Buttered Shrimp & Broccoli (Quick & Easy!) August 23, 2015

     Here’s another simple dinner that’s quick to prepare, but it just seems so fancy!  YES…  You can afford shrimp.  When you prepare it in a meal, it really doesn’t cost any more than other meats.  We eat shrimp all the time.  It’s low in calories & fat too.  I hope you enjoy this meal!

Broccoli & Shrimp


All you need is:

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 clove garlic diced or 1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 stick butter
1 cup water
2 lbs de-veined shrimp
1/4 cup fresh cilantro or parsley
2 cups frozen broccoli florets

2 cups uncooked rice
**While preparing the rest of your meal, cook rice according to package directions. This can also be done in your microwave for 15 minutes on high.

**Add olive oil, butter & all spices to a large frying pan. Add 1 cup of water. When the mixture is melted together & hot, add 3 tbsp flour slowly to the mixture to make a rue. Add small amounts of water until your mixture is gravy consistency. Next, toss in your shrimp, cilantro or parsley, & fresh or frozen broccoli. Mix well and cook covered on medium heat for about 15-20 minutes. Serve piping hot over cooked cooked rice. Enjoy!


A Little Wine Time! June 26, 2015

     We do whatever we can to support our local businesses, so Dave & I went to Ponchartrain Winery for a little wine testing.  We called ahead to find out when they were the least busy, and they were more than accommodating on the phone.  Neither of us had ever been to a winery, so this turned out to be a very enjoyable day for us.  The winery was a quaint establishment with an old world charm.  Customer service was provided by “Susie”, and she was wonderful.  We went home with a case of wine, and the promise to return for one of their concerts with Jazz’n The Vines.  Check out their website, and pay them a visit if you’re in the area.  You won’t regret it!  Ponchartrain Vineyards



Mexican Lasagna August 6, 2014

Filed under: Casseroles,Main Dishes,Recipes,Tasty Side Dishes — Susan @ 4:08 pm

Hello Friends!  

     I am sorry I haven't posted in a while.  Being a new puppy mom is proving to be a lot of work.  If I go in my sewing room to work on something, she generally raids my closet, pulls on every cord she can find etc.  She's adorable though, and we wouldn't trade her for the world. Anyway, I thought I'd post this awesome casserole that is sure to please.  Feel free to be creative with this by using pre-made products from your grocer, or your own leftovers.  This make look hard, but it's really not!  It has awesome flavor too!

Mexican Lasagna

Mexican Lasagna Ingredients:

Meat Mixture:  Use these seasonings, OR a packet of your favorite taco or chili seasoning mix.
1 lb ground beef
3 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp sea salt
1 small onion diced
1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

Fry the meat mixture in saucepan until meat is fully cooked.  I actually cooked mine in a microwaveable bowl for 6 minutes.  I stopped & stirred it at the 3 minute point.  Set aside.

For this step, you can use leftover chili, or in this case I used :
16 oz can of Hormel Chili 
16 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 tbsp chili powder
1/4 cup water

Mix these ingredients in a bowl, & I chose to microwave it for about 3 minutes so it spreads easily on the tortillas.

Make some rice in your microwave.
1 cup white rice
2 cups water
1 tsp olive oil
Cook in microwave for 12 minutes.
Additional ingredients for your layers:
4 large round flour tortillas
1 lb grated cheddar cheese

You'll need a large round baking pan (you can use square or oblong, but round is perfect for this recipe).  Spray the bottom & sides with non-stick cooking spray.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Time to assemble your layers.

-I start by putting a thin layer of the sauce in the bottom of the pan.
-Next place a tortilla in the pan.
-Spoon on some of your sauce mixture.
-Spread some of the meat mixture over the top of that.
-Sprinkle some cheese over the meat.
-Spoon cooked rice over the cheese.
Then repeat your layers again.  Your last ingredient will be the 4th tortilla.  I topped mine with the grated cheddar for the final step.  

Cover with foil & bake at 350 degrees for an hour.  Remove foil to lightly brown the cheese for an additional 10 minutes.  Remove from oven, and let stand for 10 minutes.  Serve with lettuce, tomatoes, sliced black olives, onion, quacamole, sour cream, salsa, nacho chips…whatever you'd like!  ENJOY!


Italian Meatloaf & Parmesan Noodles With Sauce March 23, 2014

Italian Meatloaf-Parmesan Noodles & Sauce

Italian Meatloaf & Parmesan Noodles With Sauce

2 lbs lean ground beef
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp basil
2 tsp fennel seed
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp crushed red chilis
2 eggs
1 cup bread crumbs (oatmeal works too!)

Before you start mixing up your meatloaf, get your noodles cooked.  You'll need a 16 oz box of your favorite shaped noodle (I used Rotini).  Cook as directed.  Strain, and put back in the pot.  Put in 1/2 stick of melted butter, and 1/2 cup of Parmesan.  Mix well.  Set aside, and continue with your meatloaf. 

Toss all the ingredients for your meatloaf in a large bowl.  With clean hands, get right in there and mix all the spices well by kneading the meat like you would bread dough.  Shape into meatloaf, and put in a large glass baking pan sprayed with cooking spray.  Scoot it to the side so you have room for your parmesan noodles.

Pour the noodles into the pan, and then pour 1 can (I used a 26.5oz can of Hunts Spaghetti Sauce) or bottle of your favorite spaghetti sauce over the top of it all.  Sprinkle the top with about 1 cup of grated mozzarella cheese, cover with foil, and back for about an hour & a half.  Beef should be about 175 degrees in the thickest part of your meatloaf, so check your meatloaf before serving.  Another great comfort food for your family!  Enjoy!


Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole March 15, 2014

     I won't lie to you and say this is a super quick & easy recipe to make, and I also won't say it's healthy either.  It is homemade though, and I gaurantee that your family will ask for this one again.  If you'd like it to be a little more on the healthy side, substitute light ingredients.  On the bright side, it should please just about any husband since it has BACON in it!

Chicken Bacon Ranch Casserole

16 oz Noodles (your choice-cooked)
2 lg chicken breasts (diced)
1 lb bacon (diced)
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp red chili's (optional)
1 oz packet Hidden Valley Ranch Dip Mix
1 small onion (diced)
1/2 green pepper (diced)
4 oz can of mushrooms
1 cup sour cream
26 oz can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup milk or water
1 1/2 cup grated mozzarella

Start by cooking your noodles, strain and set aside when done.
I love to use my electric skillet or pot when making this, because it helps cut down dishes a bit.  Brown bacon & chicken until fully cooked.  Toss in all of the spices listed above along with the mushrooms, onion & green pepper.  Cook for an additional 10 minutes.  Add sour cream, milk or water & cream of mushroom soup, mix well.  Toss in your cooked noodles and mix together.  At this point, you can serve this.  If you want to make it just a bit more special, spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray, and add your casserole mixture to the pan.  Top with mozzarella cheese, and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes.  This is truly comfort food, and a great way to get fussy pork & beef eating husbands to eat some chicken once in a while.  Enjoy!


Beef Fried Rice March 1, 2014

Beef Fried Rice

Beef Fried Rice1


2 cups cooked rice per pkg instructions or….. **I cook my rice in the microwave. The amount above takes approximately 12 minutes on full power.  Cook for 6 minute, stir well & then cook another 6 minutes.   Mix in 2 well beaten eggs.  Let stand in microwave until the meat mixture is done.

Stir Fried Meat & Vegi's

2 cups thinly sliced beef strips (about 1 lb or so)
2 tbsp beef bouillon powder (Orrington Farms Broth Base)
1 tbsp canola or olive oil
10 0z can sliced mushrooms (optionall)
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen carrots
1 large onion chopped

In a large frying pan, fry beef, bouillon & mushrooms in oil.  When meat is cooked through, add onions, peas & carrots.  Cook till onions are caramelized.  Last step, add in your cooked rice egg mixture,  Mix well and serve.


3 Cheese Italian Casserole January 31, 2014

     With all the cold weather we've been having, it's so nice to make something hot & hardy to warm the belly.  This casserole is always a favorite in my house, so I thought I'd share it with you!

3 Cheese Italian Casserole

16 oz rigatoni (cook noodles according to package directions, strain & set aside)
1 lb lean ground beef
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp basil
1 tbsp fennel
1 tsp sea salt
24 oz can Hunts Spaghetti Sauce (or sauce of your choice)
2 cups grated mild cheddar cheese
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Cook your noodles according to the package directions, strain them, and set aside.  In medium sized frying pan, combine the hamburger & all the spices together.  Cook for approx. 15 minutes or until hamburger is cooked through.  Pour in spaghetti sauce, and add an additional cup of water to the mixture.  This makes a basic meat sauce for your casserole.  Next, layer it up like you would lasagna starting with some spaghetti sauce in the bottom of your baking dish, then noodles, cheddar cheese, parmesan, and then repeat starting again with your sauce. You can get 2 – 3 layers in your pan depending on the depth of the dish you use.  Top it with the mozzarella cheese, and bake uncovered in your preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour.  You will be so glad you fussed!  Enjoy!


Cellentani Sausage Casserole May 15, 2013

     I just love some of the great shapes Barilla has for noodles.  Cellentani noodles are great in casseroles because they really hold onto the cheesy sauce in this belly warming casserole!

Cellentani Sausage Casserole

16 oz Cellentani Noodles (I use Barilla)  Start cooking your noodles according to the package instructions. When fully cooked, drain, rinse & set aside.  You'll be adding these to your sauce very soon!

2 lbs Eckrich Sausage cut in chunks (feel free to use your favorite brand)
10 oz can cheddar cheese soup
4 oz velveeta
2 cups milk or water
1 tsp pepper

In a large pot, fry your sausage chunks until fully cooked.  Add cheddar cheese soup, milk and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes.  Add your Velveeta and cook on low until cheese is fully melted into a smooth cheesey sauce.  Lastly add your cooked noodles.  Mix well, and serve piping hot.  I like to add broccoli & other vegetables to this too.  Enjoy!