Sausage with Cajun Alfredo


I feel like a genius after having made this dinner. This only came about because I thought I had everything I needed for dinner…until time to make dinner and it turns out I had about half. Half one one recipe and half of another.

My first reaction was panic. I’m not usually the “wing it” cook. But, I knew the two recipes well enough that I thought I could mix it. Of course, when Hubs asked what was for dinner I answered with a  “we’ll see!” Turns out, it was a blessing for our tummies!

So I combined my Sausage Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce (cajun style) with my Cheesy Garlic Chicken Alfredo.

Sausage Cajun Alfredo

You’ll need:



For the Alfredo:
2 cups milk
4 ounces cream cheese (1/2 a block)
2 Tbs flour
½ tsp salt
3 Tbs butter
1 cup grated Mozzarella cheese ( or Cheddar!)20160516_171323.jpg

For the Sausage pasta:
8+ ounces penne pasta (or whatever you prefer, I used small shells)
12 oz smoked sausage or Chicken!
14-oz can petite diced tomatoes with onion, drained well
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1-2 Tablespoons cajun seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

What to do:

First, I started my pasta cooking and then made the Alfredo just as I do for the regular recipe:

Use a mixer or blender to mix together the milk, flour, salt, and cream cheese until it is smooth. I also added butter to this mix and heated it until it thickens then added the shredded cheese and let it sit.

Then, while those two were going, I sliced up my sausage and sautéed it and then added my tomatoes and onion, garlic and cajun spices, and a little S&P. Mix well

Finally, once my Alfredo was ready I slowly stirred it into my pan of sausage. making sure to coat everything and mix in the cajun spice. Then I added the pasta and mixed again.

This was one of the best outcomes of not having what you need!! This mix may be one of my favorites!

Ham, Potato, & Corn Chowder


Ham, Potato, & Corn Chowder! This soup is a filling meal that is good for the soul! Hubby loves it so much it had to become a staple in our dinner rotation. I got this recipe from a dear friend, but there are many like it on Pinterest like this one from Like Mother Like Daughter.

You’ll need:

2 cups cooked ham, diced
6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
5 1/2 tbsp butter, divided (1 1/2 & 4)
1 large onion, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced (I prefer to use baby carrots diced)
3 stalks celery, chopped
5 cups chicken broth
5 medium potatoes, diced
1 can corn
1/4 cup & 1 TBSP Flour
3 cups milk
1/2 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Chives and shredded cheese to top

What to do:

In a large pot, melt 1 1/2 tbsp butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrots, sauté until tender.

Add chicken broth and potatoes. Salt and pepper to taste (I under salt a bit as ham adds salt). Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender. Stir in ham and corn.

Cook your bacon. I love to cook it in the oven. I cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lay out my strips. I bake it at 400 degrees for about 20-25 min. I love that it will cook while I prepare the rest of the meal.20160520_184624.jpg

In separate sauce pan, melt 4 tbsp butter. Add flour and whisk until combined well. Slowly whisk in milk. Bring to a boil and cook until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and add sour cream. 

Add this mixture to the broth and stir. Simmer a couple minutes until heated through. Serve topped with shredded cheese & bacon! Would also be yummy with some green onion! The leftovers of this are so good!!!!

Pepper Jack Chicken Stuffing

Pepper Jack Chicken Stuffing final

Every time I make this I always think about the movie Steel Magnolias. Annelle wants to make something that “freezes beautifully.” While I think she had something else in mind,  this is my beautiful.
Not only is this delightful and fulfilling like comfort food,  but it freezes beautifully!  I usually make two at a time,  one for dinner and one to freeze.
Plus,  it fits all my other requirements like,  easy and fast. It’s a win win.
I found this pin from Or So She Says for the Swiss Cheese Chicken. (Click there for their recipe) below is my variation that we really enjoy. Did I say this was easy?


All you need: (just double for 2)
1lb chicken breast
1 can Cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup milk
Stove Top Stuffing of choice (one box is enough for two since you only use half)
1/4 cup of butter
Pepper Jack cheese slices, the original uses swiss cheese slices (both are yummy)

I spray both my freezer pan and glass dish with cooking spray first. Then put my chicken down.


Next you want to layer the cheese slices on the chicken.  Four slices work for me in my 8×8 pan,  but I sometimes add one or two more.


Now you want to combine the milk and can of Cream of Chicken.  I do one at a time just to make it easier. Combine one,  add it on top of the cheese,  combine one and to the other. It looks like yummy cake batter pouring out over the cheese. Just spread it around to fully cover the pan.




Here is where you split. If making two, cover your dish you’re freezing,  label, and add directions of how to finish.


To the other you now add half of a package of stuffing and then pour 1/4 cup melted butter on that. Pop it into the oven for 45-60 minutes at 350°.


I usually let it cook for the full hour.
Serve it over rice and voila, wonderful dinner that you made 2 of, in about 10 minutes of prep time!
I have also made this with a small bag of frozen broccoli under the cream of chicken mix. It’s a good way to get your veggies in!



Meatball Sub Casserole

Prepare yourself for a gooey sloppy wonderful meal. This would also be a great game time favorite as well as something easy to do with the kids. The un-greased pan gives the bread a crisp bottom and edge and the cream cheese mix and pasta sauce is out of this world. It’s super easy to put together. This pin arrived from Key Ingredient.

Meatball Sub Casserole Final


1 loaf Italian bread, cut into 1-inch thick slices (I use 6 slices of Texas Toast)

1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning

1/4 tablespoon pepper

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

Frozen Meatballs, Thawed (I used 24, 4 per slice of bread)

1 24oz jar of pasta sauce

1 cup of water (I used just over 4oz, or 1/2 a cup)


1. Preheat the oven to 350

2. Arrange bread slices in a single layer in an ungreased 13″x9″ baking pan.



3. In a bowl, combine cream cheese, mayonnaise and seasonings.



4. Spread mix over bread slices.



5. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cheese



6. Gently mix together meatballs, spaghetti sauce and water; spoon over cheese. (I laid out the meatballs, 4 per slice of bread, to appease my OCD first then spooned out the sauce after.)

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7. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.



8. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

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This is so good. Slice per person, serves 6. But this is so hearty, half of a slice is filling for me. No doubt this was a great pin. I used a little less cheese and maybe fewer meatballs than the original post, but it’s so good. This seems to call my name on a cold rainy day and I’m sure it will be a go to when our yard is snow covered. Pretty good reheated. I try to leave it in the pan it was cooked in to heat it up in the oven for leftovers. That method seems to be the best. Enjoy friends!

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Manwich Cheesy Chicken Pasta


Manwich Cheesy Chicken Pasta

I love cleaning tons of dishes after preparing a meal, said no one ever. One pot meals is where it’s at. So I was thrilled when I saw this next pin. While I didn’t have the EXACT ingredients, it did provide a filling meal.

On this particular day though, I only had frozen chicken on hand. Hubby and I aren’t thrilled with the texture of defrosted chicken so I opted to slow cook it in the crock pot with some chicken broth until dinner. Although technically making my one pot, 2 pots, this is so easy and yummy. So come time for dinner, we had fall apart chicken that was ready to go! This dinner was provided by Yellow Bliss Road.

Manwich Cheesy Chicken Pasta


2 cups shredded or diced chicken
2 Tbsp minced onion
2 Tbsp minced garlic (I used Garlic powder)
1 can Manwich Bold  + 1 can water (I used the regular)
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 pound of small dry pasta (I used mini Rotini)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


1. Heat a small amount of oil in a large pot. Add onion and garlic and saute for one minute, then add cooked chicken and saute for a couple of minutes. (She used cooked chicken she had on hand, I used the cooked crock pot chicken. However cooking the chicken with the onions and garlic would work just as well.)


2. Add chicken broth, Manwich Bold Sloppy Joe Sauce, water and pasta to the pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer for about 20-25 minutes. (Keep an eye on it so all of the liquid doesn’t cook off. Mine was a little dry as I went between cooking and feeding a fussy baby.)


3. Remove from heat and stir in shredded cheddar until well incorporated, reserving a handful to sprinkle on the top. Cover for a few minutes to allow the cheese to melt, and stir.


So, mine is a little different from the original, but this was still a tasty meal. Lots of leftovers! While it wasn’t completely my taste, the hubby cleaned his plate and asked for seconds which is music to my ears and a pinning success!


Black Bean and Corn Pie

I feel like a broken record, but this next one is so good! Martha Stewart the queen of cooking, that’s for sure. I have come to realize though, that no matter how I try, my end result will NEVER look like the product in the Martha Stewart picture. But I have made peace with that. I never said I was an expert chef. I just want to provide great meals that my family will love.

Black Bean and corn piefinal

I do believe that once a week we should eat something meatless. This recipe is just for that and other than a great taste, one of the best parts is that you can make numerous changes/substitutions and still enjoy a wonderful meal.

I do however call this one a “weekend meal”. There is a bit more prep before you put it all together to bake in the oven. So the weekend is a great time for hubby and baby to enjoy some extra bonding time while mommy whips up dinner. Here we go:


4 flour tortillas (10 inches)

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 large onion, diced

1 jalapeño chile, minced (remove seeds and ribs for less heat)

2 garlic cloves, minced (I used garlic powder)

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (Chili Powder is a good substitute)

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, drained and rinsed

12 ounces beer, or 1 1/2 cups water

1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn

4 scallions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish

8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (2 1/2 cups)


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. With a paring knife, trim tortillas to fit a 9-inch springform pan. Use the bottom of the pan as a guide. Set aside. (I used a casserole dish. Having purchased fajita soft tacos on sale this is what I had on hand. Plus, I  unfortunately have never had success with the spring pan for this recipe.)



2.Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, jalapeno, garlic, and cumin; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.


3.Add beans and beer or water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until liquid has almost evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in corn and scallions, and remove from heat. Taste and adjust for seasoning. (I didn’t have scallions, first time ever, so I decided to use green chilies. Turned out well. You really want to make sure to wait for the liquid to evaporate.)


4.Fit a trimmed tortilla in bottom of springform pan; layer with 1/4 of the beans and 1/2 cup of cheese. Repeat three times, using 1 cup cheese on top layer. Bake until cheese melts, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove side of pan; sprinkle pie with scallions. To serve, slice into wedges.


So below is my finished product. Like I said before, it doesn’t look like Martha’s, but it is a tangy, melty, meatless mix that is filling and makes for a knockout leftover. Add sour cream or hot sauce as you like. I’m eager to try this with some Rotel diced tomatoes added or maybe some pepper jack cheese! Oh the possibilities!



Mexican Stuffed Shells



MexStuffed Shells

So this may be my favorite recipe I’ve ever found on Pinterest. It is so yummy and easy to modify as you may like it more tangy or mild. The best part, to me anyway, is that it is so wonderful reheated as lunch the next day! We always try to eat all of our leftovers so when we find one that is just as delish the next day (or a few days later) it becomes a staple. So here it is. Much thanks to the pinner that pinned the recipe from Their instructions below with my additions…


1 lb. ground beef
1 package taco seasoning
8 oz. cream cheese (original recipe called for 4oz)
10-12 jumbo pasta shells (original recipe called for 14-16)
1.5 cup salsa
1 Can Enchilada Sauce (original recipe called for taco sauce)

1 cup mozzarella cheese


3 green onions
Sour cream

Black olives


Preheat oven to 350°.

In a frying pan cook ground beef; add taco seasoning and prepare according to package directions. (I also like to add some garlic powder, salt, and pepper) Add cream cheese, cover and simmer until cheese is melted. Blend well. Set aside and cool completely.  While ground beef is cooking, cook the pasta shells according to directions; drain. Set shells out individually on cutting board/baking sheet so that they don’t stick together.




Pour salsa on bottom of 9×13 baking dish.  Stuff each shell with the meat mixture. Place shells in 9×13 pan open side up. Cover shells with Enchilada sauce .  Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.Image

After 30 minutes, add shredded cheese and bake for 10-15 more minutes, with the foil removed.  Top with any condiments you’d like (green onions, black olives, etc.) Serve with sour cream and/or more salsa.


We love it with sour cream and when we have it, we add green onions and black olives. My hubby likes to add hot sauce to it. Spice it up with a hotter salsa or enchilada sauce. This is a great pin and now a set place in our dinner rotation.