Monday, March 3, 2014

Baked Crunchy Tacos

Baked Crunchy Tacos
image and recipe from Heather Likes Food

1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes, drained
1 packet taco seasoning
1 cup cheese, divided
1/4 cup salsa verde
15 crunchy taco shells
shredded lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, sour cream, guacamole, lime juice to top

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Brown and drain meat.
3. Arrange taco shells standing up in a 9x13 pan. Fill each shell with teh meat mixture, dividing equally until all the meat is used.
4. Stir tomatoes, seasoning, 1/2 cup cheese, and salsa into meat mixture, dividing equally until all the meat is used.
5. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of cheese over the tops of the filled tacos and bake for 15-20 minutes. Cheese will be melted and the meat hot.
6. Top with toppings!

We sure love these tacos!!! So yummy!!

Crock Pot Tomato Basil Soup

Crock Pot Tomato Basil Soup
image and recipe from Your Homebased Mom

3- 15 oz cans of petit diced tomatoes, with juice
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely chopped carrots
1 cup finely diced onions
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup fresh basil, minced
4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup flour
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup butter
2 cups half and half, warmed
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

1. Put tomatoes, celery, carrots, onions and chicken broth into crock pot.
2. Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours.
3. 30 minutes before serving make the roux.
4. Melt butter over low heat in a skillet and add in flour.
5. Stir constantly for about 5 minutes.
6. Slowly add in 1 cup of hot soup.
7. Add in 3 more cups of soup and stir until smooth.
8. Put all back into crock pot. 
9. Stir and add Parmesan cheese, warmed half and half, salt and pepper.
10. Add in oregano and basil.
11. Cover and let cook on low for another 30 minutes or until ready to serve. 

This soup is so yummy with grilled cheese sandwiches! 

Pesto Chicken Pillows

Pesto Chicken Pillows
image and recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything

1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup basil pesto
2 TBS sliced green onions
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
2 8 oz packages Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
1/4 cup melted butter
2 cups seasoned Panko crumbs

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with foil. Spray the foil lightly with cooking spray.
2. In a medium bowl add the cream cheese, pesto, green onions, and chicken. Stir until combined. Salt and pepper to taste.
3. Unroll the crescent dough. Take two triangles and press them together to form a rectangle.
4. Spoon about 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture in the center of the rectangle and bring the corners of the crescent doug
h together, pinching to seal.
5. Place the Panko crumbs on a plate. Dip each chicken pillow into the melted butter or use a pastry brush and roll it in the Panko crumbs.
6. Place the chicken pillows seam side down on the prepared baking sheet.
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until chicken pillows have turned golden brown.

Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake

Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake
image and recipe from Joyously Domestic

10 ounces dry pasta- rotini, farfalle, or penne
2 TBS butter
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 ounces chive and onion cream cheese
1 cup sour cream (or plain greek yogurt)
1 cup whole milk, heavy cream or half-and-half)
1/2 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1-1 1/2 cups chopped fresh spinach
2 cups cooked chicken (cubed or shredded)
1/2 cup fresh tomatoes, cut into large chucks (I used grape tomatoes sliced in half)
fresh basil or parsley, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Coat a medium casserole dish with non-stick spray.
3. While pasta is cooking, heat butter in a medium saute pan set to medium heat. Add in the onion and garlic. Cook for 3-4 minutes to slightly soften veggies. Do not brown.
4. Add in cream cheese and stir to melt. Reduce heat to low. Stir in sour cream, milk, Parmesan cheese, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir until everything is well-combined and melted. Turn off heat. 
5. Combine the pasta, chicken, spinach and tomatoes in a large bowl. 
6. Add in the sauce and gently stir to coat.
7. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Top with the remaining mozzarella. 
8. Bake uncovered for about 20-25 minutes, or until casserole is bubbly and beginning to brown. Top with basil or parsley for garnish. 

Note: In order for the pasta bake to not dry out, place the baking dish on a sheet pan and add 1-2 cups of very hot water to the sheet pan once in the oven. This will create steam during the baking process and will help to keep everything moist. 

This was yummy! And I love something that cooks in the oven so I can clean up the kitchen! :)

Meatballs Stroganoff

Meatballs Stroganoff
image and recipe from Menu Musing

Frozen Italian style meatballs
extra virgin olive oil, 1 TBS or just enough to brown up the meatballs
2 cups beef broth
seasoning- salt, pepper, dried herbs 1-1 /12 tsp of each- parsley, oregano, basil
1 cup sour cream
4 oz reduced fat cream cheese
1 cup heavy whipping cream
wide egg noodles

1. Brown the meatballs in a little olive oil over medium heat in a skillet.
2. After they are browned up nicely, deglaze the pan with about 2 cups of beef broth and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper and dried herbs. When it starts to reduce, add about 2/3 cup sour cream and about a cup of heavy whipping cream.
3. Meanwhile, boil water in a separate pot and add the wide egg noodles. Boil until they are still just a bit al dente, drain briefly and add to the simmering sauces. They will finish cooking in the sauce and also soak up a lot of that goodness!

Panera Beef Stew

Panera Beef Stew
recipe Panera 


2 pounds cubed beef chuck
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup flour
2 TBS olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
3/4 cup chopped celery
2 1/2 cup small baby-cut carrots
1 tsp minced garlic
3 medium boiling potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 can low-sodium diced tomatoes
1 1/2-2 cups low-sodium beef broth and/or dry red wine
1 TBS low-sodium Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves


1. Season beef with salt, pepper, and thyme. Roll it in the flour.
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add beef (in batches if necessary to prevent crowding) and cook until browned all over, 4-5 minutes. Remove to a slow cooker. 
3. Discard all but 2 TBS of the fat in the skillet. Add onions and celery, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Chop 1/2 cup of the carrots and add them to the skillet along with the garlic. Cook 2 minutes, and then transfer to a slow cooker. 
4. Add the remaining carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, broth or wine, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaves to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 8 hours. Remove bay leaves before serving. 

Such a delicious, hearty soup!

Asian Lemon Chicken

Asian Lemon Chicken
image and recipe from "Dang" Delicious


1 cup vegetable oil
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
salt and pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups al-purpose flour
1 cup buttermilk

For the Lemon Glaze:
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
juice of 1 lemon
2 TBS apple cider vinegar
2 TBS olive oil
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder


To make the glaze, combine ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10-12 minutes.
2. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
3. Season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste.
4. Working one at a time, dredge chicken in flour, dip into buttermilk, then dredge in flour again, pressing to coat.
5. Working in batches, add chicken to the skillet, and cook until evenly golden and crispy, about 3-4 minutes each side. Transfer to paper towel lined plate.
6. Drizzle with glaze and serve immediately.

I actually cut the chicken breasts into cubes instead. This chicken was SO flavorful and really yummy! We served the chicken over rice and with asian green beans.