Category Archives: Dinner

Loaded Potato Casserole

I didn’t grow up with mashed potatoes being part of the Thanksgiving spread, we always had the sweet potatoes with the marshmallow topping. However, my husband feels mashed potatoes are a necessity for the holidays. They are so simple, so why not jazz them up a bit?

Begin by partially skinning and cubing 4lbs of red potatoes and slice 3 large garlic cloves into thirds.

Place into a large pot of boiling water and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes soften. Mash to your desired consistency. 

Now add the following: 1/4C butter, 1C sour cream, 1/2C heavy cream, 4oz cream cheese, 2 chopped green onions, 2C shredded cheddar, and 10 slices chopped, crispy bacon. I used my hand mixer to combine everything but stirring would be fine also. 

Top with 1/2C cheddar, 2 chopped green onions, and 2 more pieces of chopped, crispy bacon. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Inspired By – Spend With Pennies

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Meatball, Spinach, & Tortellini Soup

I love soup in the cooler months. We don’t have many of those here, so I like to make the most of “soup season” while we can. This is one of my favorites and talk about quick and easy! It’s very hearty so even big appetites will fill up, especially if you add a mixed green salad and a crusty bread. Voila, dinner is served!

Begin by warming a tablespoon of EVOO over medium heat in a large, deep pot or Dutch oven. Sauté a medium onion until soft (about 5 minutes) and then add in a teaspoon of minced garlic and cook for an additional minute. 

Now add in 2 cups beef bone broth, 28oz can undrained diced tomatoes, 8oz can of tomato sauce, 1/2tsp salt, and 1/2tsp of oregano. 

Add in 20-25 frozen, Italian style mini meatballs and let simmer for 15 minutes. 

Now add in 3-4 cups of pre-cooked, refrigerated tortellini. They only need to cook for a couple of minutes to become al dente. 

Stir in 2 big handfuls of baby spinach. Once the spinach wilts, remove from heat. 

This last step is optional but ’tis the season for a little indulgence so go ahead! Add 1/3C heavy cream (everything is better with heavy cream!). This freezes beautifully, so make a big batch and enjoy more than once!😋

Inspired By – Spicy Southern Kitchen

The Best Ever Holiday Stuffing 

With the holidays upon us and Thanksgiving less than a week away, I’ve decided to share the sides that are a MUST in our house. Ryan is in charge of frying a turkey, smoking another, and the oysters, but I’m in charge of the sides that he feels are mandatory. 

I think we can all agree that stuffing is a must-have with the Thanksgiving spread. It happens to be one of my absolute favorite sides too, so several years ago I set out to make the most epic stuffing possible. I think I’ve achieved it – try it and see for yourself.😋

Begin with a couple large loaves of good, soft, unsliced bread. I use a combo of white and wheat. You’ll need about 9 cups total of bread cubes. Lay them out on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Set aside. 

Sauté over medium heat in 3/4 cup of butter the following: 1.5C diced celery, 3/4C diced onions, and 1C mushrooms (optional) until soft. Now stir in 1/2tsp salt, 1/2tsp sage, 1/2tsp thyme, 1tsp poultry seasoning, and 1/4tsp pepper. 

Toss seasoned veggies with bread cubes in large mixing bowl. Add in 1C chicken broth to moisten. 

Transfer into a greased 9×13 baking dish and bake at 350 (uncovered) for 35-40 minutes. You can thank me later – Enjoy!!

Inspired by – Chef In Training 

Mushroom & Spinach Lasagna

We made this on a whim tonight and boy, it did not disappoint. I love a good veggie meal, and this will most certainly be added into my rotation.🙌🏼

Begin by dicing an onion and slicing 1/2lb of baby bella mushrooms. Measure out 3 cups of fresh spinach and set aside.

Warm 3tbl EVOO over medium heat and sauté a yellow onion plus a teaspoon of minced garlic together for about 3 minutes (until onions soften). Now toss in your sliced mushrooms and cook for 5-7 minutes. Salt and pepper to your flavor preference. 

Add in 2tbl of flour and stir quickly for 1 minute. Now add 1/4C vegetable broth and stir to combine. Now add in another 2.5C vegetable broth slowly. Add 3/4C milk and bring your pot to a simmer. Simmer for 10-12 minutes.

Add in your spinach and continue cooking for 5 more minutes. 

Add 1.5C good shredded Parmesan. Stir until the cheese melts. 

Cook Lasagna noodles according to package minus 2 minutes. Spoon a thin amount of sauce into baking dish and layer 3 noodles. Top with mushroom mixture and top with more shredded Parmesan. Repeat twice, ending with a layer of mixture topped with cheese. 

Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes until it’s hot and bubbly. Enjoy!!

Adapted From: Life As A Strawberry

Tomato Pie🍅

There are only a few ways to respect a perfectly ripe, garden fresh tomato. A tomato sandwich with baked white or sourdough bread, Hellmann’s Real Mayo, and salt/pepper is a classic favorite. I would even put a toasted BLT in this catagory. However, if you want to take it up a notch, tomato pie is absolutely a little slice of heaven. 

There are a million ways to make a tomato pie, but this is one of my favorites. For those who don’t know my cousin (remember, the one with the unbelievable shrimp and grits recipe?!), she’s quite the cook also. This is her recipe that has come down from her mom’s side of the family. Her mom (my aunt) is one of the best cooks and bakers I know. Period. 

You obviously want to begin with the most perfectly ripe tomato slices you can find. These came from our garden. 

Slice a large vidalia onion and sauté it with a tablespoon of EVOO over medium heat. I like to let the onions cook way down until they begin to caramelize. 

Rinse and pat dry about 15 basil leaves. 

Now here is where this recipe stands out from the rest. Instead of using cheddar cheese, combine 1 cup of shredded Parmesan and 1 cup of mayonnaise. Set aside. 

Cook your pie crust according to the package instructions and let cool completely. Layer your tomatoes and generously salt and pepper them. 

Now layer in your onions and basil leaves. Repeat 2 more layers of each, ensuring you salt and pepper each tomato layer.

Top with your cheese and mayo mixture. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Pairs well with fresh corn and a mixed green salad. Enjoy!

Adapted From: Catherine Ballard Logan 

Fresh Shrimp Sliders

We just returned from a week at the beach. The beauty of living here is that we didn’t feel the need to eat out whatsoever. We simply picked veggies from our garden, brought fresh local shrimp from The Shrimp Lady, and bought some good bread, meats, and fruit. I mean, no place in town could beat the view from the porch anyways….

Every dinner felt like a date night…..

One of my favorite meals that we cooked were these Sliders. Now, these could easily be served as full size sandwiches or even bite size mini biscuits for the perfect brunch treat. Any size, they are absolutely delicious. 

Begin by whisking together 1/3C mayonnaise, 1tbl chopped basil, 1.5tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1.5tsp freshly squeezed orange juice + 1tsp orange zest, and 3/4tsp Old Bay seasoning. 

Fold in a pound of cooked & chilled fresh shrimp, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (or smaller for smaller servings), 6 crispy crumbled slices of bacon, and 1/4tsp each of salt and pepper. 

Prepare your buns by buttering each side and sliding them under the broiler or onto the grill until the edges begin to brown. 

Spoon some of your shrimp mixture onto one half and top with fresh basil leaves and garden fresh tomatoes before capping with your top piece of warm buttered bread. OMG.😃

Adapted From: Southern Living

Cajun Pasta Alfredo 2 Ways

This recipe is one of my favorite pasta dishes. Most of the year I make it as a freezer meal with smoked turkey sausage, however, during the summer it’s devine with fresh local shrimp. 

Begin by melting 4 tablespoons of butter with 2 tablespoons of EVOO over medium heat. Add in a large chopped onion and sauté until it becomes soft. 

Now add a container of chopped baby bella mushrooms, a large chopped red pepper, and a teaspoon of minced garlic. Cook 2-3 minutes. 

Add in either your sliced kielbasa or a pound of uncooked fresh shrimp. Cook until the shrimp turns pink or about 4-5 minutes for the sausage. 

Add 1/2 cup grated parmesan, 1/2 cup heavy cream, and a jar of Alfredo sauce. Stir to combine. Add 1/2-1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (depending on how spicy you like it) and salt & pepper to taste. Let simmer for 5 minutes.

Stir in 12oz penne, rotini, or any pasta of your choice. Top with shredded parmesan and chopped fresh parsley before serving. Pairs perfectly with a mixed green salad and crusty bread. 

Crispy Filet Tacos

We happened to have some leftover steak from a couple of nights ago (doesn’t happen very often). However, when this does happen, we either turn it into amazing steak sandwiches or tacos. 

Begin by chopping off any excess fat and then dicing your steak into small pieces. Dice an onion and a handful of cilantro. 

Add in a bit of cracked pepper and sea salt. Then stir to combine. 

Warm about 1/4C of EVOO over medium heat in a large saucepan. Place cooked corn tortillas into oil and add a couple spoonfuls of your meat mixture and spicy shredded cheese (this variety is pretty tasty). 


Use the back of your spatula to fold the tacos over and cook for ~3 minutes per side until they begin to brown. 

Combine ingredients for your pico (recipe also on blog). 

Serve and enjoy!

Epic Fish Tacos

These tacos can be made with a variety of fish and with a variety of different seasonings. This is how I make our white fish tacos (and will share my red snapper seasoning in another post). 

These are made with tilapia. I season the loins with garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and dried parsley. Warm a couple tablespoons of EVOO over medium heat until the oil begins to ripple. Cook the fish for 4 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and place on a paper towel lined plate. 

I serve these with my 234 sauce (2tbl mayo, 3tbl Greek yogurt, & 4tbl Franks hot sauce) and pico (recipe on blog). As a side I like either my Best Black Beans, Mexican Corn Salad, or Mexican Street Corn (all on blog).

Warm raw corn tortillas (Tortilla Land are awesome) and serve immediately. So, so good. 

Roasted Poblano & Chicken Enchiladas

We love enchiladas in my house. LOVE. These were so amazing that my husband insisted we put them into our regular rotation. 

Begin by rinsing and drying 3 poblano peppers. Brush them lightly with EVOO and place them on a lined baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for 35-45 minutes until the skin is dark and the outer lining is wrinkled. Let stand for 30 minutes. 

Salt & pepper 1.25lbs of chicken tenders and cook them over medium heat in a sauce pan with 1tbl of EVOO.Set aside. Add into the same pan 1 sliced green pepper and 1 small sliced yellow onion. Cook until soft. Dice the cooked chicken and place into a large mixing bowl. 

Add the cooked onions and green pepper into the mixing bowl. Now skin and seed the poblanos and add them to your mixing bowl. Your filling is complete. 

In the same saucepan, melt 1tbl of butter and then add 2tsp minced garlic. Once garlic becomes fragrant (1 minute), add 1tbl flour and whisk to combine. Slowly add 1.25C of whole milk and then 1/2C sour cream. Whisk until it becomes thick and then stir in 1/2tsp cumin and 1/2tsp chili powder. Continue stiring until sauce thickens and warms through. 

Lay a couple spoonfuls of the sauce into the bottom of a baking dish. Using freshly cooked flour tortillas, roll approximately 1/2 cup of the chicken mix into each tortilla. Top chicken with shredded pepper jack cheese and place into baking dish. Now cover with remaining sauce. 

Top with more pepper jack and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. 

Top with avocado and enjoy!

Adapted from: Will Cook For Smiles