Posted in Meals and Recipes

Monday Meals: Taco Soup

Hello! and happy F E B R U A R Y 1st?! Where in the world did January go?

Well, according to WordPress, this is my 300th blog post! I’m so happy to be sharing one of my favorite recipes with you to mark the occasion.

We eat some form of Mexican food every week for dinner (never underestimate the power of a good Taco Tuesday!), and of course, I love soups in the fall and the winter, so Taco Soup is the perfect answer to a cold and dreary day!

I’ve had this recipe for years, and I think my dad is who shared it with me. It’s on heavy dinner rotation during fall and winter months.

Here it is:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb beef
  • onion, chopped
  • 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans
  • 1 can (15 oz) corn, undrained
  • 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1-2 cups water (I typically use 2 cups)
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning mix
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 c (4 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese

Instructions:

  • In soup pot, cook beef and onion until beef is browned and onion is tender. Drain grease.
  • Stir in tomatoes, beans, corn, tomato sauce, taco seasoning, and water.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Ladle into bowls and garnish with shredded Cheddar cheese.
  • Enjoy!
We usually get two nights of dinner out of this!

Last night, we had Shay’s Creamy Tomato Chicken Pasta, and it hit the spot on a rainy Sunday!

We are having plenty of hearty comfort meals this week as it appears we may not see the sunshine for a few days!

I hope you had a great weekend, and have an great week as well!

Posted in Meals and Recipes

Monday Meals

Hello and Happy Monday! How was your weekend? We had a good one. Hayden had a basketball game Friday night. On Saturday, I had lunch out with a couple friends and then got a massage; yesterday, we went to church. We ended the weekend cheering for our KC Chiefs. I think Hayden’s blood pressure may still be off the charts! 😆 We were very excited for the win. Now, today is a bonus day off!

It’s been a minute since I’ve shared a recipe (or two) that my family loves, so that’s what I’m doing today. Again, I don’t really create recipes; I’m just really good at following directions.

One of my kids’ favorite dinners is Sloppy Joes.

Fun fact: Growing up, we had a big fish tank in our living room with a few fish. We named our two Oscar fish “Sloppy” and “Joe,” because that’s what we were eating for dinner the day we got them!

Of course, the recipe on the can is easy enough, but after I bought Shay’s Simmers cookbook, I started using her recipe, and we all love it. I’m team “dinner in the slow cooker” as much as possible. I think my favorite part of her recipe is the yellow mustard.

Then, Andrea shared her Sloppy Joe Biscuit Cup recipe, and now that recipe is a staple at our house too.

Sloppy Joe Biscuit Cups:

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 can Sloppy Joe sauce
  • I can biscuits
  • shredded Cheddar cheese

Instructions:

  • I turn the biscuits on their side and cut them in half, so they are thinner, and then put them into a lightly greased muffin tin. (The first time I made them and didn’t grease the pan, they seemed to stick!)
  • Brown the ground beef and drain.
  • Add in the sauce and let simmer for a few minutes.
  • Then, I spoon a bit of the beef sauce into each biscuit and top with a sprinkle of shredded cheese.
  • I bake them for about 12-15 minutes at 375 degrees.
  • Enjoy!
Ready to eat!

Also for dinner this week:

Here’s our dinner menu this week:

  • Sunday: Taco soup (I will share the recipe soon)
  • Monday: Baked chicken thighs, Bob Evans mashed potatoes, fruit
  • Tuesday: Leftover chicken, bagged Caesar salad
  • Wednesday: Instant Pot Lazy Lasagna, roasted broccoli
  • Thursday: Leftover lasagna and green beans
  • Friday and Saturday: take out, I’m sure!

I love these two Sloppy Joe recipes that are a spin on a classic! What are you having for dinner this week?

Take care,

Posted in Meals and Recipes

Monday Meals: Chicken Chili

Hello and Happy Monday! Today, I’m sharing one of my favorite recipes: chicken chili. A friend shared this recipe years ago, and it’s the only chicken chili I make. While my kids also love the Major’s chili, this one is a family favorite too.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tblsp butter or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 green peppers, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped (sometimes I leave this out…I’m not a fan of spicy)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tblsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tblsp Worcestershire sauce (plus a dash more)
  • 2 Tblsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 can diced tomato (do not drain)
  • 12 oz bottle chili sauce
  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed
  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded

Toppings:

chopped avocado, shredded cheese, fresh cilantro, sour cream

Instructions:

  • In the bottom of your soup pot drizzle EVOO or let butter melt. Then, saute onion, green pepper, jalapeno, and garlic until soft. (5-8 minutes)
  • Add chili powder, cumin, oregano, red pepper flakes, black pepper, Worcestershire, Dijon mustard, tomatoes, chili sauce, and black beans. Mix well.
  • Add chicken broth and mix well.
  • Shred chicken into soup mixture.
  • Simmer for at least 30 minutes. (I usually let it simmer 45 minutes- 1 hour)
  • Enjoy with toppings!

We still have pretty mild temps this week, but once the weather turns colder, this chili is definitely in our dinner rotation!

I hope you have a great week!

Posted in Meals and Recipes

Monday Meals: Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Hello and Happy Monday! Well, fall break sure seemed to fly by! Now, we are back at it this week with school and fall activities. We took a couple days and went to Asheville, NC (more about that later this week!), and it was a nice getaway. We also had family visit this weekend. My mom and Gma were here from KC for a few days.

Anyway, I try to share a recipe or two each month, and this casserole by Taryn is a new Pinterest find for me. I made this a couple of weeks ago, and the whole family enjoyed it. It’s a great low carb option as well as being delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups shredded cooked chicken (from about 2 lb chicken) (I used Shay’s method- In the morning, I put the chicken in the slow cooker, covered it with water and cooked on low for 6 hours…and then it’s so easy to shred!)
  • 6 oz ham cut into bite size pieces
  • 4 oz butter melted
  • 6 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp white wine (optional) (I omitted this step)
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 oz Swiss cheese

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350. Put the chicken in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. Layer the pieces of ham on top.
  • In a large bowl with an electric mixer combine the melted butter, softened cream cheese, white wine (if using), mustard, lemon juice, and salt. Blend until a thick sauce forms. Spread this sauce over the chicken and ham in the baking dish.
  • Lay the slices of Swiss cheese on top of the sauce. Bake for 30-40 minutes until hot.
  • Broil it for 2 minutes at the end so the cheese gets more golden and bubbly. If you decide to do that, do not leave it unattended. It’s very easy to burn the cheese topping.

I served our casserole with Bob Evans mashed potatoes and roasted broccoli. Delish!

This is definitely a recipe that will be in our dinner rotation. Pinterest saves the day again!

I hope you have a great week.

Posted in Kids, Meals and Recipes, Weekend Top 5

Monday Meals: Chicken Tortilla Chip Casserole and Weekend Wrap Up

Hello and Happy Monday! How was your weekend?

Friday afternoon, I had a hair appointment (hallelujah!), and Hadley came too for a trim. While we were gone, the guys played a round of golf.

Then, on Saturday, I got my traditional back to school pedicure. Again, Hadley joined me! #spoilt

Saturday evening we got together on a neighbor’s back porch for a drink with a few neighbors which was so nice!

Sunday, Hayden’s team won their first tournament game which was exciting.

Of course, I also continued my Selling Sunset binge and was productive with school work, grocery shopping, and other chores.

Overall, it was a busy, fun, and productive weekend.

Now, on to the recipe I wanted to share…

I was digging through my recipe box last week, and found a recipe that my whole family loves, but I hadn’t made it in a while. It’s an easy Mexican chicken casserole dish, and we got two dinners out of it + a small portion for lunch.

I found this recipe a few years ago in a local magazine here in Lexington. This recipe is by July Yeager of The Southern Lady Cooks.

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 cups chicken, cooked and chopped. (I put 3 large chicken breasts in the slow cooker, covered them with water, and cooked on high for 5 hours and then shredded it.)
  • 1 c. green onion, chopped (can use regular onion)
  • 1 c. green pepper, chopped
  • 2 Tblsp. oil
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can cream of celery soup
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 (4 ounce) can green chiles, drained
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 3-4 cups crushed tortilla chips
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican-style cheese, or any cheese of your choice

Instructions:

  • Cook the green pepper and onion in oil in a large skillet.
  • Add the tomatoes, celery soup, chicken soup, green chiles, chili powder, garlic powder, pepper, salt and cumin to the skillet.
  • Mix well with a spoon and simmer about 10 minutes.
  • Add a layer of crushed tortilla chips to a 9″x13″ baking dish.
  • Add a layer of chicken and cover with half the soup mixture from your skillet.
  • Sprinkle on 1 cup of the shredded cheese.
  • Add another layer of chips, chicken, and the rest of the soup mixture.
  • Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.
  • Remove and add remaining cup of cheese.
  • Return to oven for about 5 minutes or long enough to melt the cheese on top of the casserole dish.
  • Enjoy!
  • (makes 10-12 servings)
into the oven

Dinner time! I served this with Trader Joe’s Mexican Style Roasted Corn.

This is definitely a recipe I will add back into our dinner rotation.

Now, I’m off for another day of professional development. Two more days until school starts!

Have a great week.

Posted in Meals and Recipes

Monday Meals: Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken

Hello and Happy Monday!

I’m always looking for recipes that make enough for dinner for two nights. A bonus factor is if I can use my slow cooker to help have dinner ready whenever we are.

I made this Slow Cooker Fiesta Chicken last week for my family, and it’s a recipe I’ve had for years. I’ve seen versions of it and have even tweaked what I add through the years.

This recipe is served over rice, but it’s also a great low carb option over cauliflower rice or even just on its own with lettuce, cheese and salsa as toppings.

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb bag of frozen chicken breasts or chicken tenders
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of corn, drained
  • 1 can of Rotel
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning
  • 1 packet of Ranch seasoning
  • Rice

Instructions:

  • Put the chicken in the slow cooker.
  • Then add black beans, corn, Rotel, taco and Ranch seasonings.
  • Then, I cube the cream cheese and spread the dollops around on top of the other ingredients.
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  • Then, turn off the slow cooker and let everything sit for 30-45 minutes. (I don’t always do this step!)
Ready to slow cook!
  • Flake the chicken using two fork.
  • Serve over cooked rice.
  • Top with shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, salsa, and any other desired toppings!
  • Enjoy!
Delish!

This is a recipe that is two nights of dinner for us. Sometimes, we put it on top of tortilla chips for nachos rather than on the rice. This is a easy, hearty, and pretty healthy recipe!

I hope you have a great week!

Posted in Meals and Recipes

Let’s Lunch

Confession: I live for lunch, y’all. Usually I’m doing intermittent fasting, so lunch is when I break my fast and am ready to eat.

Confession #2: I’ve really enjoyed lunch during quarantine for two reasons.

1. I get more than 20 minutes to eat lunch while at home rather than at school.

2. I really enjoy making lunch for my kids. I was never a stay-at-home mom (except in the summer), so I’ve really embraced having extra time to make breakfast and lunch for myself and the kids.

I’m not making anything Earth-shattering but even having the time to serve Hayden & Hadley something warm, like a grilled cheese sandwich, is nice and a favorite part of my day.

Breakfast:

For breakfast, I just stick to coffee.

Hayden’s been eating Cream of Wheat on repeat. He loves it, but it’s also soft and easy for him to eat with his new ortho appliance in his mouth.

Hadley typically has waffle with Nutella and strawberries or toast and jelly.

Lunch:

Rule of 3: I’m not sure if it’s a real rule or one I made up but I always put 3 things on their plate…their main course + two sides.

Also, I preach about not being wasteful, but I also don’t make them finish every bite. I tell them to eat until they’re full, but they better not come ask for a snack an hour later!

Some of the kids favorite lunches are:

  • grilled cheese
  • tomato soup
  • chicken noodle soup
  • quesadilla
  • hot dog
  • dinner leftovers
  • Trader Joe’s shells and white cheddar mac & cheese
  • Trader Joe’s mini tacos
  • Trader Joe’s black bean burrito

For sides, they usually have:

  • mini bell peppers
  • chips/pretzels
  • Babybel cheese
  • fruit
  • pickles
  • yogurt
  • celery (Hayden likes plain celery. Hadley likes celery with peanut butter)

My “go-to” lunches are:

  • salad
  • “charcuterie” board with dill cheese (from Trader Joe’s), pickles, salami or prosciutto, Cheezits or Dots pretzels, grapes or strawberries
  • Jasmine rice bowl (with chicken, black beans, sweet potatoes…and more!)
  • Tortilla roll up

For the tortilla roll up, I…

  • Take tortilla, and put two pieces of Provolone cheese on top,
  • Layer whatever lunch meat you like,
  • Place a couple of pieces of Romaine lettuce, then
  • Add bell peppers and a drizzle of mustard.
  • Enjoy!

This roll up can be tweaked with whatever you have on hand. I’ve used Arugula instead of Romaine, Cheddar cheese instead of Provolone, sometimes I put pickles on it, etc.

To end on a funny note…this made me laugh out loud 😂

What are some of your favorite things to eat for lunch? What do your kids typically eat?

Have a great day!

Posted in Meals and Recipes

Monday Meals: Stuffed Shells with Ricotta & Spinach

Hello and Happy Monday!

I feel like I don’t cook as much in the summer…or maybe it’s that we grill out more often in the summer months…? but…

I was digging through my recipe box last week, and stumbled upon this recipe that I hadn’t made in forever. I’m not sure where I got the recipe, but I’ve had it for years, so I thought I’d share.

Ingredients:

  • 20-25 Jumbo shell pasta, cooked
  • 1- 24 oz jar of Marinara
  • 2- 15 oz containers of Ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups of baby spinach, rough chop
  • 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 c. shredded Mozzarella cheese

Instructions:

  • Turn on oven to 400 degrees.
  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and cool under water.
  • Spread most of the Marinara sauce in the bottom of a large baking dish.
  • In a bowl, combine the Ricotta, spinach, Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.
  • Spoon the mixture into shells and place them on top of the sauce.
  • Drizzle the remaining Marinara sauce on top and then sprinkle the Mozzarella on top.
  • Bake, until the shells are heated through, 10-12 minutes.
  • Increase heat to broil. Broil the shells until the cheese begins to brown, 2-4 minutes.
  • Enjoy!
I was almost finished filling the shells, but here’s the mixture in the bowl.

I squeezed 25 shells in the pan!

Almost ready for the oven (add Marinara and Mozz.)
Getting their bake on…
Ready to eat!
Dinner is served.

I’ve never done it, but I’m sure you could incorporate browned sausage, chicken, etc into the mix to make the shells a bit heartier with protein.

I hope this is a recipe you’ll enjoy.

Have a great week.

Posted in Meals and Recipes, Trader Joes

Easy Lunch Idea

Y’all, it’s no secret that my love for Trader Joe’s runs deep! I put together some of my favorite ingredients with my Kroger staples and made this easy and healthy lunch that I now eat a couple times a week.

Ingredients:

  • Jasmine rice (Game changer for me. I’ve just discovered this rice and LOVE it) There are three microwaveable bags in this box.
  • Sweet potato (I cut into small bites, drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and sprinkle with TJ Chile Lime seasoning. Then I roast the bits in the oven at 400 for 20 minutes)
  • Black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • Feta cheese (I’ve used other cheeses before as well like shredded mozz)
  • Protein (I use this short cut with Perdue Carved Chicken Breasts from Kroger and cut them into bite sized pieces) You could use steak or shrimp too, I’m sure.
  • Sriracha Ranch (or a drizzle of regular Ranch would be good too) Also, I’m not a fan of spicy food, but a little bit of this goes a long way and is delish!)

Instructions:

  • Roast the sweet potatoes.
  • Cook the bag of rice in the microwave.
  • Cut the chicken into small pieces. Then, I warm up the chicken and the beans in the microwave together.
  • Mix rice, sweet potatoes, beans, and protein together.
  • Top with Feta cheese.
  • Drizzle with Sriracha Ranch.
  • Enjoy!
Looking pretty!
Mixed up….how I eat it 😉

When I make this, I can actually get about three meals out of it. So I make one serving in a bowl and divide the other ingredients into Tupperware for other meals. Then, when it’s time to enjoy those, I heat up the ingredients and top with Feta and the dressing.

What do you love from Trader Joe’s?? What are some of your go to lunches?

Happy eating!

Posted in Meals and Recipes

Monday Meals: Pizza Pork Chops with Orzo

Hello! How was your weekend? Like the past few weekends, we had a good mix of productivity and laziness. The weekend weather felt like a glimpse of summer, for sure!

I was looking through my recipe box, which I don’t do very often, and I stumbled upon a meal I hadn’t made in awhile. It’s so easy, delicious, and a family favorite.

Ingredients:

  • 6 boneless pork chops
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chopped onion (about half a small onion…or more if you prefer!)
  • 1 jar Marinara sauce
  • 0rzo pasta
  • Shredded Mozzarella cheese

Instructions:

  • Salt and pepper both sides of the pork chops and place in the bottom of your slow cooker.
  • Sprinkle the onions over the top of the pork chops.
  • Pour Marinara sauce over the pork chops and onions.
  • Cover and cook for 4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
  • When ready to eat, cook Orzo pasta according to package directions.
  • Place pasta on plate (or in bowl), the scoop out desired amount of pork chops and sauce. (*Note- meat is so tender that it will fall apart.)
  • Sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese (and some chopped fresh basil if you have some)
  • Enjoy!

I’d forgotten how easy and delicious this dinner is! We even had leftovers the next night!

We have one more full week of distance learning! #praisehands So…I’m go get my mind right for this week!

Thanks for reading!