Recipe Share

[Recipe Share] Nacho Casserole!

I can’t even believe that I haven’t posted anything in…well…I don’t even know how long.  The hubby has been working out of the state all week long, so that’s my excuse.  Being at home with two kids 24/7 without him to help has been beyond exhausting.  It looks as though there is a light at the end of the tunnel though, so hopefully I will pick things up and lead right were I left off!

This recipe comes straight from my newest obsession.  PINTEREST.  If you don’t have an invite yet, email me ( and I will send one to you.  It is amazing.  AMAZING. 

I have to give props to the original person that posted the recipe.  I haven’t had much of a chance to check out the rest of the blog, but if it is anything like this recipe, I am sure there are all sorts of surprises and goodies to be had. 

Now onto the show…

[Nacho Casserole]

Tortilla Chips
1lb. Ground Beef
Taco Seasoning
Approx. 2c. Shredded Cheese (I prefer the Mexican blend)
Refried Beans
1c. of your favorite Salsa
Green Onions
Black Olives

First of all – bust out your knife.  As you can see, I sharpen mine every time I use them.  It’s worth it.  Who wants to try and slice into a tomato with a dull blade?  Not me!  Don’t know how to sharpen a knife?  Learn. 

Cut your green onions and tomatoes.

Begin to brown the ground beef.  Open up the can of refried beans and warm them on medium heat.

Once your ground beef is done cooking, add the taco seasoning and follow the directions on the back of the packet.

Once your refried beans have warmed up, pour approx. 1c. of salsa and 1c. of cheese into the beans.  Mix until blended well and the cheese has melted.  (I always add more cheese.  Do you see that beautiful mount of goodness?  Nom Nom Nom Nom!)

Now onto the fun part!

Start with a layer of tortilla chips on the bottom of a 8″x11″ dish.
Add the refried bean mixture.
Top bean mixture with all the seasoned ground beef.
Add a nice handful of cheese on top of the ground beef.

At this point, add another layer of tortilla chips.
Sprinkle black olives on top of the cheese.
Add green onions. 
(Wait to add the tomatoes until after the casserole has cooked.  The flavor is much brighter.)

After cooking in the oven for 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees…this is the beautiful ending! 
I love it, hubby loves it, Kiddo loves it, and I am sure that if Noodle was old enough to eat this type of food, she would love it too!



|Recipe Share| White Sangria

There is nothing like a good sangria recipe.

I have searched high and low for both red and white sangrias…without a lot of success.  What I have found works best, is to just find your favorite ingredients and start putting them together.

So that is how I developed this recipe.  I took some of my very favorite flavors, whisked them together, and decided to let it fester in the fridge for a few days.  And voila!  You have sangria!


White wine
Limeade Concentrate
2 liter bottle of 7up
1 Gallon Pitcher

First things first.  Slice up your fruits.  I like to try and keep the slices pretty uniform in size.  Be careful with the lemons as they tend to have a lot of seeds.  I removed all of mine from my slices before putting it into my pitcher, but feel free to leave the seeds if you don’t mind them.

Next, add your limeade concentrate.  Then, add vodka.  (I used 1/2 cup.  You can use more if you’re making your sangria at the last minute.  I only used 1/2 cup because as it festers in the fridge, the alcohol content becomes stronger.)

Next, add the entire bottle of white wine.  Then at least a 1/2 cup of sugar.  Add more if you prefer a sweeter drink rather than a tangy one.  After you’ve added your sugar, give your sangria a good stir.  Then take your 7up and add half of it to your pitcher full of goodies. 

Give it a good stir and set it in the fridge for at least two days!  (If you don’t have the time to let it fester, add a bit more alcohol and a bit more sugar to intensify the flavors)  Once you are ready to serve your sangria, take the other half of your 7up and add it to your sangria.  It adds a bit of carbonation and really livens it up a bit.  Voila!!

Last but not least, I wanted to include a little clean up trick that I do all the time.  When I buy fresh fruit, I keep the plastic next to me while I’m working and discard all my unused parts onto the bag.  When I’m finished, all I have to do is pick it up and put it in the trash.  It’s much easier than having a countertop to clean or taking trips to the trash can the entire time.  🙂

|Recipe Share| Mozzarella, Basil, Tomato Salad

This is one of my very favorite things to eat…and I never made it until today.

Three ingredients (essentially) and thats all you need for a bright and delicious appetizer.

I dare you to make it, you will ADORE it!  I mean come on, who doesn’t like a soft hunk of fresh mozzarella cheese topped with basil and a slice of tomato?  🙂

Mozzarella, Basil, Tomato Salad

Fresh Basil (I used the chopped in a tube.  Sounds horrible but that’s all they had at WalMart.  Ugh…don’t even get me started)
Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
-Optional- [This is how I prepared mine]
Lemon Juice
Black Pepper

You start with these three ingredients.

Slice your Mozzarella and lay it on the plate you will serve on.  Layer black pepper (optional) and basil onto your cheese.  Keep in mind, if using fresh basil, you may layer more than just one leaf on your cheese.  It all just depends on the level of likeness you have with basil.

You then slice your tomato.  Make sure to try and keep your slices even (I prefer them to be the same width as my cheese) so that you keep the flavors evenly distributed.

Take your cheese with basil and layer on the tomato slices.

Finish with a drizzle of lemon juice and voila!


|Recipe Share| Pork & Bean Chili

Unfortunately I won’t have any fun pictures to accomany this recipe – but maybe it’ll just force you to get to the store and buy all the goods to make it yourself!  (It is THAT good people…)

Now I do have to say though – the hubby barely touched it.  His little virgin tastebuds are absolutely terrified of onions, peppers, and tomatoes so he ended up going fairly hungry for the evening.  That’s the thing though – you eat what I make or else you’ll have an empty stomach.  End. Of. Story.  🙂

Pork & Bean Chili

4 tsp. canola oil
1lb. pork tenderloin trimmed of visible fat and cut into 1 in. cubes
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14-3/4 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

Heat 2 teaspons of the oil in a large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the pork and cook, stirring occasionally, until browed, about 4 minutes.  Transfer the pork to a plate.

Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in the pot you want your chili to stew in.  (Medium-high heat)  Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the tomatoes and their juice, the chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper; cook until the mixture comes to a boil, about 4 minutes.  Stir in the beans; reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the mixture thickens slightly, about 7 minutes.  Add the pork and cook until the pork is cooked through, about 5 minutes.

I then allowed it to simmer on the stove on low for a good half an hour (more time is better) to let the flavors mature.

After pouring my soup into a nice big bowl, I garnished it with a dollop of sour cream and mozarella cheese. 


|Recipe Share| Beef & Tater Bake

Okay.  So my “weekly” recipe posts have definately been straggling in the recent months.  I am hoping that this recipe will make up for it though!

Due to the overwhelming requests to share this rockin’ tater tot casserole recipe – I decided that this would be the recipe that hopefully gets me back into my groove! 

I recieved this recipe from my neighbor a few days ago.  Right after we had the baby, she showed up – warm casserole in hand – to congratulate us and to keep our bellies full.  Anyone who has had a newborn in the house knows full well that food is pretty low on the list!

When I first took a look at it, I saw broccoli.




But being as famished as I was, I figured I should be thankful and just give it a try.


Seriously, this is officially my favorite casserole to make now.  Don’t let the ingredients fool you.  It is beyond tasty and will satisfy even the pickiest eater in your household. 

Calories?  Lets just forget that we’re paying attention to those numbers, okay? 


Beef & Tater Bake

4 cups frozen tater tots
1lb. ground beef
1 package (16oz) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
1 can condensed cream of broccoli soup, undiluted
1 meduim tomato, chopped
1 can french fried onions, divided
1 cup shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese, divided
1/3 cup 2% milk
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. pepper

– Place tater tots in an ungreased 13×9″ baking dish.  Bake, uncovered at 400° for 10 minutes.

– Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain.  Stir in the broccoli, soup, tomato, 3/4 cup french-fried onions, 1/2 cup cheese, milk, garlic powder and pepper; heat through.  Pour over tator tots.

– Cover and bake for 20 minutes.  Uncover; sprinkle with remaining onions and cheese. Bake an additional 5-10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.


(Recipe Share) Reader Recipes: I need your help!

Alright guys – with the baby due to arrive any day now, it is time to get meals ready for the next few weeks. 

When I had the kiddo, my Mom had this great idea to go to Dinners Served in B-Town and make up a weeks worth of meals that I could freeze and then just reheat whenever we had a moment to sit down for some grub.  It was the GREATEST idea!  So…as I’m lying in bed at 3:45 this morning running through my head, I realized that this was something I should definately do again.  Only this time, I am pretty sure I can prepare even more – maybe even for two or three weeks!

With your help of course! 🙂

So…here’s my open call ladies and gents.  Puuulllease send me your best make-ahead or frozen recipes!  Feel free to either comment right here on the blog, or e-mail me at

Thanks in advance guys, I really appreciate it!!

(Recipe Share) Menu Mondays!

Every single Monday I make up my menu for the week.

I bust out all my favorite cook books, find a pad of paper, and sit down in the afternoon sunshine to dream up some good cookin!

I have heard some people say that they don’t know how I do it.

“How do you plan an entire week’s menu?”
“How do you have time to cook like that?”

It is plain and simple.  PLAN. PLAN. PLAN.

First of all, I am a stay at home Mom.  Yes, that gives me extra time to make up more elaborate meals.  BUT…I normally don’t start cooking until 5:00 or 5:30 on a normal evening.  So for those of you that say that I can do it just because I stay at home with my kids…BAH.  It takes the same steps and the same amount of time for a stay at home Mom to make a roast, as it does a full time working Mother to do the same.  You CAN do it! 

Second of all, I know in advance (becuase of planning, go figure!) that on Friday – I am going to be making a very elaborate meal.  Therefore I know, that I can actually fry up the bacon and crumble it on Thursday and I can even make my twice baked potatoes when I wake up on Friday morning.  That way, come Friday evening as things begin to get crazy, I actually just throw everything together in the last 45 minutes, and voila!

In all reality though, I can do it because I want to do it.  I love to cook and I like to take the time to plan and make sure I’m feeding my family well.  Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Pizza Hut every now and then – but I also want my children to grow up knowing that Zuchinni right off the plant is fabulous.  And that brewing up your own homemade salsa makes friends and neighbors flock to your house like bees to honey.

My goal though?  Raise my kids so that when they first come across a boxed and powdered potato – that they scoff and wonder how such a thing could even exist.