Sunday, October 23, 2011

Spaghetti and Meatball Eyes with Breadstick Bones

If you know my husband pretty well, you know he loves Halloween. I've seen several festive dishes around blog land and this is a fun and easy dinner. I saw this idea over at one of my favorite recipe blogs, Mel's Kitchen Cafe. Enjoy!

Spaghetti and Meatball Eyes
Simply use some sliced olives on top of your meatballs to make the eyeballs. I just used some frozen meatballs and this dinner was so easy!

Breadstick Bones
1 ½ cups warm water
1 Tbsp. instant yeast
2 Tbsp. sugar
3 ½ cups flour
½ tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. butter, melted (for the baking sheet)

Mix all ingredients (except melted butter) in a large bowl or electric mixer and knead for three minutes. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spread melted butter onto an 11X17-inch baking sheet. Roll out the breadstick dough about 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick and cut into strips with a pizza cutter. Fold strips in half and tie knots at both ends and place on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with garlic salt, herbs of choice (I used my most favorite garlic bread seasoning) and parmesan cheese. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise 30 minutes. Bake 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees until golden brown.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sloppy Joe Casserole

Nate loves my sloppy joe recipe and he loves biscuits, so this combination popped in my head one day. When I suggested it to Nate, he was all over it. So try it we did. Nate was really happy with it and definitely wants it made again. I hope you enjoy!

1 tube refrigerated biscuits
1 lb. ground beef
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced (optional)
1 green pepper, finely diced (optional)
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. taco seasoning
1-2 Tbsp. yellow mustard
seasoning salt
seasoned pepper
shredded cheese

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Halfway through cooking, add the diced onion and pepper and finish cooking. Drain any fat/grease. Turn down the heat and add the chili powder, taco seasoning, mustard, and ketchup. Mix well to combine. Keep heat low and simmer beef mixture for 20-30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (or temp indicated on biscuit tube). Spread beef mixture evenly into bottom of an 8x8" baking dish. Top with biscuits. Bake for 20 minutes or until biscuits are fully cooked. Serve hot with a little shredded cheddar cheese on top.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Copy Cat Cracker Barrel's Grilled Chicken Salad

Have you ever eaten at Cracker Barrel? I've only ever ordered one thing, their grilled chicken salad. It is so good! I love the taste of their grilled chicken, so much flavor you don't feel like you're missing out on anything by ordering a salad. I saw a recipe for their chicken on Mommy's Kitchen. She braises and cooks her chicken stove top, but I didn't want to take that long so I baked mine. But definitely check out her method too. Enjoy!

6 chicken tenderloins (I used two breasts)
1/2 cup italian dressing (I used fat free)
1 tsp. lime juice
2 tsp. honey

Combine all the wet ingredients and mix well. Add chicken and marinate for an hour or so. Cook chicken until internal temp reaches at least 165. Like I said, I baked mine, but it would be great grilled or stove top.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Crock Pot Chicken Tacos

I always love a good crock pot dish. I've made tacos a hundred times, but never with chicken so I figured it was high time. We really enjoyed these. Nate's little sister Stephanie came over for dinner and she said they were excellent too! I saw the recipe at

1 can Green chiles, diced
1 (12 oz.) jar salsa (I used my homemade salsa)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 whole onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used chicken breasts)

Place chicken in the slow cooker. Top with salsa, diced green chiles, cumin, onion and garlic. Cover and set on low. Cook for 4-6 hours. Remove chicken from pot, shred, and return to juices. Spoon chicken into taco shells, with whatever toppings your family likes. Or use the meat to make burritos, tostadas or as a filling for enchiladas.

Garlic Steak

Have you ever been to the Brazilian restaurant Tucano's? It is Nate's favorite. His favorite dish is their garlic steak, and I have to admit, it's my favorite too. Nate found a garlic steak recipe online and we modified it and came up with this. Enjoy!

2 lbs. sirloin steaks
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. kosher salt

Mix the oil, garlic, and salt and combine well. Add steaks and make sure they are well coated. Marinate for 6-8 hours. Grill to desired doneness.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Korean Barbecue Beef Kabobs

These were so good! We really really enjoyed them. I am going to be making these again soon, they were that good! I got this recipe from Our Best Bites and just adapted it ever so slightly. I have to confess, Nate made this whole dinner. Since I am now in a big ugly ankle boot while I heal, he has really tried to make life easy for me. Love that man!

1 1/2 lb. sirloin steak, cut against the grain into thin (about 1/4″) slices, (I only used a pound and it was perfect)
1/2 cup pear juice (a 4 oz. bottle of pear juice from the baby food aisle is perfect and cheap)
1/2 c. low-sodium soy sauce (regular soy sauce makes it taste vaguely like beef jerky)
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. Sriracha chili sauce
1 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil

Combine pear juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, chili sauce, and vegetable oil in a large bowl. Add sliced steak. Marinate at room temperature for 1 hour or up to 8 hours in the refrigerator (we marinated ours for 5 1/2 hours and I loved the amount of flavoring it gave). Thirty minutes before cooking, soak your bamboo skewers in water. Preheat the grill. While the grill is heating, thread the steak pieces onto bamboo skewers. Cook over medium-high heat for about 3-4 minutes per side, being careful not to let the meat get too cooked. Serve immediately; serves 4-6.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Chicken and Veggie Taquitos

Nate is crazy for taquitos. He seriously could eat them once a week and not get tired of them. We tried this variation last night. I still think these taquitos are my all time favorite, but these were really good too. It's a super easy idea and leftover chicken would work great in this dish.

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
8 small flour tortillas
1/2 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
shredded cheddar cheese
olive oil

In a large skillet heat a Tbsp. or two of olive oil over medium heat. Once hot add the veggies and a little salt and pepper and saute for about 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Once the vegetables are done, add the shredded chicken, mix well to combine, and cook until chicken is heated through. Warm up the tortillas slightly so they are more pliable and easier to work with. Spoon some of the chicken mixture onto the tortilla and then top with some cheese (if you keep it on the bottom third of the tortilla, they are easier to roll) and roll up. Place filled tortillas on a tin foil lined baking sheet. Cook at 375 for about 15 minutes or until the tortillas crisp up a bit. Serve warm with whatever toppings you'd like, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, etc. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Lasagna Soup

I've had this recipe bookmarked since Spring, just waiting for the weather to cool down. Now that we are well into October, bring on soup season! I tweaked Paula Deen's recipe to suit our tastes. FYI- if you are planning on eating leftover soup just know that the noodles absorb a most of the broth over night, but it is still so delicious!

1 pound ground beef
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (32 oz.) box chicken broth (I used fat-free, low sodium broth)
2 (14.5 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. garlic bread seasoning
1/2 tsp. seasoning salt
2 cups broken lasagna noodles (I used garden rotini)
1 (5 oz.) package grated parmesan cheese (I forgot to buy parmesan, so I omitted it)
shredded mozzarella cheese

In a large pot, combine ground beef, onion, green pepper, and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until beef is browned and crumbles. Drain well.
Stir in garlic bread seasoning, broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Add noodles, and simmer until noodles are tender. Stir in armesan cheese.
I just sprinkled a little mozzarella on top of my soup to save on calories. Paula covers her soup with the mozzarella and then pops it under the broiler for a couple minutes. Serve hot!

Again, sorry about the picture, it was really late when we had dinner.

Twisty Breadsticks

I love love love breadsticks, I could eat them several times a week no problem. However so many carbs is definitely not good for my diabetes, so I don't bake bread products too ofter. I just had to have breadsticks with my soup tonight. This recipe is loosely based on one I found over at Six Sister's Stuff.

1½ cups warm water
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. yeast
3½ cups flour (give or take a little)
1 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. butter, divided
garlic bread seasoning
powdered parmesan cheese

Combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar in your mixer (I always use my Bosch) and let sit for five minutes. Then add salt and flour. You want the dough to be smooth and pull away cleanly from the sides of your mixing bowl, so adjust flour accordingly. 3 1/2 cups ended up being perfect for me. Mix dough until smooth, then cover and let raise for 10 minutes. Next roll out your dough into a large square on a floured surface (or you can spray your counter with pam). Melt 4 Tbsp. of butter and add 1 Tbsp. of garlic bread seasoning. Brush that mixture all over the dough. Fold dough in half and use a pizza cutter to cut into 1 inch strips. Twist each strip and place on a prepared baking sheet. Let the breadsticks raise for 20 minutes. Then bake at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes, or until a light golden brown. Right after baking brush tops of breadsticks with the remaining 2 Tbsp. melted butter and sprinkle on a bit of parmesan cheese. Enjoy warm!

Sorry about the photo, it was already dark outside when we ate dinner.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sizzling Chicken and Cheese

I've seen this recipe on multiple blogs. It's a copy cat recipe of a TGI Friday's dish. To be honest, I don't even know how many years it's been since I've been to a TGI Fridays. I used a recipe from The Daily Smash as a guide, but I adapted it to our tastes. I also used instant mashed potatoes and it was a super easy meal. Enjoy!

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced (I forgot to buy a red one so it was left out)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. pepper
seasoning salt
olive oil
shredded cheese
mashed potatoes (we used instant, Nate actually prefers instant to homemade)

Prepare marinade with the following ingredients: minced garlic, parsley flakes, red pepper flakes, pepper, 1/4 tsp. seasoning salt, and 4 Tbsp. olive oil. Add chicken and marinate in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours.
Once the chicken is marinated, cook it. Bake, grill, pan fry, your choice. I baked my chicken at 400 degrees for 30 minutes and it was perfect. While chicken is cooking saute your sliced peppers and onions in a little bit of olive oil and season with a bit of seasoning salt. Cook until tender, but not limp and mushy.
To serve take the hot mashed potatoes, top with peppers and onions, then place chicken breast on top and sprinkle with shredded cheese.

I ate mine without any cheese and it was still delicious!

Saturday, October 8, 2011


We had Nate's parents and four of his siblings staying at our place for a couple days over General Conference. Sunday morning I made pancakes as part of our breakfast and I got rave reviews. My brother-in-law Aaron said these were the best pancakes he's ever had. I saw this recipe over at Allrecipes.

This recipe yields about 6 pancakes. I quintupled this recipe for eight hungry people.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Combine all your dry ingredients and mix well. In a separate bowl beat together your wet ingredients and then add that mixture to the dry ingredients. Whisk until smooth.
Heat a lightly greased griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, pour batter using a 1/4 cup measuring cup for each pancake. Once the pancake starts to bubble on the edges it is ready to flip and then brown the second side. Serve hot!

Sorry, no pictures, my guests were hungry!