Thursday, February 15, 2018

Hot Italian Sandwiches

Sometimes life gets so busy that you don't have time to make an elaborate 4-course dinner, right? And sometimes you just want to make something quick and simple so you can have more time with your family instead of spending the evening slaving away in the kitchen, right? And let's face it... sometimes you just want a yummy sandwich. This definitely fits the bill and is a favorite at our house. Enjoy!


1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
Pinch of salt
6 hoagie rolls
9-oz. smoked ham
4-oz. salami
4-oz. pepperoni
12 slices mozzarella cheese
1 jar prepared marinara sauce of your choice

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a small bowl, combine butter, garlic, Italian seasoning, and salt. Reserve 1-2 tablespoons of this mixture and evenly spread the rest on the insides of each hoagie roll.
3. Spread a thin layer of marinara on the insides of each roll.
4. Layer 2 slices of ham, 3 slices of salami, 4 slices of pepperoni, and 2 slices of mozzarella inside each hoagie roll.
5. Fold the sandwiches closed and place on a sheet pan, with the top of each hoagie roll facing up. Brush the top of each roll with the remaining herb butter mixture.
6. Bake sandwiches for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bread is toasted. Serve warm with additional heated marinara for dipping.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Oriental Chicken Salad

Pregnancy cravings can be a crazy thing. I haven't craved anything out-of-the-ordinary, really, in fact my biggest craving has been for potatoes. Potatoes in ANY form... baked, fried, mashed, raw, doesn't really matter. Recently though I started craving this salad from Applebee's. Like, I HAD to have it. I decided to try to make it at home and it turned out so well! The dressing.. oh, the dressing! And the crunchy texture of the salad... yummy yummy yummy. Enjoy!!!


4-6 frozen, fried chicken strips (yes I totally cheated and used frozen ones though you are welcome to fry your own if you feel so inclined LOL), prepared according to package directions and then cut into bite-size pieces
3 c. chopped romaine lettuce
1/2 c. chopped red cabbage
1/2 c. chopped napa cabbage
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
3 Tbsp sliced almonds
Dry chow mein noodles (no measurement here, just add them according to your own taste)*

Dressing (makes one cup):
1/2 c. honey
3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1/2 c. mayonnaise
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. sesame oil

This makes a fairly large salad, so if you are only making it for one person you can certainly reduce the amounts (or you can do what I did and make the whole thing so I could have it again the next day LOL!)

*Be sure to add the chow mein noodles just before serving the salad. You definitely want them to stay crunchy. If you are planning to have the salad more than once only add noodles to the portion you plan to eat.... no one wants soggy noodles when you eat this the next day!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Beef and Veggie Casserole

As I have mentioned before, I love discovering recipes that use ingredients that I always have in my pantry and this fits the bill perfectly! Sometimes you just want a hearty, satisfying, all-in-one meal. This is very similar to shepherd's pie, only you used sliced potatoes instead of mashed potatoes. I made it recently and it was a huge hit! Hope you enjoy.


1 pound lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can vegetable beef soup
1 can English peas
1 can peas and carrots
1 small can corn
2 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Brown ground beef in a skillet over medium high heat.
Add onions, garlic, salt, and pepper and cook until onions are tender.
Pour ground beef into a mixing bowl and add soups, canned veggies, and sliced potatoes.
Stir all ingredients together and add a little bit more salt and pepper to taste.

Pour into 11 x 7 casserole dish. Cover and bake for 1 hour or until potatoes are tender*.

*When I made this it took longer than an hour for the potatoes to get done. The next time I make it I plan to blanch them just slightly before adding them to the mixture in an effort to help them cook more quickly in the oven.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Creamy Chicken Vegetable Soup

We have been dealing with sickness in our house during this cold and flu season and this recipe has quickly become a favorite! It is unbelievably simple to make but tastes like you spent hours preparing it. Enjoy!


40-oz. chicken broth
2 12.5-oz. cans chicken breast, shredded*
24-oz. frozen mixed vegetables
2 cans whole kernel corn**
2 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. butter
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. flour
1 c. water

* Some of you may prefer to boil or bake chicken yourself to use for this recipe and that is totally fine, but the canned chicken breast is very tasty in this and SO much easier!
** There is corn in the frozen mixed vegetables but my husband and I both REALLY love corn so I always add the two extra cans. If your family isn't as big on corn you can certainly substitute canned peas, carrots, or green beans, whichever you like best.


1. Melt butter in soup pot over medium high heat.
2. Pour in chicken broth and veggies (frozen and canned). Bring to just a boil and then reduce heat to simmer until veggies are tender, about 10 minutes.
3. Add heavy cream, shredded chicken breast, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stir well and continue to simmer.
4. Stir one tablespoon of flour into one cup of water and then add this mixture to your soup. This will work as a thickening agent for the soup.
5. Simmer for about 15 minutes more, stirring from time to time. You can let this simmer longer if you like but 15 minutes is perfectly fine.

That's it! I told you it was super-simple :). Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

I'm sure you already have your Christmas menu planned but wanted to share this recipe in case anyone is still scrambling for last-minute ideas, especially one that is SO simple to make! I have been making these cookies for Christmas for years now and they are always very popular. They have a total of 4 ingredients. Yep, 4. And you won't BELIEVE how yummy they are! Hope you enjoy!!


1 box lemon cake mix (I prefer Duncan Hines)
1 egg
8-oz. Cool Whip, thawed
2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine cake mix, egg, and Cool Whip in a large bowl.
Put powdered sugar in additional bowl.
Drop cookie dough mixture by tablespoonfuls into powdered sugar and roll into balls.
Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 8-10 minutes.

That's it!! I have also made these with strawberry cake mix and they were divine, but lemon is always a favorite in my house :).

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends!!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Southwestern Goulash

I can't believe it has been almost two months since I last posted a recipe! Gracious. I promise I have cooked since then, just haven't really been trying too many new recipes LOL. My beloved and I took a wonderful vacation last month to visit family and spend some time in the mountains, and while there we learned that we are going to be having a baby next summer! To say that I have been walking on air would be an understatement. So thrilled! Needless to say, our days since arriving back home have been filled with doctor's appointments, morning sickness (sometimes all DAY sickness) and all of the fun stuff that goes along with pregnancy.

That being said, I made this recently and we both loved it! We both grew up eating traditional goulash made by our moms and have always loved that but this just gives a different take on that recipe. I will definitely be making this one quite a bit. As a side note, it does make several servings. Since there are only two of us we weren't able to eat the whole thing so I am going to use the leftover meat mixture to make twice-baked potatoes tonight. We don't like wasting food and I love being able to repurpose leftovers! Just an idea :). Hope you enjoy!


1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
28-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 c. frozen corn (you can also use canned if you prefer)
8-oz. can tomato sauce
4-oz. can chopped green chilies
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook macaroni according to package directions.

While the water is boiling and pasta is cooking, prepare the ground beef and vegetables.
In a large skillet on medium heat, cook the beef and onion, breaking the meat into small crumbles, until meat is no longer pink.
Add remaining ingredients.
Bring to a boil and then reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes to allow flavors to marry.
Drain cooked macaroni and add to the meat mixture*.

*My husband is very particular about pasta not being overcooked. He doesn't love having noodles cooked into mixtures so I served the noodles and meat mixture separately and then we mixed them together according to our tastes. It works beautifully and it allows me to use the extra meat mixture to make something else later, as I mentioned in the introduction.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Swedish Meatballs

Recently my beloved and I were hanging out at home and he said, "You know what I want for dinner? Swedish meatballs with noodles." I had never made them, though I quite like them, so we decided to try this recipe together (we have SO much fun cooking together!) and it was SO good!!!! We both agreed that it tasted like something that had been cooked for hours to develop wonderful flavors, even though it only took less than an hour to make it. Most of the ingredients were things that I generally keep in the fridge/cupboards, which makes me like the recipe even more. We served it over egg noodles and were both nearly in a food coma after dinner, but it was so very worth it!

As a note before you begin, I know this is a long list of ingredients, but I highly recommend measuring everything out before you begin preparing this dish.  For example, I measured the parsley, allspice, nutmeg, garlic powder, salt, and pepper, all into one tiny bowl and mixed them together. It made things MUCH easier for me to have everything measured and ready to go so I could just dump it in when needed. Enjoy!!

1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
1/4 c. panko bread crumbs
1 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 c. onion, minced
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
1 Tbsp. olive oil
5 Tbsp. butter, divided
3 Tbsp. flour
2 c. beef broth
1 c. heavy cream
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium-sized bowl combine ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, parsley, allspice, nutmeg, onion, garlic powder, pepper, and salt. Mix until combined, but do not over-mix. Over-mixing will cause the meatballs to be more tough than you might like. Roll this mixture into small meatballs.

In a large skillet heat olive oil and 1 Tablespoon of butter.
Add meatballs and cook, turning continuously, until browned all over and cooked throughout.
Transfer to a plate or bowl and cover with aluminum foil.

Add 4 Tablespoons butter and flour to skillet and whisk until it is nicely browned.
Slowly stir in beef broth and heavy cream.
Add Worcestershire sauce and dijon mustard. Bring to a simmer until sauce starts to thicken.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Add meatballs back to sauce and simmer for another 3-5 minutes. Serve over egg noodles or rice.