Sunday, September 28, 2014

Ahead of Schedule


October starts this week, and even though it will be a busy month--a certain little someone at our house turns eight--I'm ready!  At least when it comes to eating.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Grilled Cheese with a Twist


As evidenced time and again on this blog, I'll try any variation of grilled cheese.  Sometimes the switch up is absolutely fabulous, and other times I know I'd be just as happy with cheddar or Colby on white bread.

This latest "fancy" grilled cheese, White Garlic Pizza Grilled Cheese, was a good start.  Even though I cut the filling back to the amount for three sandwiches, it was still way too much.  Falling out of the sandwich too much.  I also wish the mozzarella flavor had come through a little more.  It's fresh mozzarella, that's definitely worth tasting!

For people really into the white garlic pizza flavors, this recipe would definitely worth trying.  Since I'm somewhat indifferent, and like plenty of other grilled cheese varieties, I think I'll leave it for others.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Dinner I Can Get Excited About

Lately it seems like we've had some ho hum recipes.  Nothing terribly wrong, but nothing that really rings our bells.  These Crispy Chicken Tortilla Rollups are bell-worthy.


There's a few steps, and I often worry about the assembly process on recipes like this, but not to worry.  This was easy.  The filling easily fit into eight 8" tortillas without a lot of spillage.  I messed up the oil flavoring (by putting ALL the spices in, not just the garlic at first) and it still tasted delicious.  Most of all, the fam really enjoyed them, which is always important.

For our tamer palates, I stuck with my usual extra mild salsa, and didn't include the jalapeno.  I had cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses on hand, so I mixed in a little of each.  We also skipped the dipping sauce, but only for simplicity's sake.  It sounds delicious, but sour cream and ranch dressing were a tasty addition, and I already had those made.

I'll be keeping this recipe for sure.  I would love to try it with green salsa, and also with the intended dipping sauce.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Celebrating Service


This week two of my colleagues received service pins (25 and 30 years, respectively).  In honor of their dedication to the University, I decided cake was in order.

I started with the jazzed up version of a boxed yellow cake mix.  It's so easy, but still tastes just a little bit special.  Then I added this Caramel Frosting and topped with some toasted pecans.  Each step was fairly quick, and the end result was delicious.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tacos on Tuesday

Does that title sound like a Magic Tree House book to anyone else?  That series is very popular at our house, and I think I'm starting to borrow the titling strategy.


This One Pot Taco Pasta is simple and flavorful without being heavy.  Once you've got everything started and combined, you can walk away for a few minutes to work on the rest of dinner, check in on the latest book order, or hear what happened in gym class.  Still, it all comes together in less than 30 minutes.

This would be an easy last minute recipe.  Most of the ingredients are easy to keep on hand and at the ready.  Plus, it make a lot, we'll be eating leftovers for a while!


We Turn to Comfort Food

Suddenly we've had a taste of fall.  Today was cool, drizzly, and drab--the perfect kind of day for a crockpot comfort dish.


These Smothered Pork Chops were super easy to throw together at the beginning of the day.  I swirled the sauce ingredients together, and then tossed the frozen pork chops on top (I just sprinkled the garlic powder on the meat in the crock).  After cooking all day, they were as tender as can be.  I did follow the instructions for thickening the gravy, and it was delicious over both the meat and mashed potatoes.  If you have a low tolerance for salt, I'd suggest low sodium versions of the sauce ingredients.  We enjoyed it as is.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Bird Dog


This was a new one for me.  A native central Illinoisan, I have never heard of a Bird Dog before.  But, it seems to be a southern fav, and who am I to question?  Besides, it sounded like an easy meal to throw together at the end of a long week.

So, it was good.  Not remarkable, but pretty good.  I used Kirkland bacon crumbles, Tyson Southern Style chicken tenders, sharp cheddar, and Kraft honey mustard.  Since it's just a way of rearranging common items, I guess I shouldn't be surprised that I wasn't wowed.  Still, it's a fun dish for simple nights when I need to throw something together quick.