Cheesy Ham and Potato Soup

The winter I decided to make Sundays soup night. There is nothing better on a cold night than soup, and it makes great leftovers for the week ahead. This soup comes together so quickly and tastes awesome. Recipe and photo courtesy of

  • 4 medium potatoes (peeled and diced)
  • 12 oz. ham, cooked and cubed
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic pepper
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons flour
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • scallions

Combine potatoes, ham and water in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then cook on medium heat for 10-15 minutes (or when potatoes are tender). Add chicken bouillon cubes, salt and pepper. Mix. In another pan, melt butter on medium heat. Whisk in flour and stir constantly for about 1 minute. Slowly add milk and continue whisking until sauce thickens (about 3-4 minutes). Add the milk mixture to your pot and cook soup until heated through. Add cheese right before serving. Top with scallions. Serve immediately.

One Pot Lasagna Soup

This soup is so delicious and easy, it makes a perfect winter soup. The next time I make it though I will try tortellini noodles instead of lasagna because I think the extra cheese will make it extra yummy, and extra ground beef. Recipe and photo courtesy of

  • 1 pound lean ground beef or half Italian sausage
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 24 oz. jar Prego Traditional Italian Sauce
  • 8-10 cups low sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1 14 oz. can can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tsp EACH dried parsley, dried oregano, salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • 10 uncooked lasagna noodles broken into approx. 1-2 inch pieces*
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream,optional**

Heat large Dutch oven/large soup pot over medium high heat. Add beef and onion and cook, stirring occasionally until beef is browned. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for 30 seconds. Drain off any excess fat. Add Prego Sauce, 6 cups chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, sugar, spices and lasagna noodles. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer until lasagna noodles are tender, stirring occasionally (approximately 20-30 minutes). Discard bay leaf and stir in heavy cream (optional) and 2-4 cups chicken broth to reach desired consistency. Garnish individual servings with desired amount of cheeses.

Velvet Pork Chops (aka Gravy Delivery Device)

I’ve been trying to break out of my boring ground beef and chicken box and this pork chop recipe is right up my alley. Simple ingredients, simple preparation and it tasted really good to-boot. The gravy makes this recipe, hence the name at the top. Recipe and photo courtesy of

  • 4 boneless pork chops
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup cream

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add pork chops and salt and pepper the tops of them. Cook until browned, then flip and salt and pepper again. Continue cooking until opposite side is brown. Pour in chicken broth, reduce heat to medium, and cook until broth is mostly evaporated, about ten minutes. Once broth has cooked down, remove chops from pan and turn off heat but leave pan on the stove eye.Have a wooden spoon handy and pour the cream into pan. Immediately start stirring and continue until the pan remnants are fully blended in with the cream and cream is warm and thick, just a few minutes. Serve chops with delicious cream sauce spooned over them.


Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

As we get into fall, I’m always looking for new soups to try. When my husband got a cold he requested soup, but was non-specific as to the kind, so I found this copycat of his favorite Panera Bread soup. I was really really pleased with how simple and delicious it was. Recipe and photo courtesy of

  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 package Near East Long Grain & Wild Rice with Flavor Packet
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup cooked and shredded chicken
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Melt coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion and carrots and cook until softened. Add dried marjoram, flour, and seasoning packet from the rice; stir to combine. Add rice, chicken broth, and water; bring to a boil. Cover, lower to a simmer, and let cook for 15 minutes. Heat heavy cream and milk in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir into the soup. Stir in the shredded chicken. Cook about 30 minutes or until the rice is cooked. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with crusty French bread or baguette.

Salisbury Steak Meatballs

I made these meatballs this past weekend and they were so good! Don’t let the long ingredient lists scare you, these came together really quickly. I served mine with mashed potatoes, but rice would be good too! If there are leftovers, I would recommend storing the meatballs and sauce separately. Recipe and photo courtesy of

For Meatballs:

  • 1 1/2 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, I used Panko
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup coarse ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (for frying)

For Gravy

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup beef or chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • parsley for garnish

Add all the meatball ingredients (excluding the olive oil) to a large bowl and mix well, use your hands. Shape into 1 inch meatballs. You should get about 40 meatballs. Add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium to high heat. Add meatballs and cook. If you’re using a large skillet all meatballs should fit in one batch otherwise, you might have to fry them in a couple batches. Cook the meatballs on all sides, add more oil if needed. Remove meatballs from skillet and set aside. To the same skillet add butter and melt. Add onion and cook until onion is soft and translucent. In a bowl add the cornstarch and beef broth and whisk. Add broth and remaining gravy ingredients to skillet, and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, sauce should thicken. If the sauce is too thick add a bit more beef broth. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary. When the gravy is done add the meatballs back to the skillet and toss them around so they’re covered in the gravy. Garnish with parsley. Serve with mashed potatoes or rice.

Parmesan Chicken Casserole

DSC_00701-1024x683I made this chicken this past weekend because it looked like a quick and easy meal to eat on a day when I really didn’t want to cook dinner.  Start to finish it took 30 minutes and was so delicious. I halved the recipe for my family of four but I’ll post the full recipe below in case you are feeding a crowd. Pair with starch of your choice. Recipe and photo courtesy of


  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise OR plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup fresh shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat the oven to 375.  Place your diced chicken into a greased 9×13 baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the mayo/yogurt, 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Spread mixture on top of chicken, then sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.  Bake for 30-35 minutes, then serve over pasta or rice. Pan will be a little soupy so use a slotted spoon the serve the chicken.


Oven Fried Chicken

oven-friend-chicken-017sI tried this recipe as a time saving option to frying chicken and I was very happy with the results. I used bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs but you could use chicken breast as well. I would just make sure it has the skin on it otherwise it’s not truly fried chicken is it? Recipe and photo courtesy of

  • 6 pieces chicken
  • 1/2 cup Bisquick
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt, for coating
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • garlic salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400. Once to temperature, place a large, oven safe dish with a tablespoon of butter in the oven.  You want to make sure your chicken will fit in a single layer. In a large bag combine Bisquick, flour, salt, onion powder, and Italian Seasoning. Shake to mix and set aside. Sprinkle chicken with garlic salt and pepper to taste on both sides. Toss chicken in flour mixture to coat fully. Swirl the melted butter in the dish to evenly distribute and then place coated chicken skin side down in hot dish. Bake for 15 minutes. Flip over so skin is up and then cook until finished, about 10 more minutes. If skin isn’t getting crisp, finish under a broiler.

French Dip Sandwiches

Slow-Cooker-French-Dip-Sandwiches-2-650x975I found this recipe on Pinterest while looking for roast recipes.  The meat was so good it could easily be served as a stand-alone.  Serve with a really good hoagie roll for the complete experience. Recipe and photo courtesy of

  • 3 lb chuck roast
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup Coke, (NOT diet)
  • 2 10.5 cans beef consomme
  • 1/4 cup dry minced onions
  • 1 tablespoon beef bouillon
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 French rolls or hoagie buns
  • 12 slices provolone cheese

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large nonstick skillet.  Using two forks or tongs to hold roast, sear on all sides until lightly browned.  Add to slow cooker and top with all remaining seasonings and liquids. Cook on LOW for 4 hours, then remove roast to a cutting board.  Thinly slice roast across the grain.  Place sliced meat back in slow cooker and continue to cook on LOW for 1-2 additional hours.  hen ready to serve, remove roast and strain fat from broth for dipping.  Split rolls and line the bottoms of a baking tray. Top each half with beef followed by 2 slices of cheese. Bake at 35o until cheese is melted. Serve with reserved au jus.


Pizza Pull-Apart Muffins

Pizza-Pull-Apart-Muffins-750x364We have a pizza night every Friday and a couple of weeks ago I broke the mold and made these muffins.  They were really easy to assemble and were fabulous.  My son ate them for three straight days leftover. You could also experiment with adding different pizza toppings. Recipe and photo courtesy of

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 26 oz frozen dinner rolls, thawed
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 6 oz sliced pepperoni, cut into quarters
  • marinara sauce for dipping

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 6-cup muffin tins (or one 12-cup muffin tin) with non-stick spray. Cut the rolls into quarters. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl so that the oil is spread evenly on each piece of dough and the toppings are evenly distributed. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Butter Chicken

butter chickenThis recipe reminds of the 80’s. I’m not sure why, maybe it’s the Ritz crackers, but whatever the reason it is simple, delicious, and incredibly easy to make. My husband loves it, my boys love it and so do I.  Recipe and photo courtesy of

  • 1 1/4 lb chicken breast
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • garlic powder
  • salt
  • pepper

Start by putting the Ritz crackers in a bag and smashing into crumbs.  (This would be a great way for your kids to help with dinner.)  Pour the crumbs into a bowl and set aside. Whisk your two eggs in another bowl and set aside also.  I like to slice my chicken breasts lengthwise to make them thinner, or you can flatten them with a tenderizer. Dip the chicken into the eggs, then into the cracker crumbs and place in a greased 9×13 pan. Continue until all the chicken has been coated, then sprinkle the spices over the breaded chicken.  If you want you can add the spices to the crumbs before coating the chicken, but I like to sprinkle it on so I can control how much is on each piece. Then, slice up your butter and put all over the chicken.  Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes, or until the juices run clear.