Wednesday, March 25, 2015

All Things We Love

Any recipe with Alfredo is always a hit at our house.  I also particularly like a BLT.  Especially in the summer with fresh tomatoes.  We're not there yet, but it's getting closer.

This BLT Alfredo Skillet Ravioli seemed to fit the bill of all the things we love.  I had some cheese tortellini in the freezer so that was my first substitution.  As for the sauce, I am very anti-jar when it comes to alfredo.  There's just some weird flavor that goes along with it that I can not get past.  So instead, I decided to give this Rana refrigerated variety a try.  It was actually pretty good.  Not homemade, but a nice compromise.

I loved the sweet acidity of the tomatoes in contrast to the richness of the cheesy sauce.  It was excellent.  This isn't an everyday substitute for regular Alfredo, but a good choice for when you want to change things up.

Monday, March 23, 2015


My March menu was full of the tastes of spring.  The first few tastes of the grill, plus a definite nod toward lighter recipes and fewer heavy casseroles.

Except for tonight.  This cold, blustery, feels-like-winter, night, I planned Cheesesteak Soup.  Rich, thick, hearty, cheesy, and I couldn't have picked a better "spring" night to try it out.

Instead of dinner rolls, I choose to use up some leftover light rye bread.  I felt like the rye was a great match for the cheesesteak flavors.  I kind of liked the idea of "building" this soup.  Starting with the steak, adding the croutons, and the ladling soup over top.  The broiled cheese was a great finish.

So many reasons to love this recipe, but mostly because it just tastes good.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Roasted Pineapple Rum Chicken

I loved the sound of Roasted Pineapple Rum Chicken, and it did NOT disappoint.  The sauce is absolutely delicious.  I only wish that I had used boneless skinless chicken breasts so that I didn't lose the flavor with the skin!

The sauce for this dish was super easy.  I just used canned pineapple chunks to save on chopping, and instead of jalapeno, I just added a few drops of hot sauce.  (I've found that's a reasonable substitute for us--heat without tears.)  Dump it over the chicken and you're good to go.  And it IS good!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Irish for a Day

We have no claim to an Irish heritage in our family, but that never stops me from celebrating the St. Patrick's Day holiday.  It helps that it usually falls during my spring break so I have time to mess around with new recipes.

Since we are somewhat ambivalent about corned beef, I decided to look for a different Taste of Ireland this year.  These Irish Pasties were the perfect solution.  Perfect because they were simple and Irish, and because they are a taste of the Upper Peninsula where my hubby attended school.

I kept our pasties pretty simple.  Roast beef cooked all day in the crockpot the day before, bought pie crust, and boiled potato cubes.  My greatest challenge was fitting all the filling into each crust piece.  A quick brush of melted butter when they came out, just because.

We chose to enjoy our pasties with ketchup rather than gravy, since that is the Yooper way.  (And I'm not arguing with anything that saves me a step or two.)  They were HOT!  And delicious.  Simple, but full of flavor.  Perfect for St. Paddy's Day or a cold winter night.  Your choice.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Twinkie Bomb Pie

What, you may ask, is Twinkie Bomb Pie?  A super easy way to have a delicious and fancy version of a Twinkie!

Just in time for Pi Day, we enjoyed this with some whipped cream.  I thought it tasted a little like rum cake for some reason.  Mostly, it just tastes like Twinkie, which is never a bad thing in my book.

I am now very interested in trying some other "bomb" pies.  I love the simplicity of them, and it seems like there might be some outstanding combinations out there.

Midwestern Potluck Meets Taco Bell

What do you get when you take your traditional Chicken Broccoli Rice casserole and wrap it up and grill it Taco Bell style?  These fantastic Chicken and Broccoli Grilled Burritos

They were pretty easy to throw together, and really didn't take long to grill on my griddle.  In fact, since my chicken wasn't completely thawed (I pulled the pre-cooked variety from the freezer), the middle didn't get warmed all the way through because the outside toasted up so nice and quickly.  I think this could be a fun way to change up some other dishes using some of the different veggie combos that are in the frozen food section.  Lots of potential here!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Go Bananas!

No, I mean it.  For real, go bananas and make this Puffed Oven Pancake with Brown Sugar Banana Sauce.  You'll thank me.

There's really no rocket science here.  The pancake part is your typical puffed pancake.  All the good stuff is in the brown sugar banana sauce, and it is all good stuff.  I followed the recipe exactly using spiced rum since that's what I had on hand.

We enjoyed this as a breakfast for dinner, but it would be a wonderful way to start a day too.  And, because the pancake has plenty of egg and the bananas are plentiful, you don't get hungry twenty minutes later either.

This is another recipe that will be especially appealing to those of you who miss Disney Tonga Toast or really enjoy bananas foster--same indulgent flavors under the breakfast guise.