Penne Pasta with Grilled Sausage, Onions and Peppers – Thursday

This is one of our FAVORITE pasta dishes, and that’s saying something, because we love pasta more than a fat kid loves cake (that’s right, I said it).

Sliced up sausages and vegetables from the night before
Homemade pasta sauce from the freezer (defrosted)
Penne Pasta
Parmesan Cheese

Heat the pasta sauce in a saucepan and add the sausage and vegetables. Heat through and stir every-so-often to keep from burning at the bottom. Meanwhile bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook penne pasta according to the directions. I always cook pasta on the low end of the time allotted so it has a bit of a bite to it (al dente). Drain pasta and top with sauce and cheese! So easy ūüôā

Grilled Sausage Pasta

HUSBAND RATING: …took a while for the first word out since he couldn’t stop eating… “So good, so good, so good. The grill flavor comes out so well, and it’s so hearty.”


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Grilled Italian Sausage Sandwiches – Wednesday

This is definitely a favorite for us… not only because this meal is a winner, but the follow up meal with leftovers is amazing! We also made some fries in the oven – just frozen to oven ones.

Italian Sausage
Red bell pepper cut into medium sized pieces
Green bell pepper cut into medium sized pieces
Sweet Onion cut into medium sized pieces
2-3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Garlic Powder
Italian Seasoning
Salt & Pepper
Hoagie Rolls
Mozzarella Cheese
Red Pasta Sauce

Toss the vegetables with the olive oil and garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste. Have your husband grill the vegetables and sausages!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the hoagie rolls almost all the way through. Cut the sausages lengthwise after they are grilled and arrange on sandwich with onions and peppers. Top with warmed tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. Put in oven for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted and the bun starts browning just a little on the top.

Italian Sausage Sand 1Italian Sausage Sand 2

HUSBAND RATING: “MMMM, good grilling ;)” We both cleaned our plates!

Now before you pack up for the day, cut the grilled sausages that you didn’t have on a sandwich (we had 3 left) in 1/2 inch rounds. Then just throw in with the left over grilled vegetables. We will be using this in some pasta sauce for our penne the next day!

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White Chicken Chili – Tuesday

It’s so nice to pull out some great, home-cooked food from the freezer, defrost and dine! Just add some Mexican blend cheese and tortilla chips. Click on the picture for the full post.

White Chicken Chili

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Reuben Sandwiches with Chips and Fruit – Monday

Reuben’s are one of my husband’s favorite meals, and so he made them! We had some chips and pineapple to finish up the deli style meal.

1-2 Tbsp Butter
Corned Beef
Swiss Cheese
Thousand Island Dressing
Rye Bread

First he heated up the sauerkraut in a saucepan, then he melted the butter and added the corned beef to crisp it up. He also buttered the bread, then smeared thousand island on one side, added the warm sauerkraut and meet – ta da!

Now, since he was cooking, I was all out of my element and forgot to take a picture! AH! So here’s one from


WIFE RATING: “Good stuff! I would definitely do this again… it was quick and delish!”

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Baked Lemon Chicken, Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes and Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Beer – Sunday

Sundays are great days to try new, more intensive recipes, so I figured, why not three! This Baked Lemon Chicken recipe from FoodNetwork had rave reviews, so I used bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts instead of a whole chicken, since it is just two of us. For our starch, I wanted to try my hand at one of our favorite side dishes at a local restaurant, loaded mashed potato cakes. And of course, our favorite vegetable, Brussels Sprouts (add the beer and bacon!)

Baked Lemon Chicken

Two bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, patted dry
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Flour for dredging
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
Peel of half a lemon, white pith removed, cut into very thin strips
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup chicken broth, homemade or canned low-sodium

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge in the flour and pat off the excess. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the chicken skin-side down and sauté until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the skillet and reserve.

Discard the oil and wipe the pan out with a paper towel. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and heat over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook until golden, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add the lemon zest, garlic, and rosemary, and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the honey, lemon juice, and broth, increase the heat and bring to a simmer.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the onions to a 9- by 13-inch ovenproof casserole, and spread them out. Arrange the chicken, skin-side up in a single layer on the onions. Pour the cooking liquid over the chicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake in the oven, basting every 15 minutes, until cooked through, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve.

Baked Lemon Chicken

HUSBAND RATING: “Very tender and great flavor. I’d definitely do this again.” Baked chicken can tend to give your jaw a work-out, but not this one! I really liked it too :).¬†

Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes

2 Russet Potatoes, peeled, cubed, boiled, mashed
2/3 cup Colby Jack cheese, grated
1 ¬Ĺ cups Panko breadcrumbs
1 large egg
2 tbsp chives, chopped
Sour Cream

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients until everything is uniformly incorporated. Using your hands, scoop out generous portions of the potato mixture, and shape it into patties about 1 inch thick. Spray a large pan/skillet with Pam and set it on the stove over medium/high heat. (I used the bacon grease from crisping the bacon) Cook mashed potato patties 3-4 at a time, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Serve warm, with sour cream and bacon bits.

Loaded Mashed Potato Cakes

HUSBAND RATING:”Eh, these are good, but not restaurant good. Not sure they’re worth the trouble when they taste like mashed potatoes.” Yeah… I’d just add some cheese to mashed potatoes for a lot less work and the same taste. They’re definitely pretty though!








Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Beer

2 lbs Brussels Sprouts
6 oz. thick cut bacon, chopped
1 shallot, peeled and sliced
12 oz. bottle beer, something light and crisp
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Pinch crushed red pepper

Trim the ends of each Brussels Sprout, removing excess leaves. Cut the sprouts in half, leaving the smallest sprouts whole.

Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped bacon and saute until crisp.

Add the sliced shallot. Saute another 2-3 minutes to soften. Then add the Brussels Sprouts. Stir and sear the sides of the sprouts for 4-5 minutes.

Pour the bottle of beer into the skillet. Add the salt an both peppers. Bring to a simmer and lower the heat a little. Stir and simmer until the beer has reduced to a glaze and the sprouts are cooked through–12-15 minutes.

Bacon and Beer Brussels Sprouts

HUSBAND RATING: “Very yummy, but I’m not sure I like it with beer as much as the bacon, garlic recipe.” I actually liked it a lot with the beer glaze! It added a subtle sweetness to them.

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Week of February 24

Week # 5!

week of feb 24

Sorry for the delay in getting this week up! Here’s the shopping list¬†Week of Feb 24¬†(and your pdf version:¬†Week of February 24 pdf)


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Crock Pot Beef Carnitas Tacos – Wednesday

These are SO good! The first time we made this recipe from eat, live, run, we couldn’t believe how they actually tasted like real, fresh Mexican food. I have notoriously botched Mexican food it in the past, but not these! I would recommend prepping the crock pot the night before, and then just throwing it in the frig over night (just the ceramic part). In the morning, all you have to do is plug it in!

Crock pot-
2 lbs flank steak
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
Spice rub-
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Corn tortillas
Avocado slices
Queso fresco
Your favorite salsa

Mix together all spices in a small bowl. Rub the spices all over your flank steak‚ÄĒbe generous here! Then, place your steak at the bottom of your crock pot.

Cover the steak with the chopped onions, bell peppers and jalapeno pepper. Turn heat on LOW and cook for 8 hours.

After 8 hours, I just stick two forks in the crock pot and shred it in there. It should be incredibly easy to shred.

To serve, heat your corn tortillas in a skillet on the stove (or throw them in the microwave for 15 seconds each). Spoon some carnitas on a tortilla then top with salsa, avocado, queso fresco, cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

Carnitas topingscarnitas

HUSBAND RATING: “The toppings really make a difference. The freshness of them contrast with the beef perfectly.”¬†

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