Category Archives: What’s For Dinner?

Banana Bread Crumb Cake

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Hello all! I did a bad thing…

A really bad thing…

You see this website called Pinterest (ever heard of it?) just sucked me in and made me scroll through it’s food and drink section where I stumbled upon this banana cake recipe. Continue reading

Banana Caramel Pie

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This pie is just sinfully delicious. I mean, who knew bananas and caramel were such a good pairing?! Seriously, if you’ve seen this recipe floating around the internet but thought it was weird, just try it! I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. And if you are, just run it over to my house and I’ll take care of it for you. 😉

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My mom made this one year for Thanksgiving or Christmas, I don’t remember which, and we just thought it was about the best thing ever! I loved the fact that you made your own caramel and that you did it with only one simple ingredient: sweetened condensed milk. I thought that was just about the kookiest thing I’d ever heard, but it works beautifully and it is so so so good.

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If you want, you can make this a completely no-bake recipe by buying a pie crust. That’s what I ended up doing this time around, because I was just far too tired to make my own. I’m such a homemade nut that it almost made me feel bad to buy a crust (I know, it’s lame) but I was pleasantly surprised. Tyler and I are diligently working away on this pie as you read this, much to our dismay *insert sarcasm* I hope you give this recipe a try and that you enjoy it as much as I do! Bon appetit!

 

Banana Caramel Pie

Begin by filling a pot with enough water to cover the top of the condensed milk can by a few inches. Boil for 3 hours. Check often to make sure the water level never goes below the top of the can. Remove can from water with a pair of tongs and let cool for 1 hour.

Make pie crust according to recipe, or buy a pre-baked shell.

Slice bananas and arrange in the baked pie shell.

Top bananas with caramel and spread out evenly.

Layer the whipped cream on top and spread evenly.

Chill for 3 hours or until pie is firm and set.

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Eat to your hearts content!

 

 

Chicken Caesar Lasagna

I’m know I’ve been a bit lax on my recipe round up series but lately I’ve been cooking big meals and we’ve been eating off of the leftovers for quite some time. It’s been kind of nice to be able to kick back most evenings and heat up leftovers, but I was so glad to get my cooking juices flowing again with this Chicken Caesar Lasagna.

I came across this recipe in the Better Homes and Garden Skinny One-Pan Recipes magazine. When I see a lasagna recipe, I automatically assume that it will be a very involved, time consuming undertaking but as I read through the recipe I realized that it was actually quite easy and simple to throw together. It is really good and I especially appreciate it’s simplicity. I loved this spin-off of the classic meat and marinara sauce lasagna that you usually see! If you’re feeling a bit adventurous I’d recommend you give this a try!

Chicken Caesar Lasagna

  • 9 oven ready lasagna noodles
  • 20 oz Alfredo pasta sauce
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
  • 1 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 cup roasted red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3/4 cup shredded Italian-blend cheeses

Directions

Preheat oven to 425° F.

Cut bell pepper in half and seed. I decided to throw in a green bell pepper for some more color and flavor. Sprinkle with chopped garlic and drizzle with olive oil. Roast pepper for 15 minutes.

Reduce heat to 325° F.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the alfredo sauce, lemon juice and black pepper.

Stir in the next three ingredients.


Arrange three of the noodles in a baking dish then top with 1/3 of the chicken mixture. Repeat layers twice.

Bake, covered, 50 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and cook 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted.

Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
 

Chocolate on the Ritz Cookies

My dad and I are absolute fiends when it comes to these cookies! Every year around Christmas time our neighbor, Linda, made goody bags for everybody and she always put these cookies in there. Once she figured out how much we loved them she started making a few extra to give to us just because.

 I love these so much. One, because they’re freaking delicious, and two, because they hold such fond memories for me. I try not to make them too often because I will down about a dozen a day and that’s just plain unhealthy! In my defense, it feels worth it at the time. ?

These are extremely easy to make and even easier to eat! Enjoy!


Ingredients

  • Ritz crackers
  • Vanilla almond bark coating
  • Peanut butter

Melt 12 oz vanilla bark coating over a double broiler, stirring occasionally. As a rule of thumb, it takes about 12 oz of almond bark to coat one sleeve of Ritz cracker peanut butter sandwiches.

As the vanilla coating is melting, spread a little peanut butter on the crackers and make sandwiches out of them.

After you’ve finished making the Ritz sandwiches dip them into the melted chocolate, turning to coat.

Lift out with a fork and put on wax paper to wait for vanilla coating to harden.

Add sprinkles to some for the kiddos!

Lailah calls them ice cream cookies. I thought that was a pretty cute name. One thing about kids is they will come up with the funniest names for things. For instance: Pizza is pizza, but pizza is also a cheese quesadilla. A “pickle” is a hot dog in Lailahs book even though she doesn’t like pickles. It takes an interpreter sometimes to decider what it is they’re wanting! 

Give this recipe a try for your next get together or if you just need a sweet treat for yourself. I hope you enjoy!

 

One Skillet Homemade Hamburger Helper

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I love meals like this that only require one skillet because then that’s about 4 things less that I have to wash! Plus it’s so much faster and easier to whip up quick and hearty meals when it’s all done in one pan.

I was scrolling through Pinterest for one pot, easy beef meals and I stumbled across this recipe over at Divas Can Cook. I’ve never actually had Hamburger Helper, but I was intrigued by the recipe and the fact that you boil the macaroni in milk in the skillet, which is one of my favorite ways to cook macaroni. It is so flavorful! So, I decided to give it a shot and it is wonderful. If you like Hamburger Helper I think you’ll like this homemade and healthier option as well!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 cups elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt or seasoning salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp oregano
  • 3/4 tsp parsley
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

Brown ground meat in a skillet over medium heat until almost done. Add in onions and cook until tender.

Drain meat and onions on paper towel covered plate and then return to skillet. Add remaining ingredients except for the cheese. Stir to combine and bring mixture to a boil.

Reduce heat, cover and cook until pasta is tender, about 10 minutes. Stirring occasaionally. Taste pasta periodically for doneness.

Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Let pasta sit to thicken sauce. Adjust seasonings as needed.

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Enjoy!

Green Tomatillo Chicken Enchiladas

This is one of my all time favorite chicken enchiladas recipes that I have found! I love the freshness of the tomatillo salsa paired with the chicken. I discovered this recipe a few years ago and it has been a staple ever since. I didn’t have it on the menu plan for this month, but we had just grilled some chicken the night before and I had everything else I needed to make it so I decided to indulge my craving and make this.

This meal is easy to freeze, either just the chicken mixture to be rolled into tortillas later, or frozen after it’s been baked. I love to make this and then freeze half of it and I usually have some chicken leftover that I can either freeze or make into quesadillas. I think you’ll really enjoy this recipe if you love getting green chicken enchiladas when you go out to Mexican restaurants.

Enchiladas

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (or rotisserie chicken)
  • S&P
  • 20 flour tortillas
  • 4 cups Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 4 cups Tomatillo Salsa

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent.

Add the garlic and cumin then cook for another minute.

Sprinkle on flour and stir to ensure it doesn’t burn. Gradually whisk in chicken broth, constantly whisking until liquid thickens like gravy.

After liquid thickens, turn off heat, add 2 cups tomatillo salsa, cilantro, and chicken.


Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Begin rolling chicken into tortillas adding a bit of cheese to tortillas.

I have been using so many tortillas lately that I’ve been getting tired of buying them. I decided to buy some white flour tortilla mix. Tyler and I had a lot of fun making our own for this recipe!

Once complete, top with remaining 2 cups tomatillo salsa and top with cheese. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.

Try pairing it with some Mexican rice and guacamole.

Enjoy!

Beef Enchilada Casserole

When I’m in the mood for Mexican food I love to throw this easy enchilada casserole together. It’s got all the benefits of beef enchiladas without having to roll each enchilada and have the corn tortillas tear on you constantly. Which is what always happens to me even if I heat them up like you’re supposed I don’t know what I’m doing wrong there, somebody please help me!

This recipe takes all the frustration out of enchiladas! It’s a very easy meal to do and it will go quite a long way. This meal is also very freezer friendly, so it would be a good back up to have on hand for those busy days where putting dinner together is a huge hassle. I’ve had one of those weeks where I have been so busy that I needed to cook things that were easy and that would feed us for many days so I wouldn’t have to be in the kitchen every night creating something new.

Beef Enchilada Casserole

  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey
  • Mom’s seasoning
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 15 oz can turkey chili
  • 1 10 oz can Rotel tomatoes
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 pckt enchilada seasoning
  • 8 oz can green enchilada sauce
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add meat and season with “mom’s seasoning“. Drain fat from skillet then add onions and cook until translucent.

While meat and onions are cooking heat a medium sauce pan over low heat and combine turkey chili, Rotel, tomato sauce, enchilada seasoning, and green enchilada sauce. Stir to combine, and allow to heat through.

Prepare a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Spray with nonstick cooking spray and layer half of the tortillas on the bottom.


After meat and onions are cooked, add sauce to meat mixture. Add half of the meat mixture onto the corn tortillas and then add half the cheese on top of the meat/sauce combo. Repeat layering: tortillas, meat, and cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes until cheese is bubbly and a little browned.

Pair it with chips and guacamole and some homemade Mexican rice and you’ve got a real fiesta going on! Enjoy!

 

Legit Mexican Rice


Guys you just have to try this recipe out. It’s legit. In fact it’s too legit. It’s too legit to quit. Ok, enough Hot Rod ramblings, I was so excited when I made this for the first time because I have never quite been able to get that authentic tasting Mexican rice from homemade recipes. This is my go to staple for any Mexican dishes that I make.

A huge plus to this is that my kids will actually eat it! *gasp* I can’t cook anything for them. I can only get them to eat some nights by threatening their very lives (which has proven effective if you needed some parenting advice) but they ask for this rice and they devour it when I give them a bowl. I will cook anything they like multiple times a day if that’s what it takes for them to eat willingly. Lemme tell ya, forcing belligerent stubborn kids to eat something under threat of death is exhausting and time consuming.

I found this recipe over on Favorite Family Recipes. They really nailed this recipe!

Legit Mexican Rice

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup long grain rice, uncooked
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 14 oz can chicken broth
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add rice and gently stir until rice begins to lightly brown.

Add the garlic, salt, and cumin and stir until the rice is golden brown.

Add the tomato sauce and chicken broth. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. After it is boiling reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Top with the cilantro.

Let it sit for 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork. Enjoy!

 

Crockpot BBQ Pulled Pork

This is one of those recipes that really stretches your dollar for you. It doesn’t require a lot of ingredients and it goes a very long way. I always wait for good sales on pork butt before I buy them and I can very often get them for $1/lb which is outrageous! It can feed my husband and I for a week or more, lunch and dinner, and we can still put back half of it in the freezer for later. I made the girls try some after I got it all done and they were skeptical to say the least. They both got those looks on their faces like they knew all along I was trying to give them pork disguised poison.

I love to get everything ready in the crockpot before we go to bed and then the next morning, I already have dinner ready to go for that night! This would also be great for those of you who work all day and are often too tired when you get home to cook every night. Just put it in the crock pot before you go to work and you’ve got dinner waiting for you when you get home.

Crockpot BBQ Pulled Pork

  • Pork shoulder butt, bone in
  • 1 yellow onion, thick chopped
  • Stubbs BBQ spice rub
  • 16 fl oz BBQ sauce

Thickly chop onion and place in bottom of your crockpot. Rub down pork butt with spice rub and transfer to crock pot, with thick fatty side facing up. This will allow the fat to seep down into the pork and make it tender as it cooks. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Remove fat from pork and drain excess greasy fat, reserving 1/2 cup. Remove bone and begin shredding pork with two forks. Stir in BBQ sauce and mix well. If it needs a little more moisture mix in some of the reserved fat.

Serve with toasted buns, more BBQ sauce, honey mustard, and shredded cabbage or broccoli slaw. Enjoy!

 

Glazed Doughnut Muffins


I love finding new dessert recipes! Muffins are one of those desserts that are flavorful but not overtly sweet and I love that you don’t ever have to make up any icing. However, I like the compromise of these with the thin coating of glaze to give it that kiss of sugary sweetness without overwhelming your palette with an in-your-face sugar coma. Which I’m ok with on some days. I’m definitely a sugar addict, so I have to try and tone it down sometimes.


I’ll just go ahead and admit that I was spooning up the glaze and eating it…yeah I’m still like a small child. My Moe and Papa had an old-fashioned crystal sugar bowl with a spoon in it, and when I was little and no one was around I used to sneak a few spoonfuls of straight sugar and then go about my business. Well now that I’ve aired out my dirty little secret let’s get to the recipe!


Glazed Doughnut Muffins

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk

Glaze

  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp hot water

Preheat oven to 425 F. Line 12 muffin cups with muffin liners.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter, vegetable oil, and sugars until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time. With the mixer on low speed, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla until just combined. Stir the flour into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with flour.

Spoon batter into muffin liners filling all the way. Bake until muffin tops are a pale golden and springy to the touch for about 15 minutes. Cool muffins in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool 10 minutes before glazing.

To make the glaze combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk until smooth.

When muffins have cooled slightly, dip the muffin crown into the glaze and allow the glaze to harden. Once hardened, dip a second time and allow to harden then serve. Doesn’t that just make your mouth water a little? I had to capture the drizzling glaze. It’s just so pretty!

I found this recipe over at Sweet Peas Kitchen. She did a wonderful job with these! They are a very kid friendly recipe. My girls ate them up!

Izzy is trying to offer the neighbors kitten some muffin. Silly girl.

This is about as much cooperation as I got from Lailah.

Ya know, she got important business to attend to. Can’t be standing around getting pictures taken by Momma! At least she gently placed the muffin on the ground and didn’t throw it.

Enjoy!

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