Adorable Little Lasagnas

{they were almost too cute to eat}
I got these new little dishes, and now I'm obsessed with making all my meals in these! Not only are these dishes darling, they are perfect for portion control. Winner winner chicken dinner! I was short on time tonight, and I didn't have much to make a whole lot of anything. So I whipped out my new dishes, and lasagna popped into my head... I know, I'm such a genius.
3 lasagna noodles (yeah 3!) uncooked
1 cup grated mozzarella
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup spaghetti sauce
Parmesan cheese for garnish

Directions: Boil 4 cups water, then add lasagna noodles. Boil until noodles are cooked through, wiggly and firm enough that they don't tear. Drain and put into a bowl of cold water. Cut each noodle into thirds. Add a spoonful of sauce to the bottom of each little dish (250 mL).

Place one noodle in each dish and then layer with onions, tomatoes, sauce and cheese- saving the most cheese for the tops. Then garnish with grated Parmesan cheese.

Cover losely with foil, and bake for about 20 minutes at 350F, removing foil the last 10 minutes of baking. Remove from oven and let sit for about 5-7 minutes. And, you're done! 


BBQ Chicken Personal Deep Dish Pizza's

{chicago style}
One thing my husband knows well from his two years in Chicago is deep dish pizza. I don't know why it's taken me this long to make deep dish pizza when he's constantly raving about how amazing it is. In the words of Gru from Despicable Me... "light bulb". We made our own crusts from a family recipe for pizza dough, but I'm certain you can use whatever dough you want, pre-made or make it yourself. And, like all pizzas, you can add whatever toppings you want!
Ingredients for pizza dough:
2 3/4 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons yeast (active dry)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil
5-6 cups all purpose flour

2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped green (or red) onion
2 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed

Directions: In a large bowl, add water, sugar and yeast- let rise for 5 minutes or until foamy. Add salt, oil and about 3 cups of the flour and mix either with a dough hook or a spoon/hands until all the flour is incorporated. Then add the remaining flour a little at a time until it's no longer sticky. Separate dough in half and if you aren't going to use it right away, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about a day, or freeze it. Cut remaining dough in half again and roll each piece out to fit the size of an 8x8 inch round baking dish. Spray two 8x8 or 9x9 inch round baking dishes and place pizza dough in each dish- press dough down firmly along the inside of the pan.
Spread some BBQ sauce on the dough, then top with veggies and chicken. Then add cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly, at 400F. Let pizzas sit about 5 minutes before turning them out of the pans. There ya have it!
Don't forget a little extra BBQ sauce for dipping! 


Homemade Oreo's

{oreo's only without the funky wax frosting}
Okay, that was kind of harsh- everyone loves Oreo's, it's just unfortunate that the frosting leaves a waxy film on the roof of your mouth. And if you knew what that frosting was made of, you might cry. The first time I had these was when I was 14- and I've never forgotten them! I could just sit and eat the entire batch in one sitting, and if I had no will power I probably would. Not only are they delish, they are mega easy and fast! And, pretty fool proof, if you are like me. I hope you enjoy them!
1 Better Crocker Devil's Food Cake mix
2 eggs
3/4 cup butter, softened

1 8oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions: Combine cake mix, eggs and butter together and mix until well combined and all the cake mix is incorporated. Dough will be thick, so using your hands isn't a bad idea. Chill for 20 minutes. Roll into small balls, and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 7-9 minutes at 350F. Let cool.
For the frosting, begin by beating the cream cheese and butter together with an electric mixer until creamy. Add powdered sugar and beat again until smooth. Then add vanilla and beat again. Once cookies are cool, spoon a small spoonful of frosting on the flat side of one cook and sandwich with another cookie. Makes about 16-20 cookies depending on size.


Barbeque Pepper Jack Chicken

{helloooo BBQ chicken!}
This makes me hungry all over again! I love barbecue chicken! I'm sad I never thought of this before, but alas- it's here now and that's what matters most. In the summer, you could use the grill outside instead of slaving over a hot stove but, either way, it's gonna be amazing! 
4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4-5 slices Pepper Jack Cheese
1/4-1/2 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil

In a large skillet, add olive oil and turn heat to medium. Add chicken once skillet is hot and cook chicken for about 5 minutes on each side. Pour barbecue sauce over top and smear around so the chicken is evenly coated all the way around. Finish cooking until chicken is no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear. Turn heat to warm, and top with a slice of cheese. Cover and let simmer for about 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve with addition barbecue sauce if so desired. Chow down!
Source: The Ungourmet


Baked Potato Wedges

{creative?... Sure!}
This recipe isn't really anything fancy or special. I was craving some baked potatoes... but they seemed kind of boring. So I cut them up into wedges, and covered them in cheese! They were heavenly- and surprisingly very filling! I'll definitely be making these again, and soon!
2-3 large baking potatoes, cut into wedges
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated (you could also use cheddar)
1/4 lb. bacon
1/4 cup bell pepper
1 green onion
a dash of salt and pepper
sour cream (optional)
parsley flakes for garnish

In a 9x9 inch baking dish, arrange potato wedges skin side down. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cover with foil. Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes or until tender, edges should be slightly browned. Meanwhile, cut the bacon into small pieces and fry until slightly crispy, drain and set aside. Chop bell pepper and onion into small pieces. Once potatoes are done, pull them out of the oven and sprinkle with cheese, bacon, bell pepper, and green onion. Bake again for another 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted and slightly bubbly. Garnish with sour cream and parsley flakes if desired. Enjoy!


Potato Salad

{classic picnic food}
Let's just announce the elephant in the room right off the bat- yes, this picture is absolutely horrid. But that's what makes it unique. Everyone knows what potato salad looks like anyways, so maybe you just have to use your imagination a little bit to figure out what it should look like. Now with that being said, I have to admit that potato salad isn't something I love to eat. For any of you that attended high school choir with me, maybe you know why my image of potato salad has been permanently scarred. For those of who didn't have the luxury of hearing a rather nauseating story about potato salad... I'll save you the pain and agony by not telling you. After trying this recipe, I can now say that potato salad is back on my good side! I've never had a potato salad quite like this before... ya know, with bacon in it... Everything is better with bacon. Again, sorry for how awful this picture is!
5 lbs. red potatoes
2 cups mayo
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 lb. bacon 
1/4 cup bell pepper, finely chopped
1 green onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon pickle juice (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme

In a large stock pot, stick all your potatoes in pot and add enough water to cover. Boil for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are just tender. Meanwhile, slice your bacon into small pieces and fry until slightly crispy. Drain and then set aside. This is also a good time to chop your bell pepper and onion, and measure out the rest of the ingredients. Once your potatoes are done, drain and let stand until cool. Cut up into bite size pieces and add to a large bowl. Add bell pepper, onion and bacon and toss gently. In a small bowl, combine mayo, vinegar, pickle juice and seasonings. Pour over potatoes and mix until evenly coated. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours before serving.
Source: Essential Mormon Cookbook 


It's been a while... how 'bout some Bacon Topped Meatloaf?

{real women eat meat topped with bacon}
Apologizes. Apologizes all around. Holidays are a weird time--- you are busy yet not busy and you can't figure out where the heck all your time went. Anyways, hope you all had a great holiday season, I know I did! One particular gift I'm especially psyched out of my mind about...
That's right friends... guess who got a new set of pots and pans! 

...Have you ever had a lid so shiny? Ya like the husby who just decided to be apart of the shot?
 We never got anything like this for our wedding 29 long months ago (can you believe it's only been that long.. feels like 20 years) so we had a mix and match style variety of pots and pans. It's nice to know you wont be getting small black pieces of Teflon in your food anymore- and to know that there is a lid for all your pots instead of coming up with your own lid made from a plate. Yeah, it's fun being poor sometimes!
That picture could be a page in an I Spy book with all the random objects (ie my blue shoe).

Enough jibber jabber- on to the recipe!
2 lbs. lean ground beef sirloin
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup corn flake crumbs
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon Montreal Stake Seasoning
1/2 lb. bacon strips, uncooked

Meatloaf Sauce:
1 cup ketchup
1 cup brown sugar

In a large bowl combine all ingredients except bacon. Mix well. Place in greased 9x6 inch loaf pan. Cut bacon strips in half and place over top of meatloaf to cover. Mix 1 cup ketchup and brown sugar together in a small bowl and set aside.
Bake at 350F for about 1 hour. Remove from oven and drain off excess juices. Spoon enough Meatloaf sauce to cover top. Return to oven and bake for about 20-30 minutes or until meatloaf is done (when meat thermometer reads 350F). Let stand for a few minutes before serving. Use remaining sauce for passing!
Source: The Essential Mormon Cookbook

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