Category Archives: Main Dishes

Double Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies, Lasagna in a Spaghetti Squash and Scotch-a-roo Cookies!


Sweets. Yum. I excel in eating that portion of the food pyramid, it’s just a shame that section it so small!!! I pretty much can fill it by the time breakfast is over! (Sugar Smacks are my fav……) This cookie is a must to share. We really enjoyed it and I look forward to making it again. This cookie was just the right amount of chewy.

Double Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/4 c. flour
1/3 c. cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. chocolate chips

Beat the butter, sugars and vanilla till creamy. Add eggs, beat well. Add the remaining ingredients, stirring in the chocolate chips lastly. Chill. Scoop with a cookie scoop onto a baking pan, bake @ 350º for 9 minutes. (Ovens vary so you may need to bake longer or shorter.) ENJOY!!!

Recipe adapted from Our Daily Bread Cookbook.

Fall means squash to me, well, it also means crunchy leaves, hot chocolate, blankets, hoodies, dark mornings, candles, thankfulness and SO much more…..but back to squash. I am the ONLY one in my family who eats it. Only.  TILL this came along. I have a son who eats it with me! High fives all around! Spaghetti squash is a little gem of a veggie. Some use it to replace noodles, I just chose to serve mine over noodles. Probably illegal somewhere, but noodles are up there in yumminess with Sugar Smacks!.

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More a method, then a recipe!

  1. Cut one spaghetti squash in half, scoop out the seeds. Brush cut sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Place, cut side down on a baking sheet (with sides), roast @ 400º for about 30 -45 minutes. Flip over and scrap with fork, noodley looking squash strands will appear.
  2. Fill each half with some cottage cheese or Ricotta cheese, perhaps 3/4 c. or so.
  3. Spread with your favorite spaghetti sauce, meat or meatless, whatever you love!! I filled level to top of squash.
  4. Top with mozzarella and some Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake in oven to warm threw, about 30 minutes should do it.
  6. Broil to get cheese brown and bubbly. Picture shows not broiled. That genius thought hit me the next time I made this! 😉
  7. Scoop and serve. Enjoy!

OH!!! YEAH!!!! Thanks to a friend for telling me about Scotcharoo Cookies!!!!! Have you tried these? Yum!


Chicken Tortilla Bake


Sometimes creativity at dinner can be hard, sometimes we run into a rut.

I have run into a dinner rut, perhaps because we are very near grilling season, burgers and shish-ka-bobs sound really good about now…….perhaps it is because I feel like I always make the same things or similar versions of the same things. Ever have dinner ruts?? What gets you out of them? Do you try new things or stick with the same ol’ favorites??

Chicken Tortilla Bake or Enchilada Casseroles, etc. ~ they are really nothing new…….not for us and probably not for you either BUT this one was a quick throw together and an easy bake AND  really good!!!

Sometimes we just need to have a few easy dinner meals that we can count out to come together quickly and to be enjoyed by the family! Dinners that require simple staples that most of us have in our house. This dinner helped me get out of a rut, perhaps it will help you someday if you are ever in a rut!!

Recipe Notes:
~ I used Homemade Cream “of” Soup. I added about 1/4 c. chopped onion to the butter melting part of the soup making. It gave nice flavor to the sauce.
~ You can make this Tortilla Bake earlier in the day, when things are perhaps a little quieter and you have more time. Just pop it in the fridge and take it out when you are ready to bake it. (May  need to add some time to the baking, if it is totally cold through.)
~ Last time I made this I used 1/2 can of leftover Rotel tomatoes and added enough salsa to make it equal 1 c.  I would do that again.
~ Rotel tomatoes give this dish a bit more of a kick then salsa, unless you use hot salsa ~ so choose your salsa spice depended on your families preference!

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Chicken Tortilla Bake

1 can cream of chicken soup (or 1 batch of this)
1 can Rotel tomatoes (drained) OR 1 c. salsa
(or a combo of both equalling 1 c.)
1/4 c. sour cream
1/4 c. milk
2 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed (equalling about 2-3 c.)
12 corn tortillas
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Mix together the soup, tomato product of choice, sour cream and milk.

Cut tortillas up, into strips. Layer 1/3 of the tortilla strips in a greased casserole dish (I use my oval Corelle casserole dish ~ it is a but smaller than a 9″x13″ pan, but deeper. So a 9″ x 13″ pan could work too, I would think. However it might bake quicker, so keep that in mind.) Then top with 1/2 of the cooked chicken and half of the sauce. Repeat (tortilla strips, chicken, sauce). End with the last layer of tortillas, then cheese.

Cover and bake @ 350° for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 more minutes to brown the cheese just a bit.

Delicious topped with lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, etc.

Serve with a chopped salad and ENJOY!!

Recipe adapted from (By the way, her pictures look MUCH more appealing than my “leftovers”! Sorry about that!) ((Pardon the green plate shadow in the corner, someone was being silly.))

Chicken Stromboli


Stromboli  SCREAMS weekend to me! So it is high time I share this favorite dinner of ours! I hope you guys enjoy! Stromboli’s (actually I usually call them Calzone’s) are a hoot, cause you can really add whatever you want to make it your family favorite. What do you put on your Stromboli/Calzone??!?!?!

This kind of dinner is a GREAT way to use leftover meat up from the week (the Stromboli below is actually made with turkey!). We enjoy it with leftover grilled chicken, so grill a few more up next time you grill! HA!! When you can un-bury your grill from under the snow!!! 🙂

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food 1103Chicken Stromboli

1 loaf frozen bread dough (or favorite bread or pizza dough)
2-3 c. cooked, cut up, chicken
1/2 a red pepper, chopped
1/4 c. chopped onion
2-3 c. mozzarella cheese
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. pepper
olive oil, garlic, Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese (for top, opt.)
1 jar of Alfredo sauce

Thaw bread dough (or prepare, if making homemade). Roll into a large rectangle (you can make one or two, I usually do one). Layer the chicken, vegetable, cheese and spices. Roll up (similar to cinnamon rolls) and seal the edges and sides well, so no yummy cheese oozes out.

Place on a greased baking sheet. Brush with olive oil, and top with garlic, Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese, if you want to.  Bake @ 350° for 35-40 minutes. Let set about 10 minutes before serving. Serve with warmed Alfredo sauce for dipping.


Recipe from Tasteful Traditions, Trinity PRC Cookbook.

Pizza Manicotti


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A yummy simple dinner, for a busy time of year!!! Hope your family enjoys it as much as we do!!

*Once I made it and found out toooo late that I did not have enough cheese sticks……I just cut off some cheese from a block, about the same size as a cheese stick, and used that ~ worked just fine!!!

*Use any topping you like on your pizza for the top! Onions, mushrooms, more peppers…….more pepperoni, cut up……etc.

* My family likes dishes like this really saucy, so I did not measure exactly :/. However, I coated the bottom of the pan well and then poured enough sauce over the top to cover the noodles. I like crispy noodles, so I leave one or two without as much sauce for me….you can do that when you are the cook. 🙂

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Here is a picture of the rolling part, really REALLY cool, I thought. Fun!

Pizza Manicotti 

10 manicotti shells
32 oz. (about) spaghetti sauce
10 slices of deli ham (mine were small, I used 20)
10 string cheese sticks
30 sliced of pepperoni
some cut up black olives
some cut up bell pepper (any color)
1 c. shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook manicotti according to pkg. Drain.

Meanwhile, pour about 1 1/2-2 c. sauce in bottom of 9″x 13″ baking dish. Now for the fun part!!!! Layer ~ a piece (or 2) of ham, then 3 pepperoni, then cheese stick, and sprinkle with some Italian seasoning. Roll up! Stuff  one roll into each cooked manicotti noodle. Place on sauce. Pour some more sauce over the noodles, covering the noodles. Top with olives and peppers. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Bake, uncovered, @ 350° for 25-30 minutes or till heated through.


Recipe adapted from a Taste of Home magazine.

Baked Lasagna Toss


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This was liked by everyone. Those dinners are. the. bestest.

I used these really cute noodles that looked like mini lasagna noodles,  of course I cannot remember the “official” name of them, but noodle boxes have a lovely window so you CAN see the shape of your noodle. 🙂  IF you do not have the mini lasagna noodles ~ no problem, just break up some regular lasagna noodles and continue on with the recipe!

* I do not always have garlic cloves on hand, so in that case I just use a good dash of garlic powder. Works fine.

* I never really measure the seasonings that I add to a jar of spaghetti sauce, these measurements are just guesstimates. It depends on the flavor of the sauce already, you know how sweet or spicy or seasoned it may already be. I probably use more sugar, oregano, etc….but this is a good place to start and change it up according to your families  likes/dislikes.

Baked Lasagna Toss  

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 of an onion, chopped
1/2 of a green pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 c. of uncooked mini lasagna looking noodles (oh…so technical…)
28 oz. jar of spaghetti sauce
1/4 c. – 1/2 c. water
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. oregano
good pinch of red pepper flakes (opt.)
salt & pepper to taste
12 oz. container of cottage cheese
8 oz. package of 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. grated parmesan cheese
1/4 c. sliced green onions
1 TB. dried parsley flakes
1 c. shredded Italian cheese blend

Brown the ground beef with the veggies and garlic cloves. Till meat is thoroughly cooked and veggies are tender. Drain well.  Add the spaghetti sauce,water, (I swoosh it in the jar to get out any extra sauce, then pour into pan) sugar, Italian seasoning, oregano, red pepper flakes and salt & pepper. Let simmer about 10 minutes to thicken up and  meld flavors.

Meanwhile. Cook the noodles till about 1 minute UNDER al dente ~ they will continue to cook as it bakes. Drain.

Take sauce off heat and add noodles. Pour into greased pan. (I use an oval Correll dish, it does not tell me the size on the bottom…..sorry. It seems that is comparable to a 9″ x 13″ pan, just deeper and not as long.)

Mix the cottage cheese and cream cheese well. Add the parmesan cheese, green onion and parsley. Stir well.  Spread this carefully over the noodle layer. Top with the Italian cheese.

(I usually have this ready in the fridge so it is cold, thus my baking times will be longer IF you throw this together and bake right away, your baking time will be shorter.) Bake, covered, at 350° for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake another 20 minutes or so, till heated through and cheese is browned a bit. (I broiled mine a bit at the end to give the top a nice crunchy crust.)

SERVES ~ about 6, big helpings (1 1/2 c. servings)

Serve and Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from “Pillsbury Family Pleasing Recipes”.

Chicken Fajita Roll~Ups


Easy dinner for a busy day!!!  We enjoy tacos and fajitas, but the kids sometimes have a hard time holding them ~ all the filling falls out! These are an easy answer to that! IF you like more topping then meat (me….) then grab a fork! You will need it. Top your roll-up with sour cream, cheese, quac, avocado, tomatoes, onion, peppers, black olives, taco sauce…….salsa….ETC!!!!!

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Chicken Fajita Roll~Ups 

1/4 c. chopped red onion
1/4 c. chopped jalapeno (remove seeds unless you REALLY like it hothotHOT!!)
1 c.  bell peppers, cut into short slices (use red and green IF you have them)
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 TB. olive oil
2 c. diced cooked chicken
1/2 c. sour cream
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
8 flour tortillas

In a saute’ pan, heat the oil and add the onion, jalapeno, peppers, chili powder and cumin. Just  cook a few minutes till tender.

Mix the chicken, sour cream, 1 c. cheese and veggie mixture. Mix. Lay tortillas on the counter and place a scoop of filling down the middle of each tortilla, roll up. Place roll-ups in a well-greased 9″ x 13″ pan, brush roll-ups with olive oil.

Bake @ 350° for 15 minutes, top with 1 c. cheddar cheese. Bake another  5 minutes or so, till cheese is melted and roll-ups are heated through.

Serve with all your favorite taco toppings!! ENJOY!!!!

Asian Chicken ~ IN the Slow Cooker!


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If your family enjoys stir-fry for dinner, then maybe you should give this recipe a whirl. It is easy, as it cooks in the slow cooker, and it is delicious.

Asian Chicken ~ IN the Slow Cooker! 

1 TB. olive oil
2-3 chicken breasts, boneless skinless
1 1/2 – 2 c. carrots, peeled and cut up
1/2 of a large onion, cut up
1 TB. small pearl tapioca
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. pepper
salt to taste, really you just need a dash or so
2 TB. lemon juice
1/2 c. Hoisin sauce
1/3 c. water
1 red pepper, cut into strips
8 oz. sugar snap peas (probably about 1 1/2-2 c.), trim the ends just a bit

Cut chicken into pieces. Heat the oil in a skillet and add chicken, cook till browned. No need to cook through as they will be cooking in the slow cooker.

Whisk together the tapioca, ginger, pepper, salt, lemon juice, Hoisin sauce and water. Set aside.

Place the chopped carrots and onions in your slow cooker, top with the chicken and pour the Hoisin sauce mixture over everything. Cover and cook on low for 4 1/2-5 hours. Add the bell pepper strips and sugar snap peas, stir into chicken mixture, cover and cook 30 more minutes.

Serve over hot cooked rice.


(HA! That lone carrot in the bottom right hand corner of the picture is making me chuckle….)