Friday, July 26, 2019

Meal Plan Friday #7

Friday segment spotlighting the meals for the week ahead. Why Friday? Because I grocery shop Bi-weekly, on Fridays.

Welcome back to my Meal Plan Friday!!!

Hi everyone.  It is Friday and you know what that means, another Meal Plan for you all.  I have a bit of a mismatch this week, a few Portuguese meals, some new recipes and some old favorites.

The Cuban sandwiches are new, so I'll be sure to share that recipe when I make them.  Every other recipe is on Full Bellies, Happy Kids and I'll have those linked up for you.  Saturday we are having some Panda Express take out.  We basically only eat out every two weeks, and it's usually quick easy things, once in a while we will go to our favorite buffet restaurant or try some other restaurant, but y'all food is not cheap and to go out with the family is close to $100.

Now, let's talk desserts.  I will be completely honest and tell you that I have NOT made any desserts at all the past week.  So the 2 desserts from last week will be what I'll make this weekend and the next week ahead.

 Dad's Favorite Chicken with Mashed Potatoes

 Panda Express for dinner

 Cuban Sandwiches with Chips

Gnocchi Bolognese with Salad

 Portuguese Pork Chops and Potatoes

Chicken Curry with Rice

 Sausages in a tomato sauce with homemade fries

Mexican Cinnamon Cookies

Peach Cream Pie

Friday, July 19, 2019

Meal Plan Friday #6

Friday segment spotlighting the meals for the week ahead. Why Friday? Because I grocery shop Bi-weekly, on Fridays.

Welcome back to my Meal Plan Friday!!!

Hi everyone.  Hope you're having a wonderful Friday, I am so happy that it's the start of the weekend again.  There's nothing like being able to get up without the sound of the alarm.

Friday means another meal plan for you all.  I don't even know if anyone is still following this blog, and that's ok because I did take a bit of a hiatus for quite a long time, but if you're still around, I hope you're enjoying the weekly meal plans as well as the new recipes I've been adding.  I am trying very hard to get back on track with his blog and to share many more wonderful meals with you. 

There is only one new recipe on the plan this week, and that is for the Nacho Tater Tots, so as soon as I make it I will of course share it.  The rest of the meals are true and tried family favorites, most have recipes up already and I'll be sure to share those with you.

For desserts, I ended up not yet making the Mexican Cinnamon Cookies, I will make those this weekend, along with a Peaches and Cream Pie.  I have quite a few cans of peaches that I need to use up.  Will probably do a Peach Cobbler as well.

Rosemary and GarlicMeatloaf, mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus

Rosemary and Roasted Garlic Meatloaf

Grilled Pork Tenderloin, BLT Pasta Salad, Corn on the cob

BLT Pasta Salad

Nacho Tater Tots

Beef Stroganoff, Rice and Salad

Crockpot Beef Stroganoff

Sausage Potato Skillet


Mexican Cinnamon Cookies

Peach Cream Pie

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Garlic Bread Pasta Torte

Garlic Bread Pasta Torte is the perfect combination of meat and pasta with homemade garlic bread.  Add a salad on the side and you have yourself a delicious week night dinner.


Garlic Bread Pasta Torte

This is another fantastic recipe from Taste of Home.  I have been on a Taste of Home binge and am loving all the recipes that I've been trying out for our dinners and treats as well.

You're really only needing a springform pan, your favorite pasta and meat dish and some sliced bread.  Yes, you can follow the original recipe as is, but feel free to experiment with different pasta fillings, I think next time I may try a Fettucine Alfredo or even a meatballs and spaghetti.

 More Pasta dishes you may enjoy

Creamy Taco Pasta Bake
Baked Chicken Penne
Pasta Bolognese
Chicken Parmesan Baked Spaghetti
Honey Mustard Chicken Pasta
One Pot Mexican Pasta


Garlic Bread Pasta Torte
Adapted from:  Taste of Home
Yield:  12 servings
Calories per serving:  409

1 package (16 ounces) pasta (I used macaroni)
1and 1/2 pounds ground beef (you can use sausage)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 jar (24 ounces) marinara sauce
Fresh basil

3 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Shredded mozzarella cheese
4 tablespoons butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
Sliced white bread, crusts removed

Preheat oven to 400°. In a 6-qt. stockpot, cook pasta according to package directions for al dente; drain and return to pot.

In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium-high heat 7-9 minutes or until meat is booked through.  Drain.  Stir in sauce, basil to your taste and Italian seasoning. Add to pasta; stir in cheese.  (I never measure cheese, I just eyeball it according to our taste)

In a microwave, melt butter; stir in garlic. Lightly brush one side of bread with garlic butter. Line bottom and sides of a greased 10-in. springform pan with bread slices, trimming to fit and facing buttered sides against pan. Fill with pasta mixture; press firmly to pack down. Sprinkle with more cheese.

Bake, uncovered, 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and cheese is melted. Loosen sides from pan with a knife; remove rim.


Friday, July 12, 2019

Meal Plan Friday #5

Friday segment spotlighting the meals for the week ahead. Why Friday? Because I grocery shop Bi-weekly, on Fridays.

Welcome back to my Meal Plan Friday!!!

Hi everyone.  Hope you're having a wonderful Friday and I hope you have a fantastic weekend.  I'm back again with the meal plan for this upcoming week, and this time I'm trying out a ton of recipes which I'm very excited about.

I managed to make the Lemon Zucchini cookies, a few days ago, and they are soooooo good.  You can find the recipe on the food blog, along with a ton of other recipes I posted for you all, just this past week.

For desserts, I will be making another Frozen Key Lime Pie to take to my brother's house on Sunday and then some Mexican Cinnamon Cookies for us, sometime next week.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Chicken Tater Bake

Chicken Tater Bake is super easy to make, it combines your favorite chicken pot pie filling but is topped with tater tots instead of the more traditional pastry or biscuits.


Chicken Tater Bake

If you're looking for a quick and easy weeknight dinner, this is it.  It is a variation on the usual pot pie where the topping is made with frozen tater tots, thereby turning this already filling comfort dish into a meal your family will no doubt love. 

It can be baked and enjoyed right away, or frozen for another night.

The filling is basically whatever you want to have, you can use the veggies you already have on hand or your family favorites, I tend to use what is in season and can easily add or omit a specific vegetable that I know someone in the family will not like.

To Reheat the Casserole

Remove from your freezer, at least 30 minutes before baking.  It does not need to thaw completely.  Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour and a half, until heated through.

More Casseroles you may enjoy

Texas Hash
The Firehouse Special
Hashbrown Casserole
Pizza Puff Potato Casserole
Easy Chicken Casserole
La Bamba Mexican Casserole


Chicken Tater Bake
Yield:  6 Servings

1 pound chicken tenderloins, cut into 1 inch cubes
Small onion, finely diced
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
Drizzle of olive oil
Mixed Summer Veggies (I used zucchini, squash, red peppers and carrots)
2 tablespoons flour
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped parsley and cilantro to taste
Shredded cheese ( I used parmesan and mozzarella)
Frozen tater tots (16 oz)

In a large saucepan, drizzle some olive oil, add the chicken and cook until no longer pink.  Add the garlic and onion, stir and simmer for a few minutes until onion is translucent. 

Add in the summer veggies, and cook until they are tender.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and mix well, then slowly start pouring in the milk and stirring to remove all lumps.  Add as much milk as you want, I usually do about a cup and a half, depending on how much gravy I want.  Cook over low heat until the sauce thickens.

Finish off with some cilantro and parsley and then transfer to a 13 x 9 baking pan.  Top with some shredded cheese, then evenly spread the tater tots on top. 

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or until potatoes are cooked and casserole is bubbling. 

Lemon Zucchini Cookies

Lemon Zucchini Cookies are the perfect summer cookie. They are not only delicious but also a great way to use up the zucchini in your fridge.


Lemon Zucchini Cookies

I will start by saying that I am not a cookie fan.  My husband loves cookies, my daughter loves cookies, my son is so so, but me?  Could live without them, just don't much care for cookies.

But, with that said, I will tell you that these are some of the best cookies I have ever eaten in my life.  No joke!!!

I'm not just saying it because I want you to make them for yourself, I'm saying it because it's what I feel.

When I first came across this recipe, I was looking for something to make using the zucchini I had in the fridge, that was starting to go bad.  I saw these cookies and thought they sounded interesting, though wasn't quite sure if the combination of lemon and zucchini was something I would enjoy or my cookie loving family would.

Goodness, I wish I had found them earlier.  They are phenomenal!

I doubled the recipe so that I could share with family.

Other cookie recipes you may enjoy

Iced Pumpkin Cookies
Cherry Pie Cookies
Walnut Crescent Cookies
Cocoa, Peanut butter and Nutella cookies
Chocolate Crinkles
Biscoitos ( Portuguese Cookies)

Lemon Zucchini Cookies
Source:  Taste of Home

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 cup finely shredded zucchini
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice

In a large bowl, cream butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, zucchini and lemon zest. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in raisins and walnuts.

Drop by tablespoonfuls 3 in. apart onto lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.

For glaze, combine confectioners' sugar and enough lemon juice to reach a thin spreading consistency. Spread or drizzle over cooled cookies.


Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Frozen Key Lime Pie

Frozen Key Lime Pie is an amazingly delicious dessert.  Tangy, sweet and almost like an ice cream cake, it is sure to impress all your guests.


Frozen Key Lime Pie

There are desserts that I find to be synonymous with summer.  Fruit pies, lemon meringues and key limes.  They are amazing on their own but when you add in the frozen factor, you are taking it to a whole new level.

This dessert was made for our 4th of July barbecue as well, and got rave reviews.  It is so yummy, cold and creamy and perfect for a hot summer day.

Again, this is another recipe from Taste of Home so be sure to go on over and give them a look, you are sure to find a plethora of mouth watering dishes to make.

Now before you go and make it and enjoy it, let me warn you, it is NOT a low calorie dessert, like at all, but some days you have to throw caution to the wind and go for it.

Other Pies you may enjoy

Mincemeat Pies
Banana Cream Pie
Lemon Meringue Pie
Tippy Top Peanut Butter Pies in Jars
Lemon Pie by the Yard
Red, White and Blueberry Pie


Frozen Key Lime Pie
Source:  Taste of Home
Yield: 8 servings (I got 12 out of mine with smaller slices)
1 piece:  672 calories

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup salted cashews, chopped
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1-1/2 cups sweetened condensed milk
1 cup Key lime juice
3 teaspoons grated Key lime zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°. In a small bowl, combine flour, cashews, coconut and brown sugar. Stir in butter. Sprinkle into a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown, stirring once. Cool on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine cream, milk, lime juice, zest and vanilla. Refrigerate until chilled.
Fill cylinder of ice cream freezer two-thirds full; freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Sprinkle half the cashew mixture into an ungreased 11x7-in. dish. Spread ice cream over top; sprinkle with remaining cashew mixture. Cover and freeze 4 hours or until firm.

Hummus Veggie Dip


Last week, for our 4th of July barbecue, I decided to make a hummus dip as an appetizer.

You know how it is, you start the grill, things take time to heat up, food takes time to cook, so you gotta have some appetizers that people can munch on while chatting and drinking and so on.

I wanted something different, and since we are all fans of hummus, I thought it would be a good dip to serve, hoping that everyone would enjoy it.  That they did.

I got some requests for the recipe and my husband's cousin even said it was the best thing she had ever had.  Awesome!!!

There's nothing really to this recipe, if you can even call it that.  Basically you can use whatever veggies you have on hand or whatever your family prefers.  If you don't like tomatoes, leave them out, if you love spinach, throw that in.  You get the picture right?

So let me tell you how to make a super easy and delicious dip for your next get together.

Hummus Veggie Dip
1/4 cup serving:  88 calories

1 large package of plain hummus (you can make your own as well)
Olive oil
Chopped Garlic
Sliced olives
Cilantro and Parsley
Parmesan cheese

Optional: You can add tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, chopped onion, spinach, whatever you wish

In a casserole dish, spread the hummus dip evenly on the bottom. Drizzle on some olive oil on top and then start adding your veggies. I actually used a roasted red pepper hummus for this dip which was delicious.

I added chopped garlic, sliced olives, chopped zucchini, cilantro and parsley and then topped it with a little parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes or until veggies are cooked. Serve with tortilla chips, veggies or crackers.