Category Archives: Dinner

Zucchini Tots

I’ve always wished that I liked zucchini more…but really, the only way I truly love to eat the stuff is smothered in butter. haha. Okay, so that’s not so healthy. I found this pin today, and I was actually already planning on making zucchini with our dinner, so I gave it a try! The original recipe can be found here: http://curiouscountrycook.blogspot.com/2012/03/zucchini-tots.html

What You Need:

1 cup grated zucchini

1 egg

1 cup diced onion

1/4 cup (more or less, depending) bread crumbs

A sprinkle of cheese (original called for 1/4 cup, I just sprinkled it)

Salt and Pepper

Grate your zucchini and dice your onion. The original recipe says to dry the grated zucchini in a towel, but honestly I forgot to. Mine turned out fine, so I guess that’s one less step for you!

Next, mix together your zucchini, onion, egg, bread crumbs, and salt and pepper.

Drop spoonfuls of the mix into your greased MINI muffin/cupcake pan. Don’t use the regular sized muffin pan, they just won’t hold together as well and won’t crisp up as nicely as the mini. Sprinkle the tops with cheese.

Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes.

They smelled pretty good! And they are cute 🙂 Mark really liked them, although he seemed pretty leery of them at first LOL I thought they were okay, but kind of bland. I feel like they need something more…but I just can’t figure out what! I guess I’ll rate them 4 out of 5 stars, since I would have given them 3 but Mark would give them 5. I’m sure I’ll make them again.

Have you made the Zucchini Tots? What did you think?

Crispy Sweet Potato Fries

I have seriously  been on a sweet potato kick lately, I just can’t get enough of ’em! These looked delicious and I’ve been wanting to make them for a while now. Original can be found here: http://www.theartofdoingstuff.com/guaranteed-crispy-sweet-potato-fries-sriracha-mayo-dip/

So, here’s what you need…

2 sweet potatoes

2 tbls cornstarch

olive oil

sea salt and pepper

These are super easy…first, peel and slice your sweet potatoes. Make the slices moderately thick, if they are too thin they will just burn in the oven. Once those puppies are sliced you need to soak them in water for 30 minutes to an hour. Don’t they look like carrots?!

Next, put your cornstarch in a big ziplock bag and shake your sweet potatoes up. They don’t need to have a thick coating, just lightly coated. Too thick and you will have the flavor of the cornstarch even after you cook them.

Now, spread them out on a cookie sheet making sure they have plenty of space in-between each fry. Too close and they won’t crisp up. The original recipe said to drizzle olive oil over the fries, but I used my olive oil spritzer. Then I sprinkled sea salt and pepper.

Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, flipping them over after 10 minutes. I served our sweet potato fries with crunchy onion pork chops (also Pinterest!) and a mozzarella, tomato, pesto mix. Oh, and of course RANCH for dipping!

These were a HUGE hit with my husband! He loved them, I loved them. 5 out of 5 stars! I will certainly be making them again 🙂

Have you made the crispy sweet potato fries? What did you think?

Chicken Bacon Ranch Mac n Cheese

Oooooh boy!!! I’m a HUGE mac n cheese fan. But mac n cheese with two of my other favs…bacon and ranch?! Yes please. I was salivating the whole time I was making this 🙂

The original can be found here: http://firstlookthencook.com/2010/02/26/bacon-ranch-and-chicken-mac-and-cheese/

What You Need:

1 cup (8 oz) elbow macaroni

3 slices bacon (original called for only one slice. ha. puh-lease. ONE slice?!)

1 cup (8 oz) chicken breast, cut into small cubes

1 tbls butter

1 tbls powdered ranch mix (original called for flour – I’ll explain more about this later)

1 1/2 cups milk

1 can cream of mushroom soup (original called for 1/3 cup)

1 1/2 cups shredded cheese, I used a colby jack and mozzarella

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 onion powder

1/2 tsp salt

(original called for 1/2 tsp fresh dill, I didn’t use it)

Cook pasta, drain, and set aside. Cook bacon until crisp, remove from the pan, finely chop. Then cook the chicken in the bacon drippings, until browned. I didn’t do this, only because I had the bacon cooked from the day before. Otherwise I would have cooked the chicken in the bacon drippings.

Melt butter and ranch mix in a large sauce pan for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. So above in the ingredients you can see that I used ranch mix instead of flour. When I read through the original recipe I was like “Where is the ranch? I thought this was a ranch mac n cheese?!” Totally bugged. Apparently the flavors are supposed to mix together and taste like ranch. Well, I wasn’t taking any chances! So in with the ranch mix…

Add the milk and soup to the butter mixture, stirring with a whisk until well combined. Bring to a boil. Cook until it thickens.

Remove from heat and add in almost all of the cheese, saving just enough to sprinkle over the top once it’s in the baking dish. Add in the pasta, chicken, bacon, and seasonings. Mix until well combined.

Pour the mixture into a baking dish, sprayed with Pam or otherwise greased. Place in the broiler for a few minutes, watching until the top begins to bubble and slightly brown.

It doesn’t look too pretty, but let me tell you…YUM. It was SO GOOD. So good in fact that I went back for seconds (which I never do!). My hubby took one bite and refused to eat any more, he thought it was gross. Something about the bacon…he’s crazy. My little brother ate some leftover the next day and he said it delicious!

I will definitely be making this again! Although, it will probably be in a smaller amount since I’m the only one eating it LOL I give it 5 out of 5 stars for sure! I want some more right now…

Have you made the Chicken Bacon Ranch Mac n Cheese? Tell me what you thought!

Crockpot Chicken and Gravy

This recipe here just seemed really simple and traditional- chicken and gravy! Even better, this one was for the crockpot. If you make this recipe just as it was from the pin, it would be pretty bland. I added a few things, and next time I would add even more. I’ll show you how I made it this time…

What You Need:

2 chicken breasts

1 can cream of mushroom soup (original called for cream of chicken)

1 packet brown gravy mix (original called for chicken gravy mix)

1 cup of water (original did not call for any water)

Salt, pepper, minced onion (original did not call for any spices)

steamed rice

Combine all the ingredients in the crockpot, except the rice, and cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours.

I had set my crockpot on high for 3 1/2 hours, but after about 2 hours I realized I didn’t need to cook it for that long. So for the remaining time I set it on low. After it’s done cooking I pulled the chicken out and shredded it in my Kitchen Aid mixer (another fantastic Pinterest idea!). Then put it back in and mixed it all together. At this point you could either mix the rice into the chicken and gravy mixture, or you can serve the chicken and gravy on top of the rice.

I served it on top of the rice, that’s how my hubby likes it. We had some broccoli and cheese with it.

Okay, so this was pretty good. Like I said, traditional! Me, my hubby, and my brother Lucas would rate this 4 out of 5 stars. Next time though, we would add a few more things to the chicken and gravy: garlic powder, minced garlic, and additional minced onion. You will also want to have a good amount of pepper in there. With all that, we think this would be great! My hubbs asked for me to make it again, so I guess that means it was good 🙂

Have you made the Crockpot Chicken and Gravy? Tell me what you thought!

The Best Cornbread

I’m a born-and-raised Southern California girl…but sometimes I really think that I simply belong in the South. Southern food just makes me so happy! Cornbread is one of my all-time favorites, so when I found this Pin that claimed to be “The BEST cornbread ever!” I was all over it. Even the most novice of cooks could make this easy recipe. The original can be found here: http://thepearsonfamilee.blogspot.com/search/label/breads

Here’s what you need:

2 cups Bisquick

6 tbls cornmeal

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter

2 eggs

1 cup milk

Start by mixing together the Bisquick, cornmeal, and sugar.

Next you will melt the butter, then add the milk and eggs to the butter. Mix it all together and then add it into the bowl with the cornmeal mix.

Stir until well combined. Make you you get it all! It’s really easy to have a pocket of dry mix still left at the bottom. Now, pour it into a greased 8×8 baking dish! At this point you are free to lick the bowl. I looove raw  cornbread mix!

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, or until it starts to turn golden brown on the top. Don’t over-bake!

This really was some delicious cornbread! My husband, my little brother, and myself had it with our crispy cheddar chicken for dinner. It went quick!

This is certainly a 5 out of 5 star recipe that I can’t wait to make agin! Quick, easy, and cheap. Love it!

Have you made the Best Cornbread recipe? How did you like it?

Homemade Calzone

So, in the Altmyer house pizza is a staple. Bread. Cheese. Ranch. Yep- love it. I’ve attempted to make calzones before, but I haven’t had a ton of success with them…and none of them looked as nice as this one did! So I pinned this mostly because it looked like a fun way to “fold” the calzone.

What You Need:

Refrigerated pizza dough

Pizza Sauce

Mozzarella Cheese

Toppings

First you will need to roll or stretch the dough out to be about the size of your pan. I had mine hanging off the edge a little bit, and that was fine. Spread the sauce down the middle, then top with cheese and whatever toppings you want! We did half cheese (for me) and half pineapple and jalapeno (for the hubbs- his fav). Next, take your food scissors or a knife and cut 3/4 to 1 inch sections down both sides.

Next, wrap up the baby! Pull one section at a time across the pizza, alternating in a lattice pattern. Careful not to stretch the sections too long…because if you get too much dough piled up it will be difficult to cook all the way through without the top/bottom starting to get too dark.

Here’s what the finished product looked like…I topped mine with pizza seasonings.

I baked mine at 425 degrees for 13 minutes…but you could also bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. It smelled YUMMY and it looked so pretty! I served ours with some warm marinara and ranch dressing for dipping 🙂

This calzone was a hit! So easy, and looks really good too! Would be very easy to throw a few of these together for a large group, took maybe 5 minutes to prep it- and then only 15 minutes to cook! We rate it 5 out of 5 stars.

Have you made this recipe? Tell me what you thought!

Parmesan Pull-Aparts

Who the heck doesn’t loooooove garlic bread?! Or any kind of bread for that matter. I don’t know anyone. So needless to say, when I pinned this I was super anxious to get cookin’. The original recipe can be found here: http://life-as-a-lofthouse.blogspot.com/2011/06/parmesan-pull-aparts.html

What You Need:

1 can refrigerated biscuits

3 tbls butter

Garlic Powder

Dried Minced Onion

Parmesan Cheese

Mozzarella Cheese

Now, I don’t know about you- but I always shop on a budget. This week the Pillsbury Simply French Bread was on sale, so that’s the refrigerated biscuits that I bought. And it was really good! When I make these again, I’ll definitely use the same thing.

Now, cut the butter into small pieces and spread across the bottom of the pie dish…then sprinkle with the garlic powder and minced onion. WARNING: You might be tempted to go all-out with the garlic and onion, but trust me, don’t. There is plenty of flavor in the parmesan cheese. Okay, after the garlic and onion, sprinkle with the cheeses (I didn’t measure, I just liberally sprinkled 🙂 ). Place the biscuits on top of all that. Bake at 425 for 15-18 minutes. It smells GOOOOOOD!

They. Were. So. Good. Me and the hubby chowed DOWN! Oh so yummy. We rate this 5 out of 5 stars and I will absolutely be making these again!

Have you made this recipe? Tell me what you thought!

Two Timin’ Pasta

Okay so this recipe was super duper easy, and if you’re feeding a big family it’s pretty cheap! Some of us like marinara on our pasta…some of us like alfredo. But some of us like BOTH! I pinned this because it sounded quick, easy, and of course- sounded like something my hubby would enojy 🙂

What You Need:

Penne Pasta

Marinara

Alfredo

Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese

Just cook the pasta according to the package…meanwhile, mix the two sauces together in a separate bowl.

Next, pour the sauce into the cooked pasta and toss to coat. Then, sprinkle with the mozz and parmesan cheeses. Warm all the way through. It’s starting to look yummy!!!

Now, at this point the original recipe says to put the pasta in a baking dish and then bake it for about 20 minutes. I don’t always love baked pasta dishes, so I didn’t do that part. I just dished it up and served it!

Now, here is the part where I rate the recipe…my hubby and I agree, we give it 3 out of 5 stars. The flavor was okay, the consistency was good, but it just wasn’t as delicious as I had hoped 😦 Unfortunately, I don’t think I will be making this again.

Did you make this recipe? Tell me what you thought!