Tilapia with Pesto and Cauliflower Gratin

I have heard some people say they don’t like cooking fish because they think it will stink up the house. They think it is hard to make. Well, I am here to prove them wrong. It couldn’t be easier and the house smells amazing. I also made a spinach and basil pesto to go with the fish. It matched perfectly. There were no leftovers…

Pan fried Tilapia

2-3 filets of tilapia cut in half
2 cups of flour
salt and pepper to taste
a couple tablespoons of oil AND butter

Sprinkle both sides of fish with salt and pepper; coat in flour. In large skillet, heat oil and butter over medium-high heat; fry fish in batches, turning once, until golden and fish flakes easily when tested, 4 to 5 minutes.



Spinach Basil Pesto

Directions- Mix the following ingredients in a food processor and stream in olive oil to make smooth and creamy;
1/2 container of pine nuts
1 handful of both spinach and basil
1/2 container of parmesan cheese
2 cloves of garlic
salt and pepper to taste
photo 2

Cauliflower Gratin


1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
Sea Salt and Pepper
3 tbl butter
2 tbl flour
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
2 cups of shredded cheese- I used mild cheddar and colby jack


Place cauliflower on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Generously salt and pepper your veggies. Toss and cover well all pieces with olive oil or cooking spray. Place in preheated 425 degree oven for 20 minutes. Turn to broil for the last 5 minutes to get the pieces golden brown. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Over medium heat, melt the butter in a large skillet. Add in the flour, stirring to make a paste. Continue stirring for about 5 minutes. Slowly add in heavy cream stirring and blending. Do the same with the milk. Reduce heat to low and add the cheeses a little bit at a time, stirring and allowing it all to melt. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Place roasted cauliflower in a large mixing bowl. Add creamy cheese mixture and blend well. Pour into a cast iron skillet and add more shredded cheese to the top. Bake for 20 minutes in a preheated 425 degree oven or until the top is golden brown.




Oh, and we had a side of couscous. That is always a hit. =) Hope you have a great week!

The B.E.L.T- Bacon, Egg, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwich

The best thing about a sandwich is there is no right way to make one. You can add anything you like. You can leave off something you don’t like. You can take a classic sandwich, like the BLT, and change or enhance it, if you will. The same can be done for the Grilled Cheese. One of my daughters did not want a BLT, but a grilled cheese with bacon. Ok. Love it! My husband wanted a BLT, so I made him the classic. My other 2 daughters wanted a plain grilled cheese and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I wanted to have a BLT with a poached egg.

You might say, “Why are you making everyone something different? I thought you only make one thing and everyone has to eat it?”

That is my rule for dinner. I only make one meal. You eat it or starve. No one has starved. Everyone eats. Breakfast and lunch are a different story. I have no problem making different meals for breakfast and lunch. Usually everyone always wants to have the same thing anyway. Every once in a while, someone might want to be unique, so I roll with it. C’est la vie!

Here are some very lovely pictures of my BELT. I toasted some rosemary french bread, slathered it with mayo and horseradish, added my bacon, lettuce, and tomato, and topped with my poached egg. Messy, but oh so good.





Stove Top Lasagna and Bruschetta

Last weekend, I was watching The Kitchen, a show that comes on the Food Network. It is kinda like The Chew, but only comes on Saturdays. Sunny Anderson is one of the TV chef personalities, and she was making this stove top lasagna. It looked so easy and delicious, I thought I would make it the next time lasagna was on the menu. I made this kind of from what I remember, so it is not exactly the same as hers. Here is the link to her original recipe. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sunny-anderson/sunnys-pan-sagna-one-pan-plan-lasagna.html
Here is how I made it…

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 chopped onion
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning and fresh herbs- next time I will add more
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound ground beef
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
1 container of mushrooms
1 to 2 cups beef stock
8 par-cooked lasagna sheets, broken into shards- I also added the end of a box of penne.
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese

You need a large pan with a lid that is also oven safe. I used a circular dutch oven. Add the olive oil on medium-high heat. When the oil begins to swirl around in the pan a bit, add onions, mushrooms, Italian seasoning, a little salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cook until the vegetables are tender and the onions become translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste and garlic. Stir for a couple of minutes.

Add the beef to the pan. Cook while breaking up with a wooden spoon until cooked through and browned, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stir. Add the stock to cover the contents by almost an inch. Bring the pan to a boil then add the broken lasagna sheets. Make sure you cover the pasta with the liquid. Cover the pot, lower the heat to a simmer and cook until the lasagna noodles are al dente, about 8-10 minutes. I uncovered it and stirred it around every few minutes to prevent it from sticking to the bottom.

Once it is done, stir in the Parmesan cheese. The spread the mozzarella all over the top. Turn the oven on low broil. Put the pot in the oven and keep the door a jar a bit. Keep an eye on it and take it out when the cheese is melty and brown. YUM!



Of course I didn’t forget about the Bruchetta! Make this before you put your lasagna in the oven for a nice appetizer to munch on while you sip some wine and wait for dinner to be ready. Lots of different ways to make this- what kind of bread are you going to use; are you going to toast it first or toast the ingredients on it; what kind of toppings are you going to add etc.

I made mine pretty in a pretty basic way- Cut open some bread, minced some garlic and put it on the bread first, then add slices of a tomato, mozzarella, and top with some thinly sliced basil leaves. Put in the oven on low broil until cheese is melted. Perfect with a glass of Malbec!010



Weekly Meal Plan 4/26

Hey guys! Hope you had an awesome week! Mine was long and tedious. Glad the weekend is here. Here is my plan for the week. p.s. still didn’t eat those tacos from the last 2 weeks… Those taco shells are just mocking me now…

Sat- Stovetop lasagna- recipe soon…
Sun- Fish fillets of sorts…better than you know who…
Mon- Pork Chops- Gonna do a homemade Shake and Bake of sorts…
Tues- Steak- guys, seriously, this is my FAVORITE thing to eat. It is one of the best leftover cold foods out there. Well, except pizza.
Wed- Chicken of some sort- I am not sure what yet
Th- Grandparent night
Friday- Family Night Out

My pup waiting for food he thinks he might get…

Puff Pastry Fruit Pies

These were so easy. All I did was defrost some frozen fruit (I used peaches and a berry blend). I used 2 puff pastry shells. I put the fruit in the middle of the puff pasty and enclosed the sides. 287
Then I mixed an egg and gave the outside a good coating of egg wash and sprinkle sugar over all of it.
Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes or until the puff pastry is nice and golden brown. Serve hot and with ice cream. Nice and easy summer dessert!

Easter Sunday Dinner 4/14

Happy Sunday, my fellow foodie friends! I hope you had a great weekend spent with your family. We had 2 sets of grandparents here this weekend, so we ate lots of yummy food. There was my pork ragu last night. Pretty awesome guys, really. I marked the recipe last night, so if you haven’t checked it out, you should.

Today was a pretty traditional Easter meal; Honey Baked Ham, Au Gratin Potatoes, Green Beans, Squash Casserole, corn, and salad. It was pretty awesome. Desert in a separate post. Hope you stick around to check it out. It was so yummy!

My mom brought the ham. If you do not know what a honey baked ham is, I feel sorry for you. Basically, it is a company that makes them. They are all around the south. You can pre-order them for special occasions or just them pretty much any time of year. 291

Green Beans- Cooked with onion and bacon cooked until tender. Delicious!

Corn- Frozen cooked with butter. Easy, but still yummy.

Squash Casserole-

Boil about 3 pounds of squash thinly sliced with diced onion and a few tablespoons of butter. Cook for about 20 minutes. Cool.
In a separate bowl, mix 2 eggs, 1 cup of bread crumbs, and 3 heaping tablespoons of sour cream. Mix with the cooled squash and put in a greased Pyrex dish. Level off and top with small cubed chunks of butter over; don’t be stingy, ya’ll. This is not healthy squash.
Bake at 350 for around 45 minutes-1 hour. My favorite holiday indulgence!

Potatoes Au Gratin
I have made this before. It is always a hit. The recipe before was for only 4-5, so I doubled it…here is the new ingredients and directions…
Au Gratin Potatoes-
2 cup heavy cream
8 tbsp. butter
2 garlic clove, crushed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 large russet potatoes, peeled, and thinly sliced
2 cup grated cheese- I used a combo of colby jack, mild cheddar, and gruyere. What an amazing combo!

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Heat cream, butter, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium nonreactive saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, layer a greased 8″ × 12″ baking dish or med. sized cast iron skillet alternately with potatoes and ¾ cup of the cheese.

3. Carefully strain heated cream over assembled potatoes, then sprinkle potatoes with remaining ¼ cup of cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper, cover dish with aluminum foil, and bake for 45 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and continue baking until potatoes are tender and gratin is golden and bubbling, about 15 minutes. Allow gratin to rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.



Meal Plan 4/19/14

Hope you guys have a great weekend filled with fun, food, and family!

Sat- Pork Ragu with egg noodles



Sunday- Honey Baked Ham with Au Gratin Potatoes and veggies

Monday- Sausage and Rice Jambalaya

Tuesday- Tacos (did not get to make them last week, so they are on the plan for this week instead)

Wednesday- Clean out the Fridge Night

Thursday- Quick meal on the road to class..only 2 more =)

Friday- Family night out

Pimento Cheese Sloppy Joes

Yes!!! Finally I have done it!!! I have made my daughters’ beloved hohum sloppy joes that they love so much actually taste AMAZING!!! Sloppy Joes are not a pretty dish. There are tons of recipes out there that look great. I wanted to try more, but my girls stand by the recipe their daddy first made.

My husband remembers having this as a child. The only sloppy joes I had were in the school cafeteria and avoided at all cost. Maybe it was Manwich… Not sure, but I don’t ever remember my mom making a Sloppy Joe. And I thank her for that.

I had to figure out a way to make me like them more without adding cooks onions, peppers, or tomatoes that may give it away. I found a solution; tomato paste, barbecue sauce, onion and garlic powder and pimento cheese. The kids didn’t eat it with pimento cheese, but I will be happy to hog all the cheese for the time being. For real…TRY THIS COMBO!

Sloppy Joes- all my ingredients are now eyeballed and to taste, but these are pretty much the right portions- taste everything and add if needed.

1 pound ground beef
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoons mustard
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
a generous shake of liquid smoke… Once I ran out and used worcestershire sauce and no one noticed.
a few shakes of onion and garlic powder- the real thing would be better, but I am easing them in to the idea of a different sauce…
pimento cheese- I used 2 tablespoons of Palmetto’s Bacon Cheese. I have made plenty of pimento cheese. Homemade pimento cheese is easy and delicious, bit this is a great premade brand.

Directions- Brown your ground beef. Drain any grease leftover. Add all your ingredients. Warm on low. I toasted MY bun, but the girls like theirs untoasted. I also made some Annie’s Mac and Cheese and canned baked beans.

The Girls’ Plates

My Plate

Italian Sausage Sandwiches

This sandwich was amazing. Now, it is not like your regular sandwich. You cannot really eat this with your hands. You gotta get in there with a knife and fork. It is a cross between a meatball sub and a sausage and peppers sub. Just do me a favor and make this. Soon. Did I mention it has cheese? Ooey Gooey Cheese. Clean plates all around!

Italian Sausage Sandwich


small onion, chopped
2 heads garlic, chopped
1 container mushrooms, sliced
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
5 Sweet Italian Sausages cut up in 1 inch pieces- You could substitute chicken or turkey sausage
4-6 hoagie rolls
1 container of marinara sauce- You could make your own, but for a quick meal, use your favorite jarred sauce. I actually found a sausage and peppers marinara that was perfect (Publix brand).
1/2-1 cup of mozzarella cheese- feel free to use as much as you like


Preheat broiler to high
Hollow out the top halves of rolls. Arrange rolls on baking sheet. Broil 1 1/2 minutes or until toasted. Set aside for the time being.
Heat a large skillet or pan over med. heat. Add some veg. oli to the pan and let it get hot. Add your onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes. Add your sausage pieces to pan; cook about 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add mushrooms, peppers, and marinara; bring to a boil. Reduce heat,and simmer 5 minutes or so until peppers are tender.

Arrange some of the sausage mixture on each half of roll. Add plenty of mozzarella cheese on each sandwich. Broil for 2 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Enjoy! 010



Meal Planning 4/12/14

So sad my spring break week is coming to an end. Just gotta make it 6 more weeks until summer! The weather here is beautiful, despite the high pollen count. This past week we planted a veggie and herb garden. It looks great and can’t wait to see everything bloom and grow. I am also looking forward to the nearby farmer’s market opening up soon! Spring is a great time of year!
Here is my meal plan for the week. Hope you guys have a great week!

Sat- Italian Sausage Sandwiches
Sun- Sloppy Joes
Mon- Chicken and veggies with couscous
Tuesday- Tacos


Wed- Shrimp Pesto Pasta
Kind of like this, but with shrimp instead of chicken.
Thursday- Clean out the fridge night
Friday- Out