 15, 2016

Crock Pot Pork Chops and Gravy

I love using my crock pot year round but especially during the summer months, when it is so darn hot that I don't want to turn the oven on.  I tried out this recipe recently and it was a hit for the whole family.  I served this with rice and peas, and our new found favorite....Sister Schubert rolls.  Thanks to our cousin for telling us about kids are obsessed with these rolls now.  And unfortunately so am I.  The nice thing about this recipe is that the remaining sauce in the crock pot makes a delicious gravy to pour over the pork chops.

Crock Pot Pork Chops and Gravy
recipe adapted from RecipesthatCrock
You will need:
-1/2 cup all purpose flour
-1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp garlic powder
-6-8 boneless pork chops (mine were on the thin side)
-2 Tbsp olive oil
-1 (10.5 oz) can chicken broth

*Spray crock pot with cooking spray
*Mix together flour, mustard, salt, and garlic powder in a bowl
*Lightly coat the pork chops in flour mixture (set remaining mixture aside for later)
*Heat olive oil in skillet on med-high heat, and brown pork chops on both sides (don't cook through, just enough to lightly brown)
*Mix chicken broth with remaining flour mixture (whisk until most of lumps are gone), and pour into crock pot
*Place browned pork chops in crock pot and submerge in sauce
*Cover and cook on high 2-3 hours or low 5-6 hours

And these are the Sister Schubert dinner rolls in case you haven't heard of them....I feel deprived that I'm just now discovering these puffy little gems.  We could easily eat a whole pan of them.  Just kidding, we DO eat a whole pan.  

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Zuppa Toscana Slow Cooker Soup

My neighbor was kind enough to send me this recipe recently and we have been addicted to it ever since.  This is a knock off version of Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana soup, which happens to be my husbands absolute favorite soup.  He will always choose this soup over their salad, and usually will have eaten a few bowls of it by the time our main courses arrive.  So when she sent me this, he was delighted.  What surprised me though, was the fact that my kids loved it too.  I haven't cooked a lot with kale, so I thought they may not like it, but I was wrong.  My husband said I could make this every day and he would be okay with it.  Serve it up with breadsticks or crusty french bread and your family will love you. 

Zuppa Toscana Slow Cooker Soup
recipe adapted from 12Tomatoes
You will need:
-1 pound Italian sausage (casing removed)
-3 russet potatoes, sliced into wedges
(I've used russet, golden, and baking potatoes...they all work.  Just slice them in uniform size so they'll cook evenly)
-2 cloves of garlic, minced
-half a large white onion, finely chopped
-4 cups chicken broth
-2 cups kale or swiss chard, rinsed and chopped (I use kale)
-1 1/2 cups heavy cream
-1 tsp garlic powder
-generous sprinkling of salt and pepper

*brown and crumble Italian sausage in a large skillet over med-high heat until no longer pink
   (drain and discard fat)
*combine all ingredients EXCEPT cream and kale in slow cooker
*cook on low 7-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours
*add cream and kale to slow cooker, stir and cook until kale leaves are wilted and warmed through, about 20-30 minutes

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Doritos Taco Salad

This is one of our favorite salads for an easy, simple, somewhat, healthy dinner.  This is basically taco salad....kicked up a notch....with nacho cheese doritos.  What's not to love about that?  My son is not a huge salad lover like we are, but he will always eat this, because anything with chips in it gets a thumbs up from him!  And, while I'm on the subject of chips, let me just say, we think that HEB brand Nacho Cheese chips are hands down better than the name brand.  If you haven't tried them, you should.  Go ahead and inspect the "cheesiness" of each individual chip.....that's what we do:) 

recipe from Life in the Lofthouse  *Love this blog by the way*

You will need:
-1 pound lean ground beef
-1 packet taco seasoning
-2 Romaine lettuce hearts, rinse and chopped 
     (I've also used a bag of romaine, and shred it by hand a little)
-1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
-1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
-1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (we usually use more)
-1 cup Nacho Cheese Doritos, broken into bite size pieces (more to top salad if desired)
-1 cup Catalina dressing (we use Kraft)

*Brown ground beef in medium skillet until cooked through.  Drain grease.  Add taco seasoning and water called for on packet.  Stir and reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and let meat cool down slightly.

*In a large serving bowl, add chopped lettuce, black beans, tomato, and cheese.  Add slightly cooled ground beef and gently toss to combine.  Serve now, or chill in refrigerator until ready to eat.  

*When ready to serve, top with Doritos chips and dressing.  Toss to coat.