Cheeseburger Sliders

Cheeseburger Sliders

These little guys were so good and it was just a snap to make.  Baking it does not take any of the flavor away, so you won’t feel too guilty eating these.  You can either make it a meal by having four for yourself, or as an appetizer by making enough for a crowd.  Your choice!  I tell you, though, it’s hard to just eat these as an appetizer.  Better make sure you have plenty of other food going around!

Cheeseburger Sliders

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • slider buns
  • 1 slice American cheese, divided into 4 slices
  • mayonnaise
  • ketchup
  • mustard
  • pickles
  • lettuce

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 425 F.
  • Combine ground beef, salt, and pepper; shape mixture into 1 1/2-inch patties and softly flatten with your hands.
  • Place into a a glass pan so they’re not touching.  Cook for 25 minutes.  If you’re using lean beef, you won’t need to drain any fat because there won’t be any.  If there is any fat, drain that off first.
  • At 23 minutes, take the pan out; divide your cheese slice into four individual slices and place one on top of each burger.  Cook for the last two minutes just so the cheese melts.
  • Add whatever toppings you’d like.

Swedish Meatballs with Egg Noodles and Broccoli

Swedish Meatballs

Ah, Swedish meatballs.  What a satisfying meal these make.  They are definitely a European flavor.  I want to say it’s because of the garlic glove that goes in it, but so do regular meatballs.  So I’m not quite sure where that flavor comes from.  Well, wherever it does come from, I don’t care, because European flavors make me feel like home again and I welcome any of these scrumptious dishes.  I found this recipe on emeals when I was subscribed to it a while ago, but the funny thing is, I made it slightly unhealthy because I’m using beef instead of turkey, BUT, it’s LEAN beef, so I’m ultimately not going to feel that bad about my choices!

Swedish Meatballs with Egg Noodles and Broccoli

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 lb lean ground beef
  • 3 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 glove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper (divided into 1/4 tsp each, plus extra dash for broccoli)
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp cold water
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 12 oz. pkg uncooked egg noodles
  • 1 cup of broccoli
  • 2 tbsp butter

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Combine ground beef, panko breadcrumbs, minced garlic, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg and shape mixture into 1 1/2-inch meatballs.
  • Heat EVOO in a large deep skillet over medium heat; brown meatballs for about 8 to 10 minutes or until done.  Remove from heat and keep warm.
  • To the same skillet, add beef broth and 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 pepper; scrape pan to loosen browned bits.
  • In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and cold water; add to skillet.
  • Cook over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until thickened.
  • Return meatballs to skillet; cook 5 minutes or until meatballs are hot.  Stir in sour cream and sprinkle with parsley before serving.
  • Cook pasta according to directions.  Add broccoli to pasta during the last 5 minutes.
  • Drain pasta and broccoli separately.  Add butter and salt and pepper to broccoli.

Chicken with Alfredo Penne Pasta

Chicken with Alfredo Penne Pasta

I was in the mood for something indulgent and knew this dish would hit the spot.  Alfredo pasta is a comfort food for me and I had a rough work day.  Good enough, right?!

Chicken with Alfredo Penne Pasta

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 8 oz. penne pasta
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tsp salt, divided in half
  • 1 tsp tsp black pepper, divided in half
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (2 oz.)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 425 F
  • For the chicken, heat a skillet to medium-high and add EVOO.  Sprinkle the chicken breasts with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper on both sides.  Cook the chicken 2-3 minutes on each side and place in oven for about 5 minutes afterwards in a glass pan.
  • While cooking your chicken, cook your penne pasta at the same time, about 11 minutes; drain and bring back to pan
  • In a small saucepan, add the whipping cream, the rest of the salt and black pepper, and stir until it is slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.  Take off the stovetop and add in the 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese to it and stir until it is well incorporated.
  • Add the sauce to the pasta and stir.
  • Divide pasta into bowls; slice chicken and divide between the bowls.

Little Lemon Chicken Fingers with Apricot Sauce

Lemon Chicken Fingers with Apricot Sauce

These chicken fingers are for sure not your average chicken fingers.  They are a more grown up version, but at the same time, compensated with the sweet sauce that goes with it.  It’s a pleasing twist on the classic.  I decided to cut the chicken into smaller pieces than regular chicken fingers to make it easier to pick up and handle.  I found this recipe in Food Networks Kitchen Favorite Recipes, but made my own adjustments to it.  For starters, the recipe calls for the chicken to be fried and I opted to bake it instead to be healthier.

Little Lemon Chicken Fingers with Apricot Sauce

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 cup panko crumbs
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • 2/3 cup apricot preserves
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp ketchup
  • dash of ground ginger
  • freshly squeezed juice from half a lemon (about 2 tbsp)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Cut the chicken into long even pieces, then cut diagonally.  Season with salt and pepper.
  • In a shallow bowl or pie plate, toss the panko, lemon zest, and 2 teaspoons salt.  Beat the eggs in another bowl.
  • Dip the chicken in the eggs, and then press into the panko mixture to coat evenly, shaking off any excess.
  • Add all of the chicken to a clear pan or a baking sheet and cook for 35 minutes, uncovered.
  • In a small microwaveable bowl, add the apricot preserves, soy sauce, ketchup, and ground ginger; cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high until the preserves melt, about 30 seconds.
  • Stir in lemon juice and cool before serving.

Toasted Steakhouse Sandwich

Toasted Steakhouse SandwichQuizno’s used to sell a very tasty French dip and Scott has been missing them.  I scoured the Internet for a copycat version of the sandwich and came close, but no cigar.  While it’s not the same, it tastes great!  I found this recipe over at food.com

Toasted Steakhouse Sandwich

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 packet au jus mix
  • 1 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup prepared alfredo sauce
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 dash onion salt or garlic salt
  • French bread roll
  • 3/4 lb thin-sliced deli roast beef
  • 1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

  • For the au jus sauce, melt butter in saucepan and saute onions until tender.  Add flour and stir.  Add contents of au jus mix packet and gradually whisk in water.  Simmer the sauce while making the sandwich.
  • For the “secret” sauce, stir together the alfredo sauce, mayonnaise, and onion salt or garlic salt.  Spread sauce evenly over both pieces of sliced bread.
  • Heat the oven to 350 F.  Place the French bread rolls on baking sheet and place in the oven for about 1 minute, or until the sauce bubbles a little; remove from oven.
  • Add the roast beef to the French bread rolls and then the cheese on top.  Place back in the oven for 2-3 minutes, until the cheese has melted.  Serve with au jus sauce.

Farfalle with Mushrooms and Spinach

Farfalle with Mushroom and Spinach.1

On Sundays I typically like to make a meal that I bring for the whole week to work, so pasta is usually a good bet for me.  I feel a little healthy eating this dish because of the mushrooms and spinach, so it kind of cancels out the pasta 🙂  I found this lovely recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, but adjusted it for myself.

Farfalle with Mushrooms and Spinach

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 8 oz. dried farfalle (bow tie) pasta
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 1/3 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup sliced portobello or other fresh mushroom
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a pot, cook the pasta according to directions.
  • In the meanwhile, heat EVOO in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and mushrooms and cook for about 3 minutes, or until mushrooms are nearly tender.  Add the garlic within the last 30 seconds and stir.
  • Stir in spinach, thyme, and pepper, cooking for about 1 minute or until heated through and spinach is slightly wilted.
  • Stir in cooked pasta; toss gently to mix.  Sprinkle with cheese.

Farfalle with Mushroom and Spinach.2

Loaded Nachos

Loaded Nachos

Scott and I felt like being rebels and had some loaded nachos as dinner.  I know, I know, this is an appetizer for a little get-together, not an actual meal!  What were we thinking!  But it was great, especially with an ice cold beer.  We ate like kings!  You could easily add some shredded chicken or ground beef to this, but we opted out of any meat.

Loaded Nachos

INGREDIENTS

  • Tostitos Rounds chips
  • Mexican cheese blend
  • 1/4 cup bottled salsa
  • Refried beans
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole
  • Pickled jalapenos

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Set your oven to 350 F.  Place chips on a cookie sheet in a single layer; add the cheese, bottled salsa, and beans to the chips.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.  When it’s done, add the sour cream, guacamole, and pickled jalapeños.

Spanish Rice

Spanish Rice

This is a go to Spanish rice recipe for me and I found it over at jamiecooksitup.com.  I love that she adds bell peppers to hers, yum!  The only thing I didn’t do was add the cheese to it, even though it’s amazing with it, but for most days that I want Spanish rice, I prefer it without.  Give it a try either way because you won’t be disappointed!

Spanish Rice

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped red, orange, and yellow bell pepper
  • 2 cups rinsed white rice
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 3 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Heat a large deep skillet over medium-heat; add butter and let melt
  • Add the onion and peppers and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent.  Add the garlic and cook for 15 seconds.
  • Add the rice and stir for about 10 seconds
  • Add the tomato sauce, chicken broth, and cumin and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and place the lid over the pan.  Simmer for 15 minutes.
  • After the minutes are up, with the lid still on, remove the pot from the heat and let sit for 15 minutes.
  • Open the lid, fluff the rice, sprinkle with salt and pepper; serve.

Shredded Chicken Burrito

Shredded Chicken Burrito

Last night I felt like I was on an episode of Chopped.  I knew I wanted to make chicken burritos, but didn’t have a plan for the entire burrito.  So I looked around at what sounded good, made some magic happen, and it was a hit!  I tentatively brought the burrito over to Scott and asked how he liked it, and trust me, Scott is my toughest food critic…he liked it!  I knew I had a winner for sure on my hands at that point.  Woo hoo!  On top of that, it’s a snap to make.

Shredded Chicken Burrito

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 1 tsp fajita seasoning
  • 1 tbsp Fritos Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese Dip
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup whole pinto beans, drained
  • 1/3 cup Tostitos Medium Chunky Salsa
  • Medium flour tortillas
  • Mexican cheese blend

INSTRUCTIONS FOR CHICKEN

  • Clean your chicken by running it under water for a little bit, bring it to your chicken only cutting board, and cut away any fat pieces
  • Place the chicken in a pot and add cold water to the pot until it’s about halfway full
  • Add ½ tsp salt to water, then cook for 15 minutes
  • Take chicken out with tongs and place on a clean surface and shred it with one hand holding the chicken down with your tongs and a fork in the other hand actually doing the shredding

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Set your oven to 350 F.  Place the tortillas in for 10 minutes to warm
  • In a large bowl, add all of the ingredients and mix
  • Take tortillas out of the oven and add 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture onto each tortilla near one edge.  Fold in sides of tortilla, roll up, starting from edge with filling.  Place the tortillas seam sides down in a greased baking dish and cook for 10 minutes.  Sprinkle with cheese on top during the last 2 minutes.

 

  • Optional Toppings: sour cream, salsa, guacamole

Cilantro Lime Chicken

Cilantro Lime Chicken

I was feeling like having some Mexican food today, so I whipped up a quick meal that I found on ourlifeinthekitchen.com.  I made a few adjustments to it, such as adding paprika, salt and pepper to the chicken.  I also cooked the chicken longer because I wanted a char on it, but the instructions will be for a normal cook time!

Cilantro Lime Chicken

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

Directions

  • Pour EVOO into a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat.  Add chicken and cook about 8 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add lime juice once chicken is cooked through.  Lightly stir the browned bits from the pan.  Place chicken onto plate or bowl and sprinkle with cilantro.

This recipe goes great with Spanish Rice!