Category Archives: Dinner

Recipe: Pesto Chicken and Red Potatoes

This is a very flavorful dish and really warm and comforting on a cold night. But for being comfort food, it’s also a pretty healthy meal! We use just a small amount of mayo and sour cream to thicken up the pesto. But overall, not bad!

Pesto Chicken and Red Potatoes

1/2 cup prepared pesto
1 tsp mayo
2 tsp sour cream
4 chicken breasts (boneless or bone-in shouldn’t matter)
6-8 medium size red potatoes
Parmesan cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Arrange chicken and potatoes in a single layer in a baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Combine pesto, sour cream and mayo in a small cup. Brush over chicken and potatoes. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for about 15-20 minutes (depending on how thick your chicken is) or until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender.


This post linked to:
Southern Fairytale’s Mouthwatering Monday
Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

Greek Tuna Salad Featuring Marzetti’s Simply Dressed Salad Dressing


I’m really excited to share a new product with you guys that I am in love with! Marzetti has launched a new line of salad dressings called “Simply Dressed“. I’m loving them because the ingredients are SIMPLE! I can read everything in the ingredients list and there is no high fructose corn syrup! There are no preservatives either which scores high points in my book. So many of the every day salad dressings out there are full of chemicals and hfcs and who knows what else. This salad dressing definitely helps me keep my Food Golden Rule.

I’ve seen these dressings on sale and I’ve heard other bloggers mention finding coupons for them (you can sign up for their newsletter to get coupons!). So you can definitely get them at a great price. Honestly, I’d pay full dollar for them. Salad dressings are something we use quite often in our house and I feel good using a brand that keeps the ingredient list so pure.

I used the Greek Feta Salad Dressing on a Greek Tuna Salad that I made and it was so delicious! Here is what I put in it:

Greek Tuna Salad Featuring Marzetti’s Simple Dressed Salad Dressing:

Chopped romaine lettuce
Chopped baby spinach
Chick Peas, rinsed
2 oz water packed tuna
Sliced cucumber
Grape tomatoes
Crumbled feta cheese
Marzetti’s Greek Feta Simply Dressed Salad Dressing
Mini whole wheat pita
This was a delicious combination! I think the Balsamic flavor would be equally delicious on this salad as well. If you are not a tuna fan, you could substitute with chicken.

I am really looking forward to trying the other flavors, especially the Ginger Sesame one! What do you guys thing that would taste good on? An Asian type salad with chicken and mandarin oranges, maybe? I’m thinking a Buffalo Chicken Wrap using the Bleu Cheese dressing should be my next venture.

Have you tried any of these yet? I’d love to hear some thoughts and recipes from all of you!Marzettie has some great recipes using these dressings as a Downloadable Recipe Book. These are some seriously great looking recipes!

Sorry, I know I just threw a ton of links at you, but I honestly don’t want you to miss anything!

I was one of the bloggers selected by T. Marzetti Company and Clever Girls Collective to host a Marzetti Simply Dressed review. They provided me with product to test myself and compensation for my time. However, my opinions are entirely my own.

Fake Mashed Potatoes…Made With Cauliflower!

Want to play a great trick on your kids? Make these delightful “fake mashed potatoes”! We looooove mashed potatoes around here but we can’t eat them as often as we would like. Not because potatoes aren’t good for you. But because when I mash them with cream and cream cheese and butter and anything else that makes it fattening, it’s just not an every day kind of dish. Making this fake version is a nice healthy alternative.

Personally I think they are delicious. When my kids saw them on the plate they thought it was potatoes. But when they tasted it, they were like, “Wait! Is this a new recipe?”  hehehe. Yes, it is! The boys did eat it. Not as heartily as the real kind, but that’s ok.

Fake Mashed Potatoes

8 cups raw cauliflower florets (about 2 pounds)
1 tablespoon butter
1-2 tablespoons half and half (more or less depending on your desired creaminess)
Salt and Pepper to taste
I like to add a little garlic powder in there too

Steam cauliflower for about 15 minutes or until it is very tender and falling apart.

Place in food processor and process until smooth. I have also used a hand mixer to mash it up. It leaves the cauliflower a little chunky, but we don’t mind it that way. Picky eaters may prefer it all the way smooth. Add butter, slat and pepper and mix. Stir in cream and add until you reach the consistency you prefer.

You can also just add these in to your regular mashed potatoes for a healthy kick!

This is a very healthy side dish and a great option for Thanksgiving dinner!


Linked to:
Tasty Tuesday by Beauty and Bedlam

Recipe: Beef Stroganoff

This is a great recipe for those nights when you need something quick! Especially if you follow the freezer friendly steps I will give at the bottom of the post!

Beef Stroganoff

1 pound ground beef, cooked and drained
8 oz sliced mushrooms (we actually do not put them in ours, kids are not fans, but it’s great with them!)
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup (I usually make a homemade cream sauce but I do use the cans on quick nights)
1/4 cup water
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
8 oz sour cream
1 pound pasta (egg noodles or elbow noodles are our favorites)
2 tbs melted butter
dash of parsley
1-2 cups peas (optional, I suppose)

Combine ground beef, mushrooms, cream of mushroom, water and spices in a skillet and bring to a simmer. Stir in sour cream. Lightly toss in the peas. Don’t squish them!

Cook pasta and drain. Toss with parsley and butter. Spoon stroganoff over pasta or just mix it all together like we do. I also like to sprinkle a teeny bit of parmesan cheese over the top.


To make this meal freezer friendly: Cook and drain the ground beef. Mix with the mushrooms, cream of mushroom soup, water and spices. Place in a freezer safe container and freeze. To make: Thaw frozen ingredients. Mix in a skillet and bring to a simmer; add sour cream. Cook pasta and toss with butter and parsley and serve as mentioned above.

This post linked to:
This post linked to:
Southern Fairytale’s Mouthwatering Monday
Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

Recipe: Homemade Chicken and Dumplings

I was always intimidated to try making Chicken and Dumplings from scratch because my Mom’s were always SO GOOD that I thought it must be a lot of work. A few years ago I watched her make it and I was like, “Wait, that’s it?!” And I have been making it ever since! My boys love this meal and I love that it can be a super quick meal if you play your cards right!

Chicken and Dumplings

1/2 onion, chopped
about 6 carrots, pealed and chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced (or two if you like garlic like I do)
2 tbs butter
celery if desired (my family does not like celery so I leave it out)
1 pound cooked shredded chicken
2 (32 oz) cartons of chicken broth
1 tsp chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste
2 1/4 cup biscuit mix
2/3 cup milk

In a large pot, melt butter over medium high heat. Mix in chopped onions, carrots, garlic and celery. Saute for a couple of minutes. Basically just to get the flavors blended and cook down the veggies a bit.

Add shredded chicken,*See note below* broth and seasonings.

Heat through until it comes to a light boil.

(Basically at this point, you have chicken soup. Add cooked noodles for chicken noodle soup. Or rice. Or nothing!)

To make dumplings, add the biscuit mix *See note below* and milk and stir until it makes a soft gooey dough. Drop into the soup. Don’t worry, the dumplings might sink at first. But they will come back up! Cook uncovered for ten minutes. Put a lid on and cook covered for ten more minutes. You can check the done-ness of the dumpling by splitting one open. If it’s fluffy and does not have a gooey center, it’s done!

**Here is where I say you can make this meal quick. I like to use chicken that has already been cooked and shredded from my freezer. This saves me a ton of time. I will also sometimes plan to cook my chicken in the crock pot and then use the broth left over right in the soup I’m making that night. If you do not have any on hand, you can still easily make this meal without a ton more effort. Just place some chicken in a pot of water and boil it. Once it’s cooked through you can shred it up. You can use some of the water as broth as well. Or take it a step farther and cook it low and slow all day with veggies and herbs right in the pot with the chicken to make a broth from scratch.  For the biscuit topping, I like to make my own biscuit mix so making the dumplings is quick and easy. You could also just mix together any biscuit recipe together and use that. I like the consistency of the Bisquick dumplings. So I use my homemade version and follow the recipe for dumplings from their box.**


This post linked to:
Southern Fairytale’s Mouthwatering Monday
Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

Recipe: Tortellini and Zucchini Soup

Tortellini and Zucchini Soup

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 large carrots, finely chopped
1 onion, diced
2 tbs minced garlic
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 14 ounce cans vegetable broth
2 medium zucchini, diced
2 cups fresh or frozen tortellini (I prefer the spinach filled ones)
4 plum tomatoes, diced
2 tbs red wine vinegar
I also like to add some sliced kielbasa sausage but you can keep it meat free and it’s still delicious!

Heat oil. Add carrots and onion, cook till soft.  Add garlic and
rosemary, cook about one minute.  Stir in broth and zucchini, bring to a
boil. Reduce heat and simmer until zucchini is soft. Add tortellini
and tomatoes (and sausage if used) and cook about 6-10 minutes. Stir in vinegar just before


This post linked to:
Southern Fairytale’s Mouthwatering Monday
Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

Recipe: Homemade Fried Chicken

 There is nothing more comforting than fried chicken and mashed potatoes for dinner! This recipe is easy and fried chicken isn’t as hard to make as you think!

Homemade Fried Chicken

1 cup buttermilk (you can use regular milk if that’s all you have)
1/4 cup hot sauce (more if you like it spicy!)
8 pieces of chicken
1 cup flour
1 tbs paprika
1 tbs garlic powder
1 tbs onion powder
1 tsp salt
4 cups oil for frying

Add buttermilk and hot sauce to a bowl or baking pan and mix. Place chicken in and marinate in the fridge for about 30 minutes. (If you do not have time to marinate, don’t worry about it! It will still work out!) Add flour and seasonings to another bowl and mix. Place marinated chicken into the flour mixture and coat. I like to do that process a second time as well but if you aren’t a huge fan of thick batter, only do it once. I like the crunchy batter. It’s my favorite part of fried chicken!

In a large pan or a fryer, heat the oil to about 350 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer, you know it’s hot enough when you add a drop of water to the hot oil and it sizzles quite loudly. Place the battered chicken into the hot oil and fry for about 15 minutes or until a thermometer reads 170 degrees. I will usually cut open one of the bigger pieces to see if it is cooked through. You can see from the picture above that I used a skillet to fry the chicken so the oil did not cover the chicken. I just turned it half way through to cook both sides evenly.

Place cooked chicken onto a plate lined with pa1per towels to catch the grease. It’s not legal for me to serve fried chicken without mashed potatoes and corn


This post linked to:
Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

Meal Idea: Chili Fritos

Chili Fritos is one of my family’s favorite meals. I hear some people call it Frito Pie. Whatever you call it, it’s delicious!

As you know, I love all things The Pioneer Woman does (have you watched her show on Food Network? Saturday mornings at 11:30. I make my family rush home from soccer so I can see it! Sorry, sidetracked.) I saw a super and fun way to serve Chili Frito Pie Deliciousness on her site and I wanted to share it with you.

I pinned it over here on Pinterest too. It’s so fun to do that. Go pin something.

Anyway, I had this on my list of meal-ideas-that-are-not-necessarily-recipes ideas to share with you so I thought I would go ahead and share her ideas too!

Have fun with your food!

Recipe: Easy Crock-Pot Sweet and Sour Meatballs

 This is a very quick and easy recipe to throw in the crockpot. The end result is a sweet and slightly tangy flavored meatball that you can eat alone as an appetizer or as a meal.

Easy Crock-Pot Sweet and Sour Meatballs

1 package (38 oz) prepared frozen meatballs – or go ahead and be ambitious and make your own!
16 oz jar of chili sauce
1 jar (2 lbs) grape jelly

Put all ingredients together in a crock-pot and cook on low for about 6 hours.

I told you it was easy! I did stir the pot a few times since I wasn’t in a hurry for them to cook. I found it helped keep the meatballs soaked in the sauce and blend the chunky jelly with the chili sauce for a smooth nicely mixed sauce.

This made a nice big batch of meatballs. We had them during football Sunday as an appetizer and then used the leftovers on Monday as a meal.

I simply chopped green peppers, onions and pineapple and sauteed them together in a pan. Then I added in the meatballs and sauce and served over rice.


This post linked to:
Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday

Favorites from around the web: Pizza!

Here are a few Pizza recipes from around the web that I want to try soon!

Homemade Pizza Sauce by Tasty Kitchen

Photo courtesy of Erica Lea/Tasty Kitchen

This recipe looks so quick and easy and gives me a great excuse to keep red wine on hand. At the bottom of the post is also a pizza dough recipe so you can make a whole meal of it! Shared by Erica Lea of Cooking for Seven

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza by Lauren’s Kitchen (Originally by Stephanie Cooks)

Photo courtesy of Lauren’s Kitchen

Chicken. Bacon. Ranch. Pizza. Enough said.

Grilled Pizza Margarita from Food Network by Mario Batali

Photo from Food Network

I mean, really. Look at it.

Do you have a favorite pizza recipe? I’d love to check out more!