Category Archives: 30 minute meals or less

Sloppy Joes-Bagel Style

Sloppy Joes-Bagel Style

I must give credit to my beautiful mama. She always has the best dinner ideas when I fail to let my mind come up with…well anything. I have many days where coming up with a dinner “idea” is challenging for me. Those are also the days I love to sleep in, lay in pj’s all day and watch romantic movies and not clean an item in my house. :)

Anyway, my mom brought this idea to the table and we devoured it. It was so delicious and a quick last minute option.

Sloppy Joes 7

Sloppy Joes used to be my nemesis when I was younger. For some reason they scared me to death and looked like meat out of a can almost like spam. Who wants meat from a can with the name “sloppy”? You get my drift, I must have been caught up on the name for years. The name itself is entirely unappealing. Who want’s ‘Sloppy’ and a Joe in their dinner? Lets be real here, how did this name even come to fruition?

But through time, a lot of time, I sure learned that you can spice up the flavor and make it taste like a delicious spaghetti sandwich without the pasta. It is wonderfully flavored and easy eating, well not so much in the sense of the “sloppiness” but more in the full-flavor making it easy. Make sense? Good, lets move on.


  • 1 lb Ground Turkey
  • 1 tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 1 Small Onion
  • 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Coriander
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1 Spoonful Brown Sugar
  • 1 Can Tomato Sauce
  • 1/3 Cup Ketchup
  • 1/4 cup Dijon Mustard

In a large sauce pan begin cooking the turkey, minced garlic and onion. Add in chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic salt, coriander and water.

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Allow to simmer until the meat is fully browned.

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Once the meat is cooked, add in the tomato sauce and brown sugar.

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Keep at a low simmer and add in mustard and ketchup.

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Once everything is stirred in, allow to simmer for 1-2 minutes.

Meanwhile butter your bagel and sprinkle with garlic salt. Toast in a toaster oven and top with Sloppy Joe mix. Sprinkle with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

Sloppy Joes 6You can also serve upon a non-freezer-burned Ciabatta roll.

Let’s set the mood.

Originally these sloppy joes were to be served upon a nice garlic toasted ciabatta roll. Once toasted and ready to devour, I about lost my cookies with one single bite that made it directly back out of my mouth and into the sink. I had not eaten cookies, but it was that bad, my tummy was about to lose cookies that hadn’t even been eat. Yes it was that bad. It was horrible, so horrible!

Out it came and on with the better idea to stack it with a bagel.

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I’ll try not to disgust you with my loosing-of-the-cookies next time I experience a horrific taste in my mouth!

Summer Sausage and Orzo

Chicken flavored orzo with summer sausage and fresh vegetables.

The great thing with orzo is not only the incredible taste but the simple fact that it can be cooked in so many ways with numerous ways to flavor it. I absolutely love orzo. Mmmm so delicious and versatile.

This particular night, I cooked the orzo in chicken broth leaving the pasta flavored so beautifully that nothing needed to be added to the pasta; not even butter.

This meal is less than 30 minutes and is a very inexpensive option to serve the family for dinner.



  • 1 lb kielbasa sausage
  • 1 lb mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • Orzo
  • 1 tbsp Better than bullion chicken flavored
  • Vegetables of choice

Bring water to a boil, add chicken stock and orzo. Follow package instructions on how long to cook.

Meanwhile, slice sausage, onions and mushrooms. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and add in minced garlic. Stir frequently to keep garlic from burning. Roast garlic for 2-3 minutes until fully cooked.

Keep the heat on medium and add in the onions and mushrooms. Continue to saute garlic mixture until onions and mushrooms are nice and tender.

Toss in sausage and heat through.


Serve with vegetables and orzo and enjoy.

BLTA Grilled Cheese

Movie in the park date night entailed BLTA’s per the husbands request.

This particular night we wanted a delicious BLTA and received a mushy, soggy replica of what should be a crunchy sandwich. We reached the park, got settled in and began to open the cooler of delicious dinner remedies to fill our tummies. As I was scoping out the cooler and lifting and prodding to get to the sandwiches below the pile of chips, I encounter a white milky substance resembling my sons cup of milk. This liquid was all over everything. I mean everything.

I pull out the sandwiches which were wrapped in foil, to find a disaster of wet soggy bread. My sandwich was completely wasted and was not at all salvageable. My husbands on the other hand was partially ruined. He was gracious enough to share half of his half with me. We spent the rest of the time filling up on chip, nuts and chocolate. Although I had very little BLTA, the little I had was quite delicious.

I’ll be opting for another BLTA in the comfort of our own home soon!

Dinner equaled disappointment. Learn from me, do not put liquid near food while in a cooler.



  • Homemade bread (I did not have time for this last minute idea and used Dave’s Killer bread instead)

Homemade Garlic Butter:

  • Butter
  • Garlic Salt
  • Sea Salt
  • Italian Seasoning


  • Tomatoes
  • Bacon
  • Lettuce
  • Avocado
  • Cheese (optional)
  • Cucumbers (optional)

In a small bowl mix together butter, garlic salt, sea salt and Italian seasoning. I do this to taste depending on how many sandwiches I am making.

Spread on top of bread.


On one half of each sandwich, place a slice of cheese.

Toast bread in a toaster oven or broil in regular oven at 550 degrees until nice and crispy.

Mash avocado and spread on top of the slice of bread without cheese.

IMG_5997Meanwhile, cook bacon and begin to layer your BLTA.

*For bacon tips click here

Layer on cucumbers and tomatoes. (I used fresh cherry tomatoes from our garden)

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Top with lettuce and VIOLA you have an incredible BLTA grilled cheese sandwich. 

When packing and carrying your meals outside of the home, just remember not to place them by milk or any liquid for that matter that can spill. :) If you follow my instructions, you will be pleased.


Even though our dinner was unsatisfying due to the spillage of milk, we still had a blast with our son and spending time together as a family. 
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While our sandwiches turned to a disaster, I also forgot Cooper’s meal sitting on the counter at home. So he partook in cashews and cranberries for his protein…..

Always crossing his legs….. like mother like son. :)

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Always a happy baby!

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Just goes to show how important family time is. With or without dinner, the night was still a success.

Mediterranean Chicken

I have been making this recipe for years and this recipe is still one of my most favorite meals. I absolutely love and adore this recipe. It’s a top hit with all our friends and family as well and mind you, this is the easiest recipe to date. It will blow your socks off.

It seems as of lately, I have had to step up my game with my sister and her weekly attendance at our abode. She has been seeking and searching for goodies and has officially been spoiled. This was on our lunch menu one afternoon after a long morning of swimming and walks to the river.

It was very satisfying and made everyone quite happy.



  • 1 medium Onion, yellow or red, chopped
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 Cups Diced Tomatoes
  • 1/3 Cup EVOO
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Romano Cheese
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • Garlic salt
  • Paprika
  • Cumin
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 1/2 Cups Gorgonzola Cheese Crumbles

In a skillet, add a smidgen of EVOO, onions and 1 tsp sugar for a little caramelization.  Slightly saute just until barely tender. Remove from heat and place in a small bowl to cool.


Once onions are cooled, add tomatoes and 1/3 cup oil.


Toss tomato mixture with Romano Cheese and refrigerate until needed.


Meanwhile, cook chicken breasts either in the oven or pan fried; whichever you prefer. Season breasts with a generous amount of garlic salt, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook until no longer pink.

Once breasts are cooked, top with a generous scoop of the tomato mixture and sprinkle with Gorgonzola cheese.

Viola– your meal is beautiful and delectable.

Pineapple Bacon Sausage Sandwich

Oh how I absolutely love grill season. Especially now that I do not count on my husband anymore. “I can do it myself” I proudly think to myself. No more waiting around for him to get home from work; now I can have dinner prepared before he gets home. Yahoo!

I bought these sausages from Costco but you can purchase them pretty much anywhere. They are precooked and have sweet pineapple and juicy bacon wrapped inside them. This grilled juicy sausage leaves for a crispy outside with extreme juice flowing on the inside. Oh my goodness, is your mouth watering yet? Yummy yum yum!


Literally three ingredients is all you need. It is that easy. This meal is a 15 minute quick dinner (with the potatoes, 45 minutes).

From refrigerator to belly in a 25 minuets depending how quickly you gobble down your feast.


The simplicity of it all brings out the flavors of the sausage, leaving this goodness– plain and simple.

Serve on a ciabatta roll which makes this even more delicious.


Served this evening with pan friend potatoes…oh so delish’


Feast your eyes and feast your belly! :) Yahoo take pleasure in the food you eat. Life becomes more enjoy able when we eat and drink with those we love and eat good food!

So here’s the scoop:


  • 4 Sausages, defrost if necessary
  • 4 Ciabatta rolls
  • Smidgen of Mayo

Grill the sausage on BBQ- if weather appropriate. I wouldn’t want you all standing outside in the rain and snow to enjoy a delicious sausage sandwich. You could also broil in the oven, boil or microwave though I’m least partial to the ladder.

Lightly toast your ciabatta rolls on the grill (or oven) and spread with a little mayo.

Slice the sausage lengthwise and lay flat on your buns. :) Viola, that simple! Really it sounds very unexciting but a good sausage brings a lot of flavor to enjoy and not be disguised by multiple ingredients. It is really delectable.

Than…. sit on your back porch and enjoy a beautiful sunset. While I was up visiting family, this was a similar meal we had and this was the scenery I was able to gratefully partake in.


So beautiful! Though this scenery is entirely different than my backyard…I love enjoying the scenery from one house to another grateful that God has created a beautiful world that lies before us. IMG_5482

Baked Taquitos

Yesterday was another strong blast of heat. Our house has withstood the heatwave until now. This morning when I woke up and the house still sat at 75 degrees- I knew there was a problem. This weather has kicked in full gear and is not backing down. We are supposed to reach 100 degrees today and while Portland typically hasn’t reached this high heat on a regular basis, we are now. It seems the past few years have consistently remained hot, smokin’ hot.

I remember long ago, moving to Portland–okay it was only 11 years ago, but I was utterly shocked that the majority of the city does not support central air. Portland never got that hot where AC was worth the investment. It seemed only the million dollar homes carried central air while now a days– Portland has had to adapt. Our heat wave the past few years has gained quite steadily leaving us with no choice but to have AC. And for all my sorry pregnant friends out there with no AC, my heart goes out to you!

It’s pretty insane how our weather has changed so significantly over the years. My family back up in Washington is experiencing temperatures in the low 100’s on a too regular basis. It’s almost as if it’s becoming the new Arizona state while mimicking the high heat. Nothing else of course resembles Arizona in the slightest.

Anyway, today Cooper and I were outside preparing for our park date tonight with daddy. I tried to quickly bake our dinner and scurry outside to play with my son. (Sometimes I feel he has too many independent play days)

This was his snack of choice:

  • Orange Juice
  • Chow Mien Noodles (4 gms of protein- shocking)
  • Glazed pecans
  • And sour little worms that his Grammy bought him


He has been having a great time pulling his toys around lately. He typically loves to push and run rampant with everything but, this little helicopter makes him slow down making sure it doesn’t fall sideways off it’s track and lose balance, boy does that cause for some frustartion. He keeps it on track and walks it through the grass, dirt and up the sidewalk by our house stopping for treats along the way.


While he was playing, I would run back and forth from the kitchen to play with him as I began to make this incredibly quick dinner. This meal allowed me to spend most of the time with him while stepping outside to let the taquitos crisp up in the oven… ooohh ya! I had you at crisp!

Tonight’s menu: Baked Taquitos with cucumber tomato salad

Venue: Hammerle Park

Guests: You, Me and Dupree

Requirements: Please bring a fun attitude, adventurous toys for the kids and chocolate for my love of desserts.


  • ½ lb chicken, chopped (2-3 breasts)
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 3 large mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • ½ tsp garlic salt
  • ½ cup blue cheese or ranch
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 8 tortillas

Chop cooked chicken and add to saucepan.


Add blue cheese and kidney beans. Begin to heat through on low heat.


Add in mushrooms and saute until tender.


Once the mushrooms are tender, turn the heat off. Add in cream cheese, garlic salt and paprika. Stir until cream cheese is melted.


Lay one heaping 1/2 cup onto a tortilla and sprinkle with cheese. Roll up leaving the edges open. Repeat until your mixture is gone.


Place on a foil lined baking sheet.

IMG_5768Bake at 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until light golden brown.


Aren’t they so pretty and ooey-gooey delicious looking?


I allowed ours to cool a bit and then wrapped them in foil to pack for our picnic. They remained perfectly warm until we enjoyed them on our blanket at the park. We had cucumber tomato salad with our taquitos along with chips and salsa and dark chocolate peanut butter cups for dessert. Yummy!

IMG_5773What will you be serving your taquitos with tonight?

Bacon Wrapped Sausage

These bacon wrapped sausage dogs are making my mouth water as I simply sit to write out this recipe for all of you gracious people. This recipe even first thing in the morning will bring satisfaction to my palette. It’s a great meal for the warm summer heat surrounding your backyard and your barbecue with good family conversation while the kiddos play.


  • 4 Italian Sausages
  • 8 slices of bacon
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 4 hot dog buns
  • Garlic butter

Turn your barbecue on and allow the heat to begin to smell your backyard and all across town making a statement that it is barbecue season and we are making delicious grub.


Wrap each sausage with two slices of bacon. Hold together with a toothpick if needed.


Meanwhile, saute mushrooms, onions and garlic until nice and tender. Set aside.


Prepare to grill the goodness.

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Allow the juices to run off and sizzle the grill. Ohhh the smell of barbecue, oh how I love it.


My bacon was a bit juicy as you can tell. :)


When sausage is done, butter your buns with garlic butter and lightly toast on the grill.


Top each sausage with a portion of the mushroom mixture.


Served with grilled romaine hearts.

Fish Tacos

Today was an absolutely beautiful day filled with church, relaxation and good eats. My husband and I had some great conversations while enjoying the sun. Typically we spend every weekend busy with chores or out traveling around. Today we sat and had great conversations with some yummy iced coffee and delicious food.

Fish tacos were not on the menu for tonight’s dinner, but as the night progressed it simply turned into that as we both decided we had been talking about fish tacos for awhile.

They were so incredible, we were thankful we succumbed to the desire. After eating dinner we went on a nice long walk through the forest as it’s basically in our backyard. Quiet and peaceful was the remainder of our day topped off with a Cherry Turnover from my Aunt’s berry store in Salem. Woo-hoo!


  • 4 fillets of Mahi (any kind works great)
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp chipotle seasoning
  • ½ tsp garlic salt
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp garlic butter, melted


  • Grilled Corn
  • Kidney Beans
  • Cheese
  • Rice
  • Tomato
  • Avocado
  • Ranch

In a small bowl mix together chili powder, chipotle, garlic and sea salt together. Sprinkle over fish.


Grill the fish on the BBQ and while cooking, baste the fish with melted garlic butter.


Once cooked, allow to cool and shred fish.

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Toast tortillas on the grill.


Grill the corn on the barbecue with garlic butter and salt.


Once tortillas are cooked, serve warm with all the toppings you enjoy.


Assemble with cheese, rice, beans, tomatoes, corn, ranch and avocado.


So delicious! Yummy!


Hope you enjoy as much as we did! :)

Cilantro Lemon Chicken

The other night I was in a rush to make dinner as the remainder of the week was a bit hectic for me. Trying to prep for visiting my aunt and picking berries on their farm as well as leaving town for a week the following day was a chore in and of itself. It becomes a bit chaotic when trying to plan for the week with a little one who has had medical needs as of recent. Hoping and praying he has a good trip without coming down with anything or being hospitalized is all I can ask for right now.

I’ve realized how much energy I’ve lacked since our hospital visits and extreme amount of doctors appointments and the stress that all brings. It’s been exhausting and really wearing on my body. I had no clue how tired I was until I finally got away from home. Leaving town can sometimes lift the burden as the house chores aren’t hanging over my head as well as cooking three meals a day for the fam.

So, the other night I decided to make Cilantro Lemon Chicken with rice and grilled romaine. I was in need of using the chicken in the fridge as I hate letting food go to waste while on vacation. This was a great 30 minute meal and is versatile for many different things. :)


  • 1 lb chicken, cooked
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 2 lemon slices, squeezed
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro
  • 1 handful fresh chives
  • Avocado (optional)
  • Rice (optional)

Cook chicken and shred into medium size pieces. (I used rotisserie chicken) Toss in a medium skillet with EVOO and begin to heat through. 

Add in cumin, cayenne, garlic salt and thyme.


Squeeze in lemon juice and turn heat to low.


Chop a handful of chives and cilantro. I must admit this was my first picking of chives and cilantro for the year out of my beautiful garden. :)


Stir into chicken and turn the heat off.

Mix and serve.

Great for chicken burritos, on rice, or as is.


Tonight I served this on a bed of rice with some teriyaki sauce and grilled romaine hearts.

This meal was even great for leftovers. My sister enjoyed this the following night after a long day of driving and berry picking. I fed her and my niece while they avoided rush hour traffic. :)

Quick Sausage

This is great for a snack, side dish or main course. My son, husband and I love sausage and often when I know he wont eat what I will be preparing for dinner, I think of other options that will be a hit and have a variety of protein and vegetables.


  • Sausage
  • Mushrooms
  • Onion
  • EVOO
  • Garlic Salt
  • Salt & Pepper

In a skillet, saute all ingredients until heated through and cooked.


Serve over rice as a main dish or simply serve as is for a side dish.

My silly little goose wearing the colander as a hat.


Showing off his little modeling skills

Tonight we had Mahi with rice and salad. I decided to serve the sausage as a side dish as I know my son absolutely loves it. 

My sweet little baby enjoying dinner with Leo the Lion.


We all love to eat dinner and hang out on our patio….boo hoo for when summer decides to leave us! :(