I am a pretty picky eater. However, I love really simple pasta salads! Last week I decided to make a big batch Sunday evening so that we could have a quick lunch option for the week. Even though it was simple, Michael liked it too! It didn’t take long at all. Here’s what you need:
- One box of noodles (I always get farfalle because I think they are the happiest noodle)
- One bottle of Italian dressing (I just bought what was on sale)
- One snack size bag of carrots
- One stem of broccoli (look for a larger stem)
- One block of Montaray Jack cheese
- Optional: any other veggie or meat you want to toss in!
First, I boiled the noodles. While they boiled I chopped up the block of cheese. I used 3/4 of the block, but use as much as you would want. I also washed the broccoli and carrots.
Next, I left the carrots and broccoli in strainer in the sink. When the noodles were done boiling I emptied them into a strainer over the veggies. The hot water blanched them! So easy.
While the noodles cooled I took the carrots and broccoli (after they cooled for a minute) and chopped them into small pieces. When everything is completely cool (you don’t want to melt the cheese) you throw it into a giant Tupperware or mixing bowl.
Last of all, I then dumped about 3/4 the bottle of dressing over the cooled salad. You toss it and it’s done! Seriously so easy.
I hope you enjoy it! We loved it, and it seemed to get better every day. Let me know what other veggies you think to put in it!
Recently I decided to make chocolate covered strawberries for the first time in years. It was so much simpler than I expected! It literally called for two ingredients. And took me less than 10 minutes to do. They turned out great and were so easy!
To start I washed the strawberries. They were on sale at Publix for $2.50 for an entire carton! After washing I dried them and then picked out the prettiest to use. The rest I packed for Michael’s lunch for the next day.
Next I got the chocolate ready. I ended up using the Ghirardelli white choclate melting chips. (Less than four dollars after tax). I loved them and it was so simple. Literally I poured them into a glass bowl and microwaved it for thirty seconds. Then stirred it. Then microwaved again for another thirty seconds and it was ready!
From there it’s a simple matter of dipping the strawberries in the chocolate. (You just hold the greenery in your fingers and rotate the strawberry for even coating). Then I laid them to dry on a sheet of aluminum foil- I was out of wax paper but the foil worked just fine!
Lastly, you just leave them to cool so that the chocolate hardens. Literally less than ten dollars and ten minutes to complete. I also had a bunch of leftover chocolate so I made chocolate covered pretzels too. It was so simple.
I was thrilled with how it turned out. Michael was so impressed (he’s about to read how easy it was though!) I also couldn’t help but get excited when I realized this is going to be the perfect activity to do with the baby when she is older! It’s simple and a fun treat!
Last week I decided to search Pinterest for some new dinner ideas. Michael didn’t have any requests, so when I stumbled on a recipe from a blogger, Sweet Dash of Sass, I decided to try her recipe for Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells. (Now that’s a long title).
Her recipe called for the following ingredients:
- 1 jar (16 oz) alfredo sauce
- 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
- 2 cups cooked broccoli, chopped
- 1 cup shredded cheddar (or mozzaerlla) cheese
- ¼ cup shredded parmesan
- 21 jumbo pasta shells, cooked
- 1½ – 2 cups spaghetti sauce (optional, but I love the combination of alfredo with tomato sauce!)
- Salt/Pepper to season (if needed)
Here is what I used:
- Kroger brand Alfredo starter mix
- Barilla Jumble Shells
- Cheddar Cheese
- Half a head of broccoli
- Chicken- cooked & shredded (I just eyed how much I thought Michael and I would eat)
- Three Cheese Spaghetti Sauce (Just enough to line the pan)
I honestly didn’t really look at her directions, but upon further reflection they were easy to follow. However, if you are super unfamiliar with cooking maybe confusing. Here is a breakdown of how I prepared them. (AKA here is where I started to just do what I wanted).
First, I trimmed the fat off of the chicken while I boiled water in a larger pan. When the chicken was prepped and the water was boiling I put the chicken in the pan to boil it.
While the chicken boiled, I chopped the broccoli and washed it. Then I put it in my rice cooker. It has an option for steaming that makes preparing our veggies super easy! While they steamed (there is a timer that turns it off when they are done) I made the Alfredo sauce.
Right as the sauce finished the chicken was done boiling. I put the sauce on a back burner and turned off the heat. Then I strained the chicken and put it in a mixing bowl. I refilled the pot and began boiling the water for the noodles.
As the noodles boiled I used two forks to shred the chicken. Then I put the broccoli and the Alfredo sauce in the bowl, along with the cheddar cheese. I mixed it all together.
When the noodles were done I drained them and let them cool for a few minutes. While I waited I poured spaghetti sauce along the bottom of a glass pan. Then I took the shells and stuffed them with the chicken mixture. I lined them up along the spaghetti sauce lined pan. Then baked them for like five minutes on 350 degrees.
After that they were ready to serve! I like mine plain, but I soooned the spaghetti sauce on top of Michael’s. I put together a fruit salad and dinner was done! It was delicious. We both absolutely loved it. This is definitely going to become a regular meal.
Side note: can we talk about how cute my Kate Spade pots & cutting board are?? I also have the pan set & muffin tins. I’m so obsessed 😍plus, the color almost perfectly matches my Kitchen Aid set.
This was literally two weeks ago, but I am so excited to finally have the time to share this recipe with y’all!! For Valentine’s Day I wanted to do something special. I love going out to eat, but honestly the thought of dealing with an overwhelmed waitstaff, hungry crowds, and bad parking was not appealing to me. So I decided to cook Michael dinner. At first I was at a loss for what to make. I wanted it to be special, not just another night of me cooking. Then I remembered that a few months ago I had asked his Great Grandmother for some of her favorite recipes. I knew Michael hadn’t had them in at least a dozen years, if not more.
Everyone who knows me, knows I am the pickiest eater. However, I pushed that aside for one night and began my adventure of trying to make my first corned beef brisket. It was very intimidating. If we ever eat red meat Michael usually goes and buys it. I hate looking at it, it makes me super squeamish. But I went to the store and one of the employees helped me find what I was looking for!
Here is what you will need:
- 3-4 lbs corned beef brisket
- 2 onions quartered
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 turnips (diced)
- Potatos (diced)
- Cabbage (optional)
The recipe starts by putting the meat in a Dutch oven or large pan and then adding enough water until it is submerged. (Note that I halved the recipe listed above)! I added in the bay leaf and the corn beef seasoning that came with the meat and the garlic. Next you bring the water to a boil. Once it reaches a boil you turn it down until it is just simmering.
(Featuring my gorgeous Kate Spade glass cutting board)
From there I let the meat cook for about thirty minutes. Then I added in the potatoes, turnip, and carrots. (All diced). I covered it again and just let it simmer!
In the end it took much googling and a few frantic phone calls but I had everything going!! When Michael got home the first thing he said was how great it smelt! (Ironically I had all the windows open because I felt like it smelt bad!) he was so surprised and crazy excited. It was such a sweet Valentine’s Day surprise!
We sat down to eat and I was so happy to hear that it turned out perfect! Michael gobbled it down. (And took the leftovers for lunch and ate them all). That made me feel like a real winner! I’m so happy that he was happy.
Unsurprisingly, I wasn’t a huge fan of the brisket. The texture of the meat is odd to me. However, I ate a ton of the veggies. The best part is that the smallest piece of meat I could get was over three and a half pounds. It was HUGE for two people! So I cut it in half before starting… the bigger half is in the freezer now. I’ll have to make it again! The gift that keeps on giving haha. I hope you guys try it and let me know if you are with Michael and love it!
This week I promised Michael I would bake him a quiche that he could eat over the next few mornings for breakfast. (I absolutely can not eat eggs, and being pregnant has only made them smell worse and worse). I asked what he wanted in the quiche and he gave me quite a specific list of what he wanted the quiche composed of. Mainly, cheddar cheese, peppers, mushrooms, bacon, potatoes, and spinach. So that’s what he is going to get! I have a way I usually make quiche, but this was a little guess work with quantity amounts.
Even though I found a fabulous recipe for a crust, I cheated and bought a pre made pie shell at the grocery store. From there the guess work began! Here is what I ended up using:
- Five strips bacon (cut into smaller pieces)
- 1/2 red potatoes diced)
- 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 a green bell pepper (diced)
- 1 cup spinach
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- “Dash” of salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup milk
- 6 eggs
- 1 pie crust
I started by letting the pie crust thaw. From there I grated my block of cheddar cheese until I had about half a cup. I spread that along the bottom of my quiche! Next I chopped up all of the fixings. I wasn’t sure if it would work, but I decided to just throw the potatoes in as is. I was really hoping the time in the oven would be enough to cook them up. I also threw the bacon in raw so it would cook along with the quiche.
I mixed all of the ingredients up and poured it into the cheese filled pie crust. Then I cooked it for 35 minutes on 350 degrees.
I do not like quiche, but I have to admit it turned out looking pretty darn good! Better yet, Michael reports he loves it! It’s a total win. I didn’t spend more than $17 to make it and Michael will have a fulfilling breakfast for at least three or four days.
Growing up one of my favorite meals was when my mom made chicken enchiladas. (I think they were my aunt Amy’s recipe). I decided to try and make them for Michael this weekend! They only take maybe twenty minutes to prepare and thirty to cook. It’s a super easy meal. Here is what you will need:
- 12 tortillas
- 3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 2 cans cream of chicken soup
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3 cups chicken
- 3/4 cup of water
- 1 can Ortega green chili peppers, diced (optional)
First I start with the chicken. (I always make it a point to cut all the fat off.) Next I boil it until no longer pink. Then I separate the chicken into smaller pieces. It should be easy to do if you cooked it right!
While the chicken is boiling I focus on the sauce. You literally pour the two cans of soup, the sour cream, the water, and about two cups of the cheese into a pan on the stovetop. I whisk it together on low heat. Once it’s warmed and the sauce is smooth I take it off the burner.
Now you’re ready for the assembly. I take a tortilla and put a layer of chicken, then sauce, then a few sprinkles of cheese down the middle. Next you tuck the top and bottom and roll it like a burrito. You repeat until the pan is full with a nice row of beautiful, stuffed tortillas. Finally you pour the remaining sauce over top and then the last of the cheese. It should go into the oven and bake at 350 degrees for about thirty minutes! Seriously so easy.
If you want, you can also pour the green chiles I got eh sauce mixture. Or you can opt to spread the drained green chiles over the top before the final cheese layer. That wa you can cater to the picky eaters (like me) by only spreading the chiles over half. (Michael loves them, I don’t).
I hope y’all enjoy! Let me know if you have any questions.
** also there is no final results picture because it smelt so good that we started eating as soon as it got out haha!
I love having dinner on the table for Michael, but honestly sometimes I am super short on time. So when I find a great tasting meal that is easy to prepare, I am all about it! Last night I made one of Michael’s favorite meals, and it only took like thirty minutes to prepare! I wanted to share it with y’all today.
To start off, no it is not completely from scratch. Hate all you want, sometime you don’t have time for all that! I can obviously agree that it isn’t as good as when it is made fresh at our favorite Indian place, Bombay Palace (West End, across from the Chipotle.) However, it is still a DELICIOUS meal that is both quick and super affordable! Here is what you will need (I bought all of my ingredients at Publix) :
- Jasmine rice
- One pepper (I did 1/3 of a red, orange, & yellow pepper for no other reason than it’s prettier)
- Sharwood’s Chicken Tiki Marsala
- Chicken breast/cutlets according to personal taste
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Stonefirs Tandoor Garlic Naan
Literally that is all you need! I start with the rice. We have the cutest little rice cooker and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It makes dinner so much easier. (It even has a timer on it so I could set it and leave for work and it would be done when I got home.) Anyways, I wash the rice then get it started before I start anything else- it is the most time consuming part of the entire dinner.
Next I dice up the peppers. I prefer to make them larger. Then I cut the fat off of the chicken and cut it into about one to two inch long pieces. Meanwhile I have half a tablespoon of butter melting in a nonstick frying pan. Once the butter it is melted I cook the chicken. When the chicken is a light brown on each side I plate it and put it to the side. Next a use the remaining butter to saute the peppers on a medium high.
When they are finished I put the peppers on the plate as well and I wipe out the pan. When the leftover butter has been cleaned out I pour the chicken and peppers back into the pan. Next I pour the sauce in. I let it sit on a low heat to warm everything. While that is going I put the garlic naan into the oven, per the instructions on the back of the package. When it is done I cut it into fourths. Finally, once the rice finishes, dinner is served!
I hope you enjoy this super easy to make meal as much as we do! Let me know how it goes!