Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Tatertot Italian Sausage Breakfast Casserole #FantasticalFoodFight

Welcome to another Food Fight! Fantastical Food Fight is a group of food bloggers who will get a theme or ingredient each month and make some sort of variation for it. It could be traditional or nontraditional and can be found in a cookbook, on a blog, or be a blogger's own creation! For more details, check out this page.

This month's Fantastical Food Fight theme is BREAKFAST CASSEROLES. September is National Breakfast Month and I thought what better way to celebrate than with a bunch of casserole recipes. Casseroles are so versatile and they can feed a crowd. I especially love them for holiday mornings.


I chose to make this Tatortot Italian Sausage Breakfast Casserole recipe because how could I not!? I love tatortot hotdish and it was the one casserole that was a staple in my childhood. This isn't really reminiscent of that in any way except it also has tatortots, but that was why I chose it. It has two pounds of sausage in it - mild and spicy, so it's extremely hearty but also has a little kick to it. I personally had some Frank's red hot on top of mine, so it was even more spicy but not overpowering at all. I absolutely adore the addition of onion and chive cream cheese because you get a little creamy savoriness added to the whole thing. It said to blend the cream cheese and eggs together but I didn't feel like dirtying my blender and just whisked it to the best of my ability. It didn't really whisk together as well as it could have but I kind of liked having those little bits of cream cheese dispursed throughout it.


Monday, September 16, 2019

Menu Plan Monday - September 16, 2019

Menu Plan Monday for Sep 16, 2019 // What I'm making this week #menuplanmonday #mealplan

Today is my birthday - I'm 31 :) We celebrated over the weekend, but I tried to pick a pasta I really wanted to try out for tonight and it's looking promising. Pretty excited to also try out Binging with Babish's White Castle Slider copycat recipe. And make cinnamon rolls for the first time in a long time. Brownies too. I swear I haven't had either in a long time.

Monday - Three Cheese Pasta with Kielbasa and Peppers
Tuesday -  Fiesta Lime Chicken
Wednesday - Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins // Cheeseburger Soup
Thursday - Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken
Friday - Copycat White Castle Sliders
Weekend - French Vanilla Chai Cinnamon Rolls // 10-Minute Spinach Lasagna // Ultimate Reese's Brownies

What are you having for dinner this week?
Feel free to leave a link to the recipe in the comments!

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Friday, September 13, 2019

Apple Pie Oatmeal

If you have 5 minutes to spare, this fall breakfast will start your day off on the right foot!


I feel like I've posted a lot of oatmeal lately but I definitely don't get sick of it myself. Especially with all these really easygoing variations. I love love apple cinnamon oatmeal and that's basically what this is but it's not a prepackaged microwave packet. It's freshly made and it's fantastic. I'm not much for apple pie, but I love this apple pie oatmeal. It has the right amount of sweetness. I love using green apples for their crisp tartness. And you cannot get more fall than with cinnamon!


Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies

The softest chocolate chip cookies made with pumpkin pudding mix for the most wonderful fall treats ever.


I discovered something extremely disconcerting while preparing this post for today...I have not posted a pumpkin recipe since December 2017. That's nearly two years ago and completely unacceptable. Usually I am a year behind on posting recipes, so I must not have made too many pumpkin recipes in 2017 if I didn't post any last year. This year, I believe I have at least a couple pumpkin recipes to share :) I have 5 or 6 pumpkin recipes on my September meal plan, so hopefully next year I will be better prepared for fall!

These cookies are very typical pudding cookies. I've used a bit of the base recipe to make different variations on my blog years ago. I love the simplicity of it and how solid the base recipe is. There are so many possibilities. This combination of pumpkin spice pudding and semisweet chocolate chips is a wonderful combination. Perfect for fall, without a doubt!


Monday, September 09, 2019

Menu Plan Monday - September 9, 2019

Menu Plan Monday for Sep 9, 2019 // What I'm making this week #menuplanmonday #mealplan

So instead of making a Taco Bell copycat this week, we are going to have actual Taco Bell. My 12 year old desperately wants to try the new Triple Double Crunchwrap or whatever it's called. Having loads of comfort food this weekend which makes me happy. I think we may be attempting to celebrate my birthday on Sunday, so the plan is to make "The Pot Roast" and copycat ice cream cake :)

Monday - Chicken Madeira
Tuesday - Taco Bell
Wednesday - Pumpkin Cheesecake Banana Bread // Chicken Pot Pie Noodle Soup
Thursday - Beef & Broccoli Noodle Bowls
Friday - Hamburger Pizza
Weekend - Blueberry Pancakes // Mississippi Pot Roast // Copycat DQ Ice Cream Cake

What are you having for dinner this week?
Feel free to leave a link to the recipe in the comments!

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Friday, September 06, 2019

Sausage, Brussels, and Parmesan Pasta

This sausage and parmesan pasta is the perfect dish to ease someone into eating brussels sprouts!


I'm trying to convince my husband and kids that brussels are the bomb dot com. It's going okay. They definitely prefer them shredded rather than whole. They really enjoyed this dish with brussels and I can't complain at all. I love pasta, so I'm up for eating pasta with my brussels if that's the way I can get them! This is also a relatively quick dish (as a lot of pasta dishes I make are) and that, of course, is a huge plus with 5 people with different things going on on any given day.


Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Caramel Apple Muffins

The perfect, indulgent fall breakfast packed into these sweet apple muffins topped with caramel!


I'm so happy it's finally September. I live for the time when fall comes around each year. It's my favorite season of the year - good weather, good food, my birthday, school starts (loved it as a kid, love it as a parent haha), and did I mention good food?! Bring on all the apples, pumpkin, and comfort food. It seems like fall is just comfort in general and I love that. These muffins are taken from a base muffin mix that Sally of Sally's Baking Addiction shared on her website. She shared tons of mix-in's and I knew I wanted to do the caramel apple version. I love the bits of fresh apple in it. I went the green apple route because I love the tartness!


Monday, September 02, 2019

Menu Plan Monday - September 2, 2019

Menu Plan Monday for Sep 2, 2019 // What I'm making this week #menuplanmonday #mealplan

I'm ridiculously excited that it is finally September. It's my birth month but more importantly, it's completely acceptable for pumpkin everything and spooky things. So I'm definitely taking advantage and making my first pumpkin recipe of the year. If you follow me on Facebook, you may have noticed that I already started sharing pumpkin recipes from other bloggers :)

Monday - Pesto Spaghetti Carbonara
Tuesday - Crispy Chicken Tacos
Wednesday - PB&J Muffins // Jalapeno Popper Turkey Chili
Thursday - Greek Chicken Rice Bowls
Friday - Copycat Guberburgers
Weekend - Tatortot Italian Sausage Breakfast Casserole // Creamy Spinach & Red Pepper Chicken // White Chocolate Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

What are you having for dinner this week?
Feel free to leave a link to the recipe in the comments!

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Friday, August 30, 2019

Blueberry Cheesecake Oatmeal

This oatmeal is sweetened with honey and who doesn't want a little hint of cheesecake in the morning?!


I have always loved oatmeal but I go through spurts where it's all I want for breakfast and snack...every single day. When I was in the hospital after having my third child, I was given plain oatmeal for breakfast one morning with no sugar packets or anything. I was also given strawberry yogurt, so I decided to mix the two together and see what happened and it was SO good. Maybe it was because I was starving, but it quickly became my go-to meal. I got oatmeal-ed out eventually and took some time off eating it. When I started back up, I tried to find some new recipes to try and out and this is one of my top favorites. There is honey for a little sweetness and cinnamon too. The cream cheese is sweetened and is the perfect combination and definitely gives it that cheesecake flavor. It's just a few more steps than making regular oatmeal via the package instructions and really really makes all the difference.


Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Salisbury Steak Meatballs

These slow cooker meatballs taste like the best salisbury steak ever - no tv dinner salisbury here!


I don't make a lot of salisbury steak because I was basically traumatized by the school lunch salisbury steak and the tv dinner salisbury steak. Neither are good. Neither are even the least bit palatable. I have made homemade salisbury steak and really enjoyed it, so I was happy to try a version of it as meatballs. I grew up eating a lot of dishes with meatballs. I loved when my mom made scalloped potatoes with meatballs instead of ham. This recipe had me expecting very similar vibes to that and I was right. I love the gravy and onion bits with the meatballs


Monday, August 26, 2019

Menu Plan Monday - August 26, 2019

Menu Plan Monday for Aug 26, 2019 // What I'm making this week #menuplanmonday #mealplan

Where did August go? 2019 is flying by!  This week has some really easy recipes and a few labor intensive ones. We're closing out the week by celebrating my brother-in-law's birthday and he wanted to grill out :) We're also trying to work in a few dine-out nights into the monthly meal plan because we want to try new things. Our city has so many eateries and diversity among eateries too, so we are trying to get out occasionally to try new foods. This week, we aren't having something new, but I don't like making wings, so we are getting Wingstop haha

Monday - Slow Cooker Pesto Mozzarella Pasta
Tuesday - 20-Minute Taco Salad
Wednesday - Snickerdoodle Crumble Donuts // One Pot White Chicken Lasagna Soup
Thursday - Japanese Steakhouse Hibachi Copycat
Friday - Dining Out: Wing Stop
Weekend -  Sourdough Monkey Bread // Steak, Asparagus, Corn, Baked Potatoes // Butterfinger Cheesecake

What are you having for dinner this week?
Feel free to leave a link to the recipe in the comments!

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Friday, August 23, 2019

Homemade Blueberry Lemon Danishes

These homemade danishes use Bisquick mix and have a delicious filling, crumble, and glaze!


I have seen a lot of easy recipes for danishes utilizing refrigerated crescent rolls but when I wanted to try something a little different, I was drawn to this recipe from Inside BruCrew Life. This recipe uses Bisquick to make the base of the danishes and they are so lovely. The base is the perfect amount of soft and crunch. I love the crumble and the glaze. But really it is the combination of blueberry and lemon that really makes these little breakfast pastries so wonderful.


Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Mediterranean Meatball Gyro Sandwiches #FantasticalFoodFight

Welcome to another Food Fight! Fantastical Food Fight is a group of food bloggers who will get a theme or ingredient each month and make some sort of variation for it. It could be traditional or nontraditional and can be found in a cookbook, on a blog, or be a blogger's own creation! For more details, check out this page.

This month's Fantastical Food Fight theme is 30-MINUTE MEALS. I tasked my blogging friends to share a fabulous dinner recipe that can be on the table in 30 minutes or less, so that all those parents out there with back-to-school in full swing (or about to be) are prepared with lots of quick recipes for those busy school nights.


My choice was easy peasy because I had already made it a handful of times and hadn't gotten around to blogging it quite yet. These Mediterranean meatball gyro sandwiches are perfect for a quick meal and they are so packed with the best foods ever. The meatballs are pretty standard meatballs with a little bit of cumin added. The tomato and cucumber salsa is to die for. I just love it. And honestly, tzatiki sauce might just be the new pesto for me. I have been craving it like crazy. This particular one contains a little grated cucumber. All of this is served on flatbread (we chose naan). It's classic Mediterranean flavors in a super easy recipe that will definitely be ready in under 30 minutes. I balance it out by making the meatballs first and then while they cook, I make the salsa and sauce.


Monday, August 19, 2019

Menu Plan Monday - August 19, 2019

Menu Plan Monday for Aug 19, 2019 // What I'm making this week #menuplanmonday #mealplan

I'm not sure what happened with my plans, but I really like that this one is probably the week that has the most "bold" flavors and the most variation too. Again, not too many new recipes, but I am super looking forward to weekend breakfast because I haven't had SOS since I was in elementary school.

Monday - Kicked Up Sausage Alfredo
Tuesday - Pepper Jack Smothered Chicken
Wednesday - Easy Cream Cheese Danish // Swedish Meatball Soup
Thursday - Caramelized Cashew Ginger Chicken Stir Fry
Friday - Crunch Burgers
Weekend - Creamed Chipped Beef // Bacon Chicken Alfredo Roll Ups // Triple Peanut Butter Cookie Pie

What are you having for dinner this week?
Feel free to leave a link to the recipe in the comments!


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Friday, August 16, 2019

Foil Pack Creamy Salsa Verde Chicken

Taco Tuesday in a foil pack in the oven - this salsa verde chicken is mouthwateringly delicious!


I tried quite a few foil packet recipes last summer because I really love Hobo Dinner and make it frequently and wanted to expand our horizons. This chicken recipe is probably my absolute favorite chicken foil pack recipe I have made so far. I am basically game for anything with rice, black beans, corn, cilantro, and lime at this point.


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Birthday Cake Macarons

These beautiful little cookies are the best way to celebrate a birthday or any day!


In July 2018, I attempted macarons for the first time ever. I had brushed them off as being one of those silly fad foods. But I feel in love when I bought a pack at Kroger because I received a coupon for them. I had this video on repeat while I made these macarons to ensure I was doing every step correctly because I was very nervous.

They aren't the most perfect macarons - the bottoms are a little brown, but honestly I am so proud of myself for sticking with it and having them come out semi-successfully. I am actually gearing up to make another macaron recipe this weekend, so I'm trying to remember that I made these. They were FANTASTIC. They were crunchy, chewy, and addictive as all get out. I wasn't at all sad that there were a few ugly ones that didn't get filled and a few pretty ones may have also not gotten filled because I ate them too!


Monday, August 12, 2019

Menu Plan Monday - August 12, 2019

Menu Plan Monday for Aug 12, 2019 // What I'm making this week #menuplanmonday #mealplan

I'm pretty nervous because this week I will be attempting to make macarons again. I did it successfully my first time, so I'm pretty sure I can do it again. Pretty sure. :) Otherwise, we're eating lots of old favorites and two new dinner recipes (Thurs and weekend).

Monday - Slow Cooker Chicken & Spinach Pasta
Tuesday - Mexican Pizza Copycat
Wednesday - S'mores Baked Donuts // Tomato Basil Soup
Thursday - Upgraded Instant Ramen
Friday - French Bread Pizzas
Weekend - Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins // Easy Shepherd's Pie // Cookie Dough Macarons

What are you having for dinner this week?
Feel free to leave a link to the recipe in the comments!


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Friday, August 09, 2019

Herbed Pork Chops

These pork chops are juicy and full of fresh herb flavors!


I very rarely make different dinners for family members, however, that was the case when I made tuna steaks because 1) they were really expensive and 2) I wasn't sure how safe it was for the kids to eat. So when I made tuna steaks for Nick and I, the kids had pork chops in the same style as the tuna (except cooked fully instead of medium). We did let the kids try a bite of the tuna but both of them said the pork chops were the best pork chops they had ever had. So when we went to have pork chops again for dinner, I chose to make them the same way and get pictures.


Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Budget Egg Roll Rice Bowls

All the great taste of egg rolls without all the rolling and frying mess!


I'm all about making egg rolls without the egg roll wrapper and the not having to fry them part. That's definitely right up my alley. Same flavors, way less work. I really enjoyed that this one also had a shortcut of using coleslaw mix instead of having to chop up carrots and cabbage. I have to say that I also really like Jasmine rice, but you could use any rice that you want really. Hope you all try this and like it as much as I did!


Monday, August 05, 2019

Menu Plan Monday - August 5, 2019

Menu Plan Monday for Aug 5, 2019 // What I'm making this week #menuplanmonday #mealplan

More and more lately we have been eating recipes that I have posted on the blog. My main dish board on Pinterest is heavily pasta-based now and I try to limit pasta to once or twice a week (although apparently this week we're doing it 3 times). We're having some of my most favorite recipes this week and I'm going to be attempting to make a copycat ice cream recipe using a recipe from another blogger for a base. If you have a Kroger (or Kroger affiliated store), try their Unicorn Swirl ice cream. IT'S AMAZING!!

Monday - Pizza Pasta Casserole
Tuesday - Ree's Burrito Bowls
Wednesday - PB&J Muffins // Skyline Chili
Thursday - Cheesy Tuna Casserole
Friday - Copycat McDonald's Burgers
Weekend - Blueberry Pancakes // Chicken Bruschetta // No Churn Funfetti Cake Batter Golden Oreo Ice Cream

What are you having for dinner this week?
Feel free to leave a link to the recipe in the comments!


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Friday, August 02, 2019

Pesto Spaghetti Carbonara

A classic carbonara with an added burst of flavor from pesto


It was bound to happen and today I get to share one of my favorite recipes ever: pesto carbonara. Fun fact: I tried to make this with zoodles at the same time for Nick. It did not work. I think there is too much moisture in zoodles to keep enough heat long enough to cook the eggs. It was a sloppy mess. So I don't recommend that...just make it with regular pasta. The bit of pesto is seriously a fantastic addition to carbonara!

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Zucchini & Bacon Three Cheese Lasagna

This lasagna is easy to throw together and has zucchini and bacon which is way better than regular lasagna in my opinion.


My family is not really largely amazed by lasagna. We rarely eat it. However, because I know that a good recipe can turn me into a fan of foods I previously did not like, I have a few saved to try. This one seemed like it could be a keeper because of the lack of ricotta cheese. I think, personally, that is the reason why we don't like lasagna. I can't say that zucchini and bacon weren't also selling points for this recipe. It was a pretty easy recipe to throw together and did not take hours like some lasagnas can. It seems like everyone really enjoyed it too.


Monday, July 29, 2019

Menu Plan Monday - July 29, 2019

Menu Plan Monday for Jul 29, 2019 // What I'm making this week #menuplanmonday #mealplan

Wow, July flew by and August is upon us - what happened?! In August, I'm going to try my hardest to make all the breakfast recipes and all the dessert recipes, something I have failed to do for months and months now. I only plan for two breakfast recipes a week and one dessert and man...I have just not made those recipes.

Monday - Bowtie Pasta with Basil, Pesto, Mozzarella, Tomato, and Chicken (cookbook)
Tuesday - Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
Wednesday - Eggs Benedict // Beer Cheese and Macaroni Soup
Thursday - Perfectly Made Schnitzel
Friday - A&W Chili Dogs
Weekend - Sourdough Monkey Bread // Slow Cooker Pork Roast // Coconut Cream Cupcakes

What are you having for dinner this week?
Feel free to leave a link to the recipe in the comments!


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Friday, July 26, 2019

Crispy Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

These pork carnitas are slow cooked in a delectable spice mix and broiled for a slight crispiness!


I really appreciate slow cooker recipes the older my kids get. We seem to always have something going on and I feel it's definitely going to get busier when I finish my degree. This recipe has the slow cooking element and then you have to do just a teensy bit of work when you shred it and throw it onto a sheet pan to broil for a little crispiness. I love love love the poblanos added to the mix too. The spice mix is wonderful!


Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Zucchini Pizza Bites

A bite of pizza atop zucchini slices is the perfect low carb snack.


Nick did the keto diet last summer and when we decided to have a junk food/fried food night, I was at a loss for what to make that wasn't breaded. This was an easy pick that fit the low carb category and was relatively inexpensive to make. I love zucchini, so I was game for this recipe. No, these aren't bagel bites, however, they are still delicious little pizza treats.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Menu Plan Monday - July 22, 2019

Menu Plan Monday for Jul 22, 2019 // What I'm making this week #menuplanmonday #mealplan

July was going by so quickly until I ran out of college for my term. New term starts the first of August, so I'm trying to get ahead on blogging because I've definitely let it fall to the wayside. This week, you may notice many pineapple dishes towards the end of the week. This is due to the fact that my oldest will be out of town and since he is allergic to pineapple now, we are eating all the pineapple foods while he's gone. I wouldn't dare eat Hawaiian pizza in front of him because it was his absolute favorite pizza, so we'll do it while he's gone.

Monday - Bacon Cheeseburger Spaghetti
Tuesday - Sheet Pan Salsa Verde Chicken Fajitas
Wednesday - Snickerdoodle Crumble Donuts // Roasted Cheesy Potato and Ham Soup
Thursday - Pork Chops with Pineapple Fried Rice
Friday - Sally's Hawaiian Pizza
Weekend - Cinnamon Streusel Pancakes // Herby Roast Chicken with Onion Garlic Mashed Potatoes (cookbook) // PB Lover's Cookies

What are you having for dinner this week?
Feel free to leave a link to the recipe in the comments!

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Friday, July 19, 2019

Grilled Chicken and Bacon Pizza with Garlic Cream Sauce

Pizza has never tasted so good with this garlicky sauce, grilled chicken, and bacon!


I don't make a lot of chicken pizza simply because a lot of the bases are ranch and the boys will not eat ranch period. This pizza recipe caught my eye because of the garlic cream sauce. I am definitely one of those people who puts 8 to 10 cloves worth of garlic into most recipes because I love garlic. Thankfully, Nick and the big kids do too. You can never go wrong with bacon too, so I knew this would be a keeper. I opted for the wine for the sauce and used a pinot grigio and it was fantastic.


Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Rolo Ice Cream #FantasticalFoodFight

Welcome to another Food Fight! Fantastical Food Fight is a group of food bloggers who will get a theme or ingredient each month and make some sort of variation for it. It could be traditional or nontraditional and can be found in a cookbook, on a blog, or be a blogger's own creation! For more details, check out this page.

This month's Fantastical Food Fight theme is ICE CREAM. I was gifted an ice cream attachment for my stand mixer for my birthday in 2014 and if I'm being completely honest, I've only used it a handful of times and I definitely feel a little guilty about it. Don't even get me started on the pasta attachment I received for Christmas 2014. Since there wasn't a stand out theme or ingredient for July, I thought ice cream would fit really well. The caveat being that we would stick to ice cream - no gelato, froyo, sherbert, etc. It could, however, be made in an ice cream machine or a no churn recipe, which are the coolest ever if you ask me!


I did not have a recipe in mind when I picked the theme for the month. So I went straight to my frozen dessert board on Pinterest and tried to narrow down a few recipes. Ultimately, I decided upon this Rolo ice cream. The recipe came from My Baking Addiction and was adapted from an Alton Brown recipe. It was really helpful for me to watch the video of him making it so I could nail the process. I always get nervous when I have to temper ingredients. I did make a few errors (like dumping all the sugar into the eggs, instead of slowly) but miraculously, it turned out beautifully. It was super smooth and creamy. Very light and luscious. I would only change one thing and that is to fold the rolos in with the caramel sauce instead of throwing them into the ice cream maker when it was in soft serve stage. We ended up with a few balls of chopped Rolos and they are not too nice to your teeth when they are frozen.


Monday, July 15, 2019

Menu Plan Monday - July 15, 2019

Menu Plan Monday for Jul 15, 2019 // What I'm making this week #menuplanmonday #mealplan

We're undergoing some transitions in the household this week with Nick working from home (unless he travels) for his new job. I may end up throwing a few lunch recipes into the mix next month! Cami (my 11 year old) has been my sous chef lately, so I'm sure she will be assisting this week for more than just her recipe for Friday. I went grocery shopping yesterday and was unable to find blackberry pie filling, so the dessert will be peach!

Monday - One Pan Creamy Lemon Pasta with Chicken and Asparagus
Tuesday - Taco Ring
Wednesday - Easy Cream Cheese Danish // Colcannon Soup
Thursday - Best Ever Szechuan Beef
Friday - Buttermilk Fried Chicken Sandwiches (cookbook)
Weekend - White Trash Hash // Three Envelope Pot Roast // Blackberry Crunch Cobbler

What are you having for dinner this week?
Feel free to leave a link to the recipe in the comments!

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Friday, July 12, 2019

Chicken Bacon Alfredo Roll Ups

This roll-ups recipe is pretty easy to make but the alfredo sauce is not to be underestimated. It is the very best alfredo sauce I have ever eaten.


I have made this recipe like a million times because I struggle to get a good picture of food that is really white and saucy. This is about the best I could get but I just want to say that I am not at all bummed out that I had to make this over and over to try and get a better picture. The part of this recipe that really makes it an all-time favorite is the garlic alfredo sauce. It is literally the very best alfredo sauce I have ever had. I make it for other recipes now or just on the fly when we want some alfredo sauce.


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Grilled Cobb Salad

Cobb salad has never been so good with grilled chicken and asparagus and roasted corn and tomatoes.


Cobb salads are probably my favorite kind of salad because I love that there are eggs and bacon in them. This particular cobb salad is perfect for summertime because you can grill the ingredients. I chose to sub in canned corn and roast those with tomatoes in the oven instead of grilling. I did grill my chicken and asparagus though.