Mushroom Pasta Carbonara with a Twist!

2015-06-27 20.20.38

 

This recipe is super simple and delicious. It’s not your typical Pasta Carbonara because of the ham, but it’s a nice twist on an old dish. This recipe is loaded with flavor and super easy to make. It’s certainly a recipe that you could have most things done before the day you need the recipe.

If you want to do the prep work over the weekend for an easy week night meal you could have the bacon and the pasta made ahead. Dinner would be delicious and in a snap. I love the concept of this recipe. I think you could do so many wonderful things with it like add more mushrooms, extra garlic, and even incorporate some vegetables and decrease the pasta in the process to lower the calorie count.

I was so happy we had leftover so that I could have lunch the next day! Easy, simple, and delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 2-1/2 cups uncooked pasta (I used shells)
  • 8 bacon strips, diced
  • 1 cup diced ham
  • 1 large can of mushrooms, drained
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 3-4 garlic cloves minced
  • 6 to 8 drops hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, remove to paper towels to drain.
  3. Brown mushrooms, and ham in drippings; remove to paper towels. Drain drippings from pan.
  4. Add the cream, butter, parsley, garlic, pepper sauce and salt if desired to the skillet; cook and stir over medium heat until butter is melted.
  5. Drain pasta; add to cream mixture. Stir in the bacon, ham, mushrooms and cheese; heat through.
  6. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle with green onions.

Original Recipe Source

Yes Virginia, There Really is a Good Meatloaf

 
Let’s get the facts straight right from the beginning … I HATE MEATLOAF! Well, until now! My family loves meat loaf, but never gets it, because I hate it! I finally decided to be nice and make it because I found a recipe that had such great reviews. 
This recipe was so easy to put together. I actually sat at the kitchen table with all of my ingredients and had it together in minutes. It comes out of the oven so juicy, and simply yummy. I have only had meatloaf a few times in the past, and it’s always very dry. You won’t have to worry about that with this recipe! 
One piece of information I will give you is that when you initially put it all together it seems very wet, but this is what keeps  it moist while it’s baking. This got rave reviews in my house … even from me! Original Recipe 
Serves 4-5
Ingredients: 
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef 
  • 1 slice bread (broken or chopped finely)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 small vidalia onion or type sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/2-2/3 cup whole milk or half-and-half
Sauce:
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2-4 tablespoons dark brown sugar, packed firm (I used 3 tablespoons I will only use 1 1/2 – 2 next time)
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
Directions:
  1. Meatloaf: Combine meat loaf ingredients and place into a loaf baking dish.
  2. Smooth out top.
  3. Sauce: Combine sauce ingredients and pour on top and sides of meatloaf.
  4. Bake at 350°F about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes or until done

McDonald’s Barbecue Sauce

My Husband is a huge fan of McDonalds BBQ Sauce.  I found a recipe years ago that claims to be the real deal. I am not sure if this is the real deal or not but my husband seems to think it’s fantastic. You be the judge and let me know. McDonalds or not I think it’s delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Kraft original flavor barbecue sauce
  • 1/3 cup Bullseye original barbecue sauce
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup

Directions:  

  1. Combine the ingredients very well. Microwave on high for about 30 seconds, then stir again.
  2. Use immediately or cover and refrigerate until needed.
  3. Makes about 6.5 ounces (6 packets) of McDonald’s Barbecue Sauce.

 

 

Marion’s Cheesey Bacon Tatar Tot Hot Dish

I originally found a similar version of this recipe when I visited The Country Cook. My husband is from the mid-west and Tatar Tot hot dish is a staple there.  I was looking for a recipe that would be comfort food for him. I decided to look through my Mother-in-laws recipe box to see what I could find when I came across this recipe that is very close to The Country Cook’s recipe.

This recipe is fantastic!!  We all flipped out for this one. There are so many great reasons to make this recipe. It’s super simple! Toss it in the slow cooker and it’s done! It’s inexpensive! It’s delicious!! I can’t brag enough about it. I love exploring my Mother-in-laws recipes! I hope you all enjoy this one!

Ingredients: 

  • 1 bag frozen tater tots
  • ½ cup bacon bits (I used Hormel but fresh would be even better)
  • 1 ½  cups shredded colby jack cheese
  • 1 pound (bite sizes) boneless chicken breasts  (You could even use a large can of chicken drained)
  • 1 cup evaporated milk (you could use regular milk also)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
Directions: 
  1. Line your slow cook with a slow cooker liner or spray your slow cooking with cooking spray
  2. To the slow cooker add ½ of the bag of frozen tater tots
  3. On top of the tots add ¼ cup of bacon bits and ¾ cup of cheese.
  4. To the top of the cheese and bacon add bite size chicken pieces.
  5. On top of the chicken add remaining ¼ cup of bacon bits and ¾ cup of cheese, salt and pepper.
  6. To the top of the cheese, bacon, salt and pepper add remaining tater tots.
  7. Top the tater tots with 1 cup of evaporated milk
  8. Cook on low for 3-4 hours or until chicken is done. 

 

Lazy mans Beef BBQ (Crockpot)

This is the lazy mans version of bbq. The flavor is wonderful and my favorite part is that it’s super easy and more delicious than you can imagine out of a crock pot.
Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Add water and BBQ sauce to your crockpot and stir together
  2. Turn crockpot on low
  3. Add boneless ribs and stir all together
  4. Cook for 7-9 hours
  5. Remove meat from the sauce and slice. The meat should be tender enough to fall off the bone
  6. Add enough of the remaining sauce to coat the meat
  7. Serve
  8. Re-heat over the stove if necessary

Oven Baked Frito Pie

This recipe is easy and delicious! Who doesn’t like Frito Pie? It’s such a family tradition that keeps us coming back for more. When I found this recipe I couldn’t wait to give it a try and I am sure happy I did. Quick, Fresh, Fantastic! I can’t wait to make it again! 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 can (16 oz) pinto beans (I used Great Northern I had it on hand)
  • 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (15 oz) Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning (I used Taco Bell I had it on hand)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 1/2 cups corn chips (Fritos)
  • 1 1/4 cup sour cream

Directions:

  1. Cook ground beef until meat is browned; drain. Stir in beans, tomato sauce, taco seasoning mix and 1/4 c. of cheese.
  2. Sprinkle 1 cup corn chips in bottom of 8×8 baking dish. Cover with chili.
  3. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
  4. Spread sour cream over chili.
  5. Top with remaining corn chips and cheese.
  6. Bake 4-5 minutes longer.6 to 8 servings

Sticky Honey Sauced Chicken

 

 
 
I wasn’t really sure what to expect with this recipe. The original recipe serves 2 so I had to double the recipe. The one you see below is doubled. It distressed me when I realized this one recipe was going to empty almost an entire honey bear container of honey. LOL silly huh?
 
Initially when I could smell this recipe cooking I wasn’t all that impressed. Don’t get me wrong it smelled good if you like the smell of soy sauce. I was had a terrible feeling that this was going to taste like soy sauce and nothing else.
 
I made it, let it cool and put it away for the next night’s dinner. I was afraid my husband wasn’t going to like it, but I was wrong BOY was I wrong. He not only liked it but he loved it. He was actually exited because he said it tasted just like something he loved  at a restaurant he ate at all the time when he was stationed in Washington at Fort Lewis.
 
I really liked it too. I was afraid I had over cooked it because my slow cooker is the opposite of slow it cooks extremely fast. It actually turned out perfect. To me it’s a cross between sweet and sour chicken and teriyaki chicken. Either way it was a real winner!!
 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients: 
  • 1.5 pounds boneless chicken breast
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. dried onion flakes
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
Directions: 
  1. Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper, put into crock pot.
  2. In a small bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic and pepper flakes. Pour over chicken.
  3. Cook on low for 3 hours or on high 1 1/2 hours. Chicken into bite size pieces, then return to pot and toss with sauce.
  4. Serve over rice.

Beef ‘n’ Bean Enchiladas

This was a really good recipe. Everyone like it, but not my husband. He said it had a “weird” texture. The rest of us thought it was really good. First off, the flavor is unique unlike anything I had tried in the past. I love the fact that it comes together easy and makes a nice presentation.
My only complaint is that all of my corn tortillas were tearing as I was rolling the enchiladas. I ended up heating up a little oil and letting them soften before I rolled them. Looking back, I do not think I would do that again. In truth, the sauce is going to cover the tortillas anyway so no reason to fret over it.
This is also a great way to use up left over taco meat. When I have left over taco meat, I stick it in the freezer and find something else to do with it. This recipe is the perfect opportunity to use it.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 1 can (10 ounces) enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 can (2-1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained
  • 3/4 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 can (9 ounces) bean dip
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and diced
  • 9 white or yellow corn tortillas (6 inches), warmed

Directions:

  1. In a 1-qt. microwave-safe bowl, combine the flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, paprika, milk and enchilada sauce until smooth. Microwave, uncovered, on high for 1-1/2 minutes; stir. Cook 3-4 minutes longer or until thickened, stirring every minute. Stir in cheese and olives; set aside.
  2. Place beef and onion in a microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on high for 3-4 minutes or until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the bean dip, chilies, pepper and remaining salt.
  3. Spoon about 1/3 cup meat mixture and 1 tablespoon of diced tomato down the center of each tortilla; roll up tightly.
  4. Place enchiladas seam side down in an ungreased 11-in. x 7-in. baking dish. Top with sauce. Bake on 350 for 40-45 minutes.

 

Paulie’s Cottage Pie

 
 
After listening to my husband’s friend Paul talk about his wonderful cottage pie recipe I had to give it a try. I listened closely to what he was saying and wrote the recipe down as soon as I got home. I hope I didn’t forget anything, but I can’t imagine that I did. 
 
This recipe turned out perfect! I don’t know that there would have been anything else I could have done to make any better! It’s hard to top perfection! After all Paul is English so I suppose he would know how to make a rockin’ cottage pie!
 
This recipe is terribly easy!  You could certainly make this in advance as a freezer meal, or even make the meat and mashed potatoes up ahead of time and have everything ready to throw together as a quick and easy meal.
 
We all loved this recipe! It definitely takes comfort food to a whole new level!!
Ingredients:
  • 1 Bell Pepper diced
  • 1 Onion diced
  • 1lb. Ground Beef
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic
  • Salt and Pepper to tastes
  • 1 Can Campbell’s Chunky Vegetable Soup (Hearty Soup not the condensed)
  • 1 tbsp. Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 1 pound of potatoes peeled, diced, boiled, and mashed
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
Directions:
  1. Bring a pot of cold water to a boil.
  2. To the boiling water add peeled and diced potatoes boil until the potatoes are fully cooked, drain, and mash.
  3. Add salt, pepper, and sour cream if desired to the mashed potatoes. (I did to make the potatoes creamy)
  4. In a skillet add ground beef, bell pepper, onion, and garlic, cook until meat is browned then drain off excess grease.
  5. To the ground beef add Montreal Steak Seasoning, salt and pepper, and mix together well.
  6. To a baking dish ( I used 2 ½ quart baking dish)  add the ground beef mixture, top the ground beef mixture with Campbell’s chunky Vegetable Soup be sure to spread out evenly
  7. Over the vegetable soup add mashed potatoes, and spread out evenly.
  8. Top the cottage pie with shredded cheddar cheese.
  9. Bake on 350 for 20-30 minutes until the cottage pie is bubbling.
  10. Allow to set for about 5 minutes before serving.

Bento Lunch Box Containers Food Portion Control #Orgalif

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If you are like me and you are trying to get your lifestyle (crap) together you will love these bento style boxes I found on Amazon. The company gave me a discount to try them but I liked them so much I decided to buy a second set so that I could pack my husband’s lunch too. These boxes are great! Not only are they well-made but they are divided so you can carry all the food you need without it all running together. I haven’t had them leak on me but I have only been using them for about a week.

The point is, if you are trying to change your life for the better and get your portion and calories under control these lunch bento boxes are probably for you. Visit Amazon.com to Order Bento Boxes.