Lasagna Skillet

I love lasagna...but during the week I am too busy/lazy to make it.  So I decided to take all the flavors that I love in lasagna and make it an easy weekday dish to prepare!

Lasagna Skillet

1 lb ground beef
1 jar (approx 3 cups) pasta sauce
1 1/2 cups beef broth
2 heaping cups rotini pasta (or pasta of your choice)
1/3 cup cottage cheese (or ricotta)
2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided

In a large skillet brown ground beef until no longer pink and drain off excess fat
Add pasta sauce and beef broth
Bring to a  simmer and add dry pasta
Simmer for approx 10-12 minutes or until pasta is cooked as desired, stirring occasionally
Stir in cottage cheese and 1 cup mozzarella cheese
Sprinkle remaining 1 cup mozzarella on top
Allow cheese to melt and serve

Texas Sheet Cake

Here is another recipe from my childhood I fondly remember my mother making often.  Yep, I was a really lucky kid!

I always like a recipe (especially a dessert) that I usually already have all the ingredients for, and this is one of those.

Texas Sheet Cake
Recipe Courtesy of {Linda Sackett}

2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 Tbl butter
4 Tbl cocoa powder
1 cup water
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup butter (one stick)
4 Tbl cocoa powder
6 Tbl milk
1 lb (16 oz) box powdered sugar

1/2 cup pecans, for garnish

Preheat oven to 375°F
Grease a 18x13 sheet pan
In a large bowl stir together sugar, flour, salt and baking soda
In a pot bring butter, cocoa and water to a boil
Combine with flour mixture
Stir in eggs and sour cream
Pour onto sheet pan and bake for 20-25 minutes
While cake is baking, in a pot, slowly bring icing ingredients to a boil
After cake is done baking spread icing on cake while it is warm
Sprinkle pecans on top

Crockpot Bacon Ranch Chicken Pasta

So I tried this new crockpot meal for our family and it got two thumbs up from even my pickiest eater.  I don't know about you, but that's how I know something is a keeper around here.

Crockpot Bacon Ranch Chicken Pasta
Adapted from {Betty Crocker}

3 chicken breasts, thawed
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
8 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled
3 cloves of garlic
1 pkg buttermilk ranch seasoning mix
pasta of your choice
green onion for garnish

Spray crockpot with nonstick spray
Place chicken in crockpot
Sprinkle paprika, salt and pepper over the chicken
In a bowl stir together soup, sour cream and milk
Then add to the mixture the bacon, garlic and ranch seasoning
Pour over chicken in the crockpot
Cook on high for 3 hours (4 if chicken is frozen)
Prepare desired pasta according to package directions
Remove chicken to shred or chop and then replace in crockpot with sauce
To serve, either toss with pasta or serve chicken and sauce over pasta
Garnish with green onion

Zuppa Toscana Soup

This is such a really delicious soup.  It has pretty simple prep but is big on flavor!

Zuppa Toscana Soup

1 lb ground Italian Sausage
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper (or to taste)
1 large onion, diced
6 slices bacon, diced
2 tsp garlic
5 tsp chicken bouillon
8 cups water
1 cup heavy cream
1 (15oz) can diced potatoes, drained
1/4 bunch kale, roughly chopped
Parmesan (for garnish)

In a large pot brown sausage and crushed red pepper until no longer pink
Remove sausage from pot and drain off fat
In the same pot, cook bacon, onion and garlic until onions are soft
Stir in chicken bouillon, water and cream and bring to a simmer
Add potatoes, sausage and kale
Cook for 15-20 minutes
Garnish with grated Parmesan

Crockpot Spaghetti Meat Sauce

I have a love/hate relationship with spaghetti sauce in a jar.  I love the convenience, but it is lacking in the taste department (at least the ones I have tried).  So imagine my excitement when I found a recipe to cook spaghetti sauce in the crockpot...genius!  It tasted so good, and even better, made my house smell amazing in the process.

Crockpot Spaghetti Meat Sauce
Adapted from {Mrs. Schwartz's Kitchen}

1 lb lean ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves or 3 tsp garlic, minced
2 (14.5 oz) cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp basil
2 bay leaves
1 tsp salt
2 Tbl brown sugar
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

In a large skillet brown ground beef and drain
Add beef into the crockpot and all remaining ingredients
Stir together and cook on low for 8 hours

Spanish Rice

A warm and flavorful side dish!

Spanish Rice
Adapted from {Favorite Family Recipes}

2 Tbl butter
1 cup dry long grain rice
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup onion, diced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1 can petite diced tomato, drained
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
fresh cilantro, chopped to taste
fresh lime

In a large skillet melt butter
Add dry rice and continuously stir until lightly brown
Stir in garlic, onion, salt, and cumin
Add tomato, tomato sauce, chicken broth, and cilantro
Bring to a boil and cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes
Remove from heat and squeeze on juice from half a lime

Banana Bread

When I was little and the bananas would start to get little black spots on them, no one would eat them.  My dad nicknamed it the speckled death.  So my mom would use them to make banana bread.  I LOVE the way baking banana bread makes my house smell!  It is a classic recipe with my own little trick thrown in to make it extra good.

Banana Bread

5 Tbl unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar, plus 4 Tbl for crust
2 eggs, beaten
4 really ripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350°F
Spray two loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray
Place 1 Tbl of sugar in the bottom of each pan and cover bottom and sides
In a large bowl beat butter and sugar together
Mix in eggs, bananas, and vanilla
Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
Divide batter equally between both loaf pans
Sprinkle each of the tops of batter with 1 Tbl sugar
Place in oven and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean

Recipe Swagger Featured

Recipe Lion asked me if they could include our Crescent Breakfast Casserole in their upcoming "12 Overnight Breakfast Casseroles for Christmas Morning eCookbook" and of course I was excited to accept!

So take a look and download the eCookbook for my and other yummy breakfast casseroles for Christmas...or anytime!

Strawberry Chiffon Pie

Now that summer is beginning to come to a close, I thought I would post a light and fresh pie as a so long to summer.  My mom use to make these every summer.  My favorite is strawberry, but she would also make them with raspberries as well.  They are great because there are only a few ingredients.  Just whip them up and stick them in the fridge until you are ready to devour them.

Strawberry Chiffon Pie
Courtesy of {Linda Sackett}

2 (9-inch) frozen deep dish pie crust
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups strawberries sliced in sugar, drained
8 oz cool whip

Bake pie crust according to package instructions and cool completely
In a large bowl mix together condensed milk, lemon juice, and cream cheese
Stir in strawberries
Fold in cool whip
Divide evenly in both pie crust and refrigerate at least one hour