Category Archives: Main Course

Chicken Taco Hashbrown Casserole

Chicken Taco Hashbrown Casserole 

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If you want extreme comfort food to the max, coupled with doritos, breakfast, mexican food and dinner all in one dish, you’ve found yourself a winner. This meal is born to satisfy and bound to please the entire family. It is amazing.

If you have yet to find your happy place today, land on this meal and be prepared to be wowed. Sometimes we need a little extra lovin’ in the winter. Our hips and thighs will thank you for keeping them extra warm. Okay, this meal is not that unhealthy for you. Though it sounds and looks utterly unhealthy, you will be surprised! :)

Ingredients:

  • 15 oz hashbrowns
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 cup cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups chicken, cooked and diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 can chopped green chiles
  • 2 cups Doritos, crumbled

In a greased 4 quart casserole dish, layer hashbrowns, garlic salt, pepper, salt and green pepper.

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Toss with cheddar cheese and cottage cheese. Stir well.

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Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, add chicken, paprika, chili powder, cumin, tomatoes and green chilies. Add in about 1/2 cup water and once the liquid is absorbed and heated through, remove from heat.

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Top hasbrown mixture with chicken mixture.

Crumble chips into large chuncks and spread on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until hashbrowns are cooked. 5 minutes before it’s done, top with cheese and allow to melt.

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Top with onions, tomatoes and even more crushed doritos. :)

Chorizo & Portobello Pasta

Chorrizo & Portobello Pasta

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This is for all you goat cheese lovers out there….and this is for all my non goat cheese lovers. I say this because I couldn’t stand soft goat cheese. Gross. Disgusting. Barf. Eww that flavor. Yup that was me, a goat cheese hater. My husband insisted he wanted to make this meal and by all means I sent him on his jolly way to making this plateful of grotesquely smelling cheese.

This night would be a night we ate for ourselves, I would have cereal for all I cared. While he was making this dish, the aroma of goat cheese began to fill the entire house. Did it become more appealing, absolutely not. Once he finished this dish he desperately wanted me to try it, so as any good wife would do, I did so. To my surprise, I actually didn’t mind the bite I tried. As I took a couple more bites my mouth was in utter confusion. Some bites tasted beautiful while others tasted like a raw milk straight from a goat. Blah. The problem lied within the chunks of cheese that hadn’t fully been melted and squished themselves up into the crevice of many noodles. These were the bites I despised. I found myself enjoying the faint taste of the cheese if it were spread evenly amongst the meal.

Needless to say, I melted the remainder of the cheese in my small little bowl and accomplished the task in eating my very first meal containing goat cheese.

Now, with that in mind, my husband made this dish again about a week ago. I actually was looking forward to it this time around and I must say, I actually enjoyed it. I strongly believe a little goat cheese goes along way. If you want to ease yourself into it, than I suggest this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1/2 pound chorizo
  • 2 tbsp butter, divided
  • 4 tbsp oil, divided
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 lb portobello mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup goat cheese
  • 3 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb Rigatoni pasta
  • 3/4 cup pasta water

In a large skillet add onions, chorizo, 1 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp oil.

Add 1 tsp salt and sugar and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until onions are browned and caramelized. Transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, slice the mushrooms to be roughly 1/4 inch thick. In the same skillet, melt 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp oil. Add mushrooms and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook over medium heat until tender and browned.

Stir mushrooms into large bowl of onions and chorizo. Toss with your fresh parsley and set aside.

Begin to cook the pasta according to package instructions. Reserve 3/4 cup pasta water.

In that same large bowl of all your goodies, toss the pasta and 1/2 cup pasta water, goat cheese, 3 tbsp Parmesan and 1 tbsp oil. If pasta still seems a little dry, add remaining pasta water.**

Serve immediately with sprinkled parsley on top and fresh Parmesan cheese. Delicious with garlic bread. 
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**If you are not yet a goat cheese lover, please try this recipe and be sure to stir until all goat cheese is melted. If you are a goat cheese lover, you can leave chunks throughout. :)

Tater Tot Casserole

Tater Tot Casserole

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Have you ever enjoyed a good comfort meal full of flavor, creamy and deliciousness? There is nothing more satisfying than a wonderful meal full of comfort especially on a cold, cloudy day.

This meal will forever remind me of post pregnancy and my mom visiting and helping out for two weeks. She made this meal and it was one of the only meals I would/could eat. I was sick as a dog but this cheered my upset tummy to no end. My tummy craved tater tot casserole made from the very hands of my adorable mother.

Not only was this meal great for post pregnancy but my mom was recently in the hospital as well. This meal is the epitome of hospitals and healing, full of comfort. Praise be to God as my mom is doing okay and has high spirits given the situation! Bless her soul.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 tbsp minced dried onion
  • 2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • dash of pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 cups fresh green beans (frozen works too)
  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup**
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 32 ounce tater tots

In a large skillet begin to brown the meat with chopped dried onion, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper.

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Stir in chopped onion.

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Cook until meat is no longer pink and onions are tender.

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Turn on low heat and Cream of mushroom soup**

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Mix together well and pour into a greased casserole dish.

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Top with green beans

IMG_6479Sprinkle with cheese and…
IMG_6468Top with tater tots.

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Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min -1 hour. Or until bubbling and tots are golden brown.

IMG_6471Let stand for 15 minutes and serve.

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IMG_6474MMMMMM amazingly comforting and great for healing.

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**If opting out of using the cream of mushroom soup. Follow these instructions:

When it comes to adding the cream of mushroom simply add in

  • 6 ounces of cream cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup milk

Continue as normal with the remainder of the recipe. :)

Sweet And Savory Crockpot Beef Stew

Sweet and Savory Crockpot Beef Stew

Fall weather is officially taken a turn and come to land in Portland for the next few months. I know this to be true because at 3 am when I heard a ticking sound, I thought to myself how something horrible was about to happen. But in all reality, that horrific sound that scared me still as could be was only our rain gutters. They finally failed to keep up with the rain that was quickly filling to the brim. The amount of rain these past few days had been impossible to keep up with. Needless to say, my evening scare was fulfilled with something entirely meaningless which allowed me to peacefully fall back to sleep.

I do love the cool crisp mornings, but I must say, I truly do not enjoy the rain for extended periods of time. A little here and there but not torrential downpour for days. There’s something about a rainy day that is comforting but not a hurricane taking over my life. I may be protesting a bit because my son loves outside no matter the weather. Tornadoes and hurricanes mixed with a little snow and ice and my son wouldn’t know the difference as long as he was outside playing. I on the other hand, can handle being outside if it’s not too nor too cold. Hmmm we shall see how this will play out the remainder of winter. I’m a little snow bird who loves to bundle up by the fire with socks, jammies (aka pj’s), blankets and a hot cup of tea or coffee. God changed my life when he brought not only a baby to my life, but a boy.

Enough of my complaining about the rain, I have many months I can continue this banter on rain as it is just beginning. ;)

Anyway, Michael’s step dad was coming over for pumpkin carving and dinner. I always enjoy a cozy meal on a beautiful fall day. This meal was perfect and allowed me to spend time carving pumpkins rather then slaving away in the kitchen.

Here’s what to do:

First- have a rainy day (check)
Second- have pumpkins (check)
Third- have a crockpot and LOVE to use it (check)

VIOLA, watch the magic happen!!!!!

Ingredients:

  • I lb Stew Meat
  • 1 cups baby carrots (as is)
  • 4 Celery Stalks, chopped
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 6 Red Potatoes, chopped
  • 2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 4 tbsp beef Bouillon
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 2 1/2 tbsp flour

In a crockpot add stew meat, carrots, celery, onion and potatoes.

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Add in water and beef bouillon and stir.

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Top off with rosemary, bay leaf, garlic, pepper and parsley. Allow to sit for 6-8 hours on low heat.

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20 minutes before serving, take a cup of broth and add flour. Mix together until no lumps are present. Pour into the stew and give it a good stir. Let sit for 20-30 minutes.

Serve with fresh garlic toast and a fresh cut green salad.

While the crockpot was cooking, I was enjoying watching my son try and drill holes into his pumpkin.

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“Cheez” my boys scooping out the guts…

Yes that’s right, Cooper has scissors in his hands.

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The pumpkins are coming to life…or maybe that’s just us.

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Marlin, Michael’s step-dad getting in on the magic as well.

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Helping daddy cut some eyes out.

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And here is masterpiece in action. 
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Carving pumpkins is never really “my thang,” but I do it for the simple joy it brings my son to watch things transform and get goop all over his hands. It was fun and we had a great time together with good food and good conversation.

Flavorful Beef Stroganoff

Flavorful Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff

Wanting a recipe that is beyond easy, tastes fabulous and is wonderful for company? This meal is all three combined.

I first had this dish while visiting my sister one night and all of us devoured the entire dish. There was absolutely NO leftovers. Isn’t that the type of meal you want to serve your guests? Isn’t this the type of meal you want to be served if visiting family or friends?

I tell ya, this meal is literally too easy but amazing!!! I can’t stress to you enough how important the Dijon mustard is and I would encourage you all to use exactly what the recipe calls for because this is the “secret” ingredient that makes this meal stand out!

See for yourselves!

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 lb mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2-3 tbsp beef bouillon (or 1 packet Auju Mix)
  • 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 16 ounce egg noodles cooked to package instructions

Heat oil in skilled and add chopped onion.

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Add in mushrooms and cook until softened.

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Add in ground beef and cook until no longer pink.

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Stir in beef bouillon (Auju mix), mustard and pepper.

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Remove from heat and add sour cream and fresh parsley. Serve on top of egg noodles and enjoy with garlic toast and Caesar salad.

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My sister graciously gave me this recipe and is allowing me to share with all of you this amazing, delicious, easy meal!

Jalapeno Burgers

Jalapeno Burgers

IMG_7435Michael has been longing to make burgers from scratch. I went to the store and picked up the ingredients to come home and be told he did not want turkey but hamburger meat. He is an extremely visionary man and wants what he sees. I must embrace this about my husband as his food visions are always very delicious and must be followed by the imaginary picture inside his head. I headed back to the store again and was quite pleased a couple hours later with his masterpiece.

Michael’s step dad came to embark on this glorious dinner and brought fresh tomatoes from his garden. Fresh vegetables simply make everything taste better. This fresh jalapeno burger with tomatoes literally was mouthwatering.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs Ground Beef
  • 8 oz Gorgonzola Crumbles
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 cup Jalapenos
  • 1 tbsp Teryiaki Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Montreal Seasoning
  • 4 Ciabatta Rolls
  • 4 slices pastrami

Toppings:

  • Tomato
  • Avocado
  • Munster Cheese
  • Lettuce
  • Mayonnaise (optional)

In a large bowl combine ground beef, Gorgonzola, Worcestershire garlic salt, jalapenos, teryiaki and montreal seasoning together. Mix together with your hands. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours (you do not need to refrigerate the meat but this helps the flavors soak in).

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After three hours, form meat into 6 patties and toss onto the barbecue.

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Meanwhile, while the burgers are cooking, fan fry the pastrami until lightly fried. Top with pastrami and cheese and allow to melt. IMG_7428Prepare your toppings and compile your burger.

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Be prepared to be wowed and watch the juices flow. The jalapenos make this burger incredible and not too spicy. OH-MY-GOODNESS, makes me want one right now!

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Served with sweet potato fries and a fresh cut green salad.

Moutwatering Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Mouthwater Pulled Pork Sandwiches

The weekend started promptly with my sister and her beautiful family coming to visit. We had not only the best time and memories spent, but we also enjoyed wonderful food including these pulled pork sandwiches. They were mouthwatering goodness!

While they were here we enjoyed wonderful conversations and time well spent with one another. Times like these make me appreciate family and what it stands for. Family is so crucial and simple gatherings recreate those deep, lasting impressions not only on my heart, but on our children as well.

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We hung out at the very back to consume as much shade as possible (or shall I say, enjoy the port-a-potties). Just kidding…kinda!

IMG_6285-400x300Trace sat up in a tree enjoying the music without any distractions ahead of him. He really enjoyed this experience and I was thankful to be able to participate in this one-hit-wonder with them! :) You know, kids and their first concert experience. What a blessing that they enjoyed the atmosphere and Christian fellowship. 

IMG_6305-e1409694552461-300x400After being there all day in the high heat, I had planned ahead to come home to pulled pork in the crock pot. I thought this would be genius as I know we all would be hungry upon our arrival home and would need something delicious and available very promptly. 

This was the perfect meal to come home to and a perfect meal to feed 8 people. :)  

So lets get into it….

Ingredients:

  • 1- 4 lb boneless pork shoulder
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 28 ounce (3 1/2 cups) Barbecue sauce, separated
  • 2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp garlic salt
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • Coleslaw
  • Ciabatta Rolls

Sprinkle the bottom of your crock pot with chicken broth, one onion and minced garlic.

Next, rub garlic salt, paprika, chili powder and cumin on the pork shoulder. Place in slow cooker.

Top with second onion and dump 2 1/2 cups barbecue sauce upon everything. Cover and cook on low heat for 6-8 hours (or high 4-6 hours).

When the pork is cooked remove from slow cooker reserving sauce. Add in 1/2-1 cup additional barbecue sauce and 1 tbsp white vinegar and stir well. Strain sauce to rid of any excess fat.

Meanwhile, pull pork apart with a fork and add to strained sauce. Mix together and top on a toasted Ciabatta roll with coleslaw.

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Such a simple meal and so wonderfully delicious! Nothing beats a pulled pork sandwich.

This is for all you meat lovers out there! :)

Lentil Stew

Lentil Stew

Lentil Stew

When I woke up this morning there was a cold wind whistle, yes Autumn is near. We came from a super hot 90 degree weekend and wound up in the 60’s today. Gloomy days are perfect cozy days. I woke up to snuggle on the couch with my blanket and work on my bible study and read for awhile. And of course I had my cup o’ coffee and it was absolutely glorious.

Opting for a warm soup and fresh bread for dinner, I put my crock pot to work; lentil stew.

I took Cooper to the park this morning to get his wiggles released before nap time. Upon our return home, the house smelt of something so yummy waiting to be eaten this evening. I love walking into a house that smells of yummy food or fresh baked goods. There is something so delightful in that.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup navy beans
  • 1 1/2 cup lentils
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp minced garlic

Clean your beans and lentils thoroughly before placing in the crock pot

Combine all ingredients together and give a good stir.

Let simmer for 8 hours.

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Serve with Garlic Buttered Bread and toast.

Cobb Salad

Cobb Salad

Lets talk salad.

It’s so easy to make salad for dinner but a good, hearty salad that is filling and fulfilling may take a few extra minutes. Sometimes it takes the pressure of making a big ol’ meal and going back to basics.

Here is a simple but incredible Cobb Salad.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb cripsy cooked bacon
  • 2 cups chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups cubed ham
  • 1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • 1/2 cup cheese, shredded
  • 3 eggs, hard boiled
  • Homemade croutons
  • Blue cheese dressing

Wash and dry lettuce.

In 2 large bowls divide all the ingredients for two main dish salads. Equally portion out the toppings onto each salad.

IMG_6841Don’t forget to add fresh cracked pepper at the end. 
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Top with dressing and viola, you have an incredibly healthy, hearty salad that is bound to fill you up.

*Fresh tomatoes from the garden and real bacon verses bacon bits will make this salad that much better. (Please don’t buy bacon bits) Bacon isn’t meant to be preserved and sat on the shelf for 9 months.

Country Fried Chicken Double Dipped

 Double Dipped Country Fried Chicken

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Comfort food, ah ya!

Definitely had a craving for fried chicken but instead of frying it I opted to bake it. I did this because it actually is quicker and healthier without compromising the flavor.

I served this chicken with fresh corn, red mashed potatoes and homemade gravy.

My mouth is watering just reliving this experience.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs chicken, chopped largely
  • 8 eggs, whisked
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 lbs red potatoes
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 cups plus 1/2 (reserve) milk or cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Breading:

  • 2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sugar

Chop thawed chicken into large chunks and set aside.

Grease a 9×13 baking pan and set aside.

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In a medium bowl combine eggs and 1 cup milk and whisk together.

In a separate medium bowl add the breading ingredients.

Fried Chicken 1

Dip your chicken in the egg batter and then into the breading.

Dip AGAIN back into the egg batter and again back into the breading for the double dipped effect. :)

Fried Chicken 2 Place into greased bake dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until no longer pink in the middle.
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Bring the potatoes to a boil and begin making the gravy.

For the gravy:

Once chicken is cooked, remove from pan and reserve the chicken remains and grease.

Spoon into a sauce pan and add 1-2 tbsp flour.

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Coat batter with excess flour.

Add in 3 cups milk, (reserving the last half cup for the potatoes) heat through on med-low heat until it begins to thicken.

At this point check and see if you need more chicken flavor, if so add about 1 tbsp chicken better than bouillon and stir until melted.

If your gravy still is not thick enough, add a little gravy to a small cup and add in additional flour. Mix well until no lumps appear and dump back into gravy. (This will help prevent lumpy gravy)

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Once the potatoes are soft, mash with a potato masher.

Add in 1/2 cup milk and butter.

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Now you are ready to make your plate look pretty and fill your tummy.

Bring all your ingredients to the plate. Fried chicken, potatoes and corn.

Drizzle or lather in gravy.

Fried Chicken 9I prefer the lathering of gravy.