Category Archives: dinner

One Pot Penne Dinner – Instant Pot Dinner Idea Spaghetti Dinner

img_61061So last Christmas season I kept hearing about this amazing kitchen tool that would make your cooking faster and easier on those nights you are short on time.  This amazing appliance is called Instant Pot!  It is a new age pressure cooker!  It’s all electronic and very safe to use.

My favorite fast dinner recipe is so easy!

You will need these items to make the Penne Pasta dish-

1 box of penne pasta (any larger style pasta will work)

1lb of hamburger/ground turkey

1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce


Spices to taste


Turn on Instant Pot to sauté and put in your ground meat.  Add any of the regular spices you would add to your spaghetti dinner. I added some garlic powder, fried onion and basil.  Mix the meat around and cook it until it’s browned.

Once your meat is browned, you’ll want to turn the Instant Pot off sauté and add in your box of noodles and your jar of spaghetti sauce.  You’ll also need to add in a jar of water to the pot during this time.  The pressure cooker portion needs water/liquid to help cook the food, so don’t forget this part.  Mix it all together.

Put the lid on the pot and lock it and press manual.  Turn the timer to 5 minutes and let it start! When the pressure cooker is done cooking, it will beep.  Let it come down from pressure for 5 minutes and then let the rest of the pressure out.  Open up the Instant Pot and stir your food around.  That’s it! Dinner is complete!! It’s really that easy and such a great meal! And you’ve only dirtied 1 pan!!

I added parmasean cheese for a finishing touch.  Serve with garlic bread and voila!

Another easy dish to make is potato salad and hard boiled eggs!  If you get one, you won’t be disappointed at all!

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Crispy Ranch Chicken Recipe- Pinterest Inspired

So a few nights ago I decided to make a recipe I saw on Pinterest! Who doesn’t love ranch?? Really it’s amazing on everything.  Well this chicken was amazing too!

All you need is 5 basic ingredients for a great dinner for your family! My family was even asking for more!


3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 (1 ounce) packet of ranch dressing seasoning mix

1 cup crushed corn flakes

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375* degrees F.  Spray a 9 x 13 glass baking dish with cooking spray.

Combine the ranch seasoning mix, the crunched corn flakes and parmesan cheese into a large freezer baggy.

Shake well to mix it all together.

Dip each chicken breast into the melted butter, and then drop into the baggy.  Seal the bag shut and then shake well to coat the chicken with seasoning.  After well coated lay the chicken into the baking dish.  Repeat with all of the chicken.

Once all the chicken has been coated, sprinkle the remaining seasoning mixture onto the tops of the chicken.

Bake chicken 40-45 minutes.  Cover pan with foil so the chicken doesn’t burn on the top layer.

Let me know if you’ve ever made this before and if you do make it, how do you like it? My son asked for seconds and we even dipped it in homemade ranch dressing too!!

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Do you remember? McDonald’s Chicken Fajitas? DIY dinner ideas

Back in high school, I worked at McDonald’s for what seemed forever!!  I usually worked up front but sometimes I worked back in the grill and remembered these yummy fajitas as I was opening up the bag of Tyson Chicken Fajita slices the other day.  They smelled just like the chicken we used to use to make the fajitas so I decided to make my own version for us to eat for dinner the other night.index

I bought some Tyson Grilled & Ready Fajita Chicken Strips and heated them up in the pan on the stove.  I cut them into dices so it was easier to fit into the fajitas.  k2-_07276730-3b13-4f36-88ee-7f9b995da4f6.v1

Then I cut up some green peppers, red onion and got the shredded cheese out.  You could also put tomatoes on there, but if you know me, I am a picky eater and not a fan of them.  But I am broadening my palette with other foods I didn’t think I liked before. finalRoll up the chicken, onion, green peppers and cheese into a tortilla and then I headed it up in the microwave for about 1 minute 30 seconds to melt the cheese and then it was ready to eat!  You could add picante/salsa to it also to make it fit your taste even better!  It was a fast, easy dinner to make for my family and on the healthier side too!  Let me know if you try this recipe and tell me how you like it!

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Crunchy Kosher Dill Pickles- Canning Recipe

So this year, we planted a garden and I planted regular cucumbers and pickling cucumbers.  We love pickles and my aunt was always making awesome pickles so I thought, I should be able to do this.  She sent me her recipe she used, and I found one online and this is what I cam up with!  I canned them 3 weeks ago and we just opened up a jar, YUMMY!  They taste great!

I found this recipe on the website Mama Economics and they are GREAT!

Crunchy Kosher Dill Pickles
Author: Jennifer Williams
Recipe type: Canning
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 7 quart jars
  • 7 wide mouth jars with lids and rings
  • fresh or dried dill
  • cucumbers washed
  • 7 cloves of garlic
  • 7 hot peppers (optional)
  • 8½ cups water
  • 2¼ white vinegar
  • ½ cup pickling salt
  1. Wash jars
  2. Fill stock pot about ¼ cup of water set on burner and turn to high heat
  3. In medium saucepan fill ⅓ way with water set on burner and turn to high heat, bring almost to a boil, remove from burner and put lids in saucepan
  4. In a large pot bring water, vinegar, and salt to a boil
  5. Put garlic, dill, and cut peppers in jars ( I use kitchen shears to cut my peppers)
  6. Load cukes into jars tightly until you reach the neck of the jars
  7. Pour brine into jars, leaving ½ inch head space
  8. Add lid and ring to each jar and tighten
  9. Place jars into canner making sure water is JUST to the necks of the jars
  10. Bring water to ALMOST a boil, about 15 minutes
  11. Remove jars from canner, set on towel turned upside down
  12. Cover jars with a towel until cool
  13. Once cool, check for seal, label, and store in a cool dark location
  14. Pickles are ready to eat immediately, store in fridge once jars are opened

Here are some pictures to go along with the process:

Clean jars before canning

Clean jars before canning

Boiling lids

Boiling lids

Chop up your cucumbers whatever way you desire.  This time I sliced them, next time I'm gonna do some hamburger style slices.

Chop up your cucumbers whatever way you desire. This time I sliced them, next time I’m gonna do some hamburger style slices.

Dill and Garlic

Dill and Garlic

Jars filled with dill and garlic.  This is where I added a few hot peppers to a couple jars to see what they'd taste like.  You can also add red pepper flakes.

Jars filled with dill and garlic. This is where I added a few hot peppers to a couple jars to see what they’d taste like. You can also add red pepper flakes.

Fill jars with cucumbers.

Fill jars with cucumbers.

Pour the brine into the jars.

Pour the brine into the jars.

Jars closed and ready to boil so they can get their seal.

Jars closed and ready to boil so they can get their seal.

Boiling in the stockpot, waiting for them to seal.  Boil for about 15 mins.

Boiling in the stockpot, waiting for them to seal. Boil for about 15 mins.

Make sure you check the seals, no popped tops.  Store in a cool place for a couple weeks then enjoy!

Make sure you check the seals, no popped tops. Store in a cool place for a couple weeks then enjoy!

Up close shot after they were boiled and sealed.  They are now in the basement on a shelf.

Up close shot after they were boiled and sealed. They are now in the basement on a shelf.

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Project 365, Day 8

Brody’s at basketball practice so I’m getting things ready for dinner.  We are going to try this recipe Oven Toasted Ravioli Recipe from Six Sisters’ Stuff.  Their food and website are super cute and I can’t wait to meet them.  I’ve also looked for some slow cooker recipes on their website too.  Let’s hope it turns out good!

Didn’t do a whole lot today, called my friend MARVIN for unemployment.  Hopefully that gets going soon, missing income for 4 weeks now is frustrating.  I’m trying to plan Caden’s 4th birthday but need money for the deposit for the place.

We decided to have his party at Castaway Play.  With lots of little ones in the family, I think they will have a blast! Plus it’s made so that adults can play in it too!  Should be fun! 

Brody is ready for basketball!

Brody has his first basketball game of the season on Saturday! 🙂 He’s super excited.

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Project 365, Day 7

Today was back to school for Brody, so it was just me and Caden hanging out.  We went to Meijer to get groceries and came back to have lunch.

Then for dinner we made Chili, because here in Michigan, it’s still snowy and cold!! But this weekend it might get up to the 50’s, CRAZY weather.

Finished up the night watching The Biggest Loser.

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Crispy Chicken with Creamy Italian Sauce and Bowtie Pasta

I made this yummy recipe for dinner a few weeks ago, and wanted to let everyone else in on the yummy goodness!!  You use the new Philadelphia Cooking Creme, it’s the Italian Cheese & Herb one. 

Crispy Chicken with Creamy Italian Sauce and Bowtie Pasta Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
Recipe from Jamie Cooks It Up!
3 large chicken breasts
5 C corn flakes
3/4 C flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 C milk
6 T olive oil
1 12 oz package bowtie noodles (farfalle)

Sauce: 1 10 oz container Philadelphia Cooking Cream (Italian Cheese and Herb Flavor)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 C chicken broth
1/2 C milk fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

1. In a small food processor crush the corn flakes into crumbs.
2. Add the 1/2 t salt to the 3/4 C flour. Stir to combine.
3. Place the flour, milk and crushed cornflakes each into their own separate pan. Loaf pans work well for this. If you don’t have three loaf pans, do not dismay. You could use pie tins, or round cake pans…what ever works for you.
4. Place your chicken breasts in a gallon sized Ziploc bag and seal the top. Pound the chicken flat with a meat mallet. You will really be thankful for the Ziploc bag in this step. Who wants a bunch of chicken guts flying around their kitchen? Not me…that’s who.
5. Take a pair of sharp kitchen scissors and cut each breast in half.
6. Dredge the chicken in the flour. Be sure it gets covered on both sides. Lay the floured chicken onto a small cookie sheet and slide the sheet into the freezer. Let it hang out there for about 5 minutes.
7. Start cooking your pasta.
8. Remove the chicken from the freezer and dredge each piece in the milk…… …..and then immediately into the corn flake crumbs. Again, be sure both sides are covered well.
9. Add the olive oil to a hot skillet.
10. Carefully lay each chicken piece into the hot oil. Sprinkle with a little bit of salt and pepper. Cook over medium high heat for about 5 minutes…. ….or until the underside of each piece is nice and golden brown. Turn the pieces over. If the bottom of the pan is dry add just a bit more olive oil to the side of the pan. Swirl the pan around a bit to let the oil flow to all sides.
11. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Let the chicken cook for about 7 more minutes, being careful not to burn the bottoms. Burned bottoms are not advised. In any shape or form. Thank you.
12. When your chicken has been cooked through remove it from the pan and place it on a plate. Cover with tin foil.
13. Into the same pan pour your broth. Philly Cooking Creme, Cream of Chicken, and milk. Whisk the sauce around and let it get all warm and bubbly. Should only take about 3 minutes.
14. Slice your chicken into strips and serve over your cooked pasta and sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley if you choose.

Thanks to Jamie Cooks It Up! for the yummy goodness recipe and for Pinterest for helping me find it!

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