Category Archives: Lunch

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

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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

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!

The most EPIC Mac & Cheese

This is not an over statement – it really is the best Mac I’ve ever had, and my friends and family would agree. It’s a bit tedious, but WELL worth the effort!

Begin by shredding 8oz of gruyere, 10oz of white cheddar, and 10oz of yellow cheddar. 

Now warm 3.5 cups of whole milk and 2 cups of heavy cream together over medium heat in a saucepan. 

In a large saucepan melt 6 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter bubbles, whisk in 1/2 cup of flour. Whisk for about a minute until it combines and thickens. 

Slowly add in your warm milk/cream mixture whisking continuously until sauce thickens and bubbles. 

Remove from heat and add 2tsp salt, 1/4tsp nutmeg, 1/4tsp cayenne pepper, & 1/4tsp black pepper. 

Stir in grated cheeses. 

Now add 2lbs cooked elbow macaroni. 

Prepare 6 slices good white bread, crust removed and ripped into 1/2inch size pieces. Pour 3-4 tablespoons of melted butter over the breadcrumbs and toss to combine. Cover your pot of macaroni with breadcrumbs and bake at 375 for approximately 30 minutes until top begins to brown. Enjoy!😋

Adapted from: Eat Drink Smile

Easiest “Lobstah” Rolls

I haven’t had a decent lobster roll in a million years. Not since my last trip to Maine with my family over 6 years ago where I had more than one a day at each of the local eateries (when in Rome…). It’s one of the sweetest, most decadent indulgences on the planet.

Fast forward to yesterday when my most awesome neighbors hosted a group of us for a New Year’s Day “lobstah bake”. They are northerners and wonderful, beautiful friends who included us in our first ever divergence from collards and black eyed peas on the first day of the year. Not only were we included in the festivities, we were blessed to score some leftover lobster! Without wanting it to sit for one more day (aka we had zero self control knowing it was in the fridge), I decided to attempt my own lobster rolls. It took 10 minutes, seriously…and my husband ate FOUR! (Our new year diet starts tomorrow!)

~Whisk together 2 tablespoons of GOOD mayo (navy Hellmans) and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Fold into chopped lobster meat (2-3 cups) and crack salt and pepper over the mixture. 

~Warm 2-3 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Place center sliced buns (I like Sara Lee) in pan and brown on each side. Stuff mixture into buns, drizzle with additional melted butter, and top with with chives or parsley. Be still my happy heart.❤️

White Chicken Chili with just FIVE ingredients

I love soup and am especially a fan of all chili varieties. Nothing says comfort like a lit fireplace, cozy pjs, and a warm bowl of soup (and also a favorite DVR show to watch – lately This Is Us).

This is a fix it and forget it soup for the crockpot. Throw in 3 chicken breasts, 2 cans of great northern beans (drained), 2 cups of salsa verde, 2tsp cumin, and 6 cups of chicken broth (or bone broth, my latest obsession). 

That’s it! Cook on low for 5-6 hours until chicken shreds easily with a fork. Serve with your favorite toppings. We LOVE Greek yogurt, jalapeños, cilantro, avocado, and hot sauce. I also make homemade tortilla chips to accompany this. Simply cut thin tortillas into pieces with a pizza cutter, brush both sides with olive oil, lightly salt, and bake for 12-15 minutes at 350. Enjoy!!

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

This is such an awesome chili variety. The spice is complemented perfectly with the sweet potatoes and hint of molasses. I can’t wait to make it again!

Heat 3tbl EVOO in a heavy stockpot or Dutch oven. Add 1 diced sweet onion and 2 peeled and cubed sweet potatoes. Once the onions become translucent, remove both from your pot and set aside. 

Add 1lb lean ground beef and cook through. Once browned, add 1tsp salt, 2tbl chili powder, and 1tbl cumin. 

Stir in a can of diced tomatoes, 2tbl tomato paste, 2tbl molasses, and 2 cups of bone broth (or chicken broth if you prefer). Cook uncovered over medium heat for 10 minutes. 

Add in a rinsed and drained can of black beans, sweet potatoes, sautéed onion, and 1/2tsp cayenne pepper. Simmer 10-15 minutes until potatoes are soft but not mushy. Top with Greek yogurt and green onions. Enjoy!🍲

Adapted from: Our State Magazine

Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup

I love autumn for a multitude of reasons: Football, oysters, sweaters, boots, scarves, holidays, and last but not least, crockpot season. Fix it and forget it is so awesome for crazy days of shuffling my three year old from one thing to the next, cooking for my freezer meal business, and the endless chores of being a stay at home wife and mom. 

This is the best new soup I’ve tasted in a while. And today (after making it yesterday), it tastes even better!

Toss into crockpot:

10oz can green enchilada sauce, 1 can drained and rinsed northern beans, 2 cans drained and rinsed black beans, and 3 chicken breasts. 

Now add 1 undrained can of diced tomatoes, 8oz undrained diced fire roasted green chiles, 1tsp salt, 1/4tsp pepper, 4tsp chili powder, 1tbl cumin, 3/4tsp paprika, a handful of chopped cilantro, and 2 cups of chicken broth (I prefer reduced sodium bone broth). 

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours until chicken easily shreds. 

Remove chicken from crockpot and cube 8oz of cream cheese (I prefer the Greek yogurt variety. It’s much healthier and tastes better in my opinion). Turn your crockpot to HIGH, and add in the cubed cream cheese to melt for 30 minutes. 

Add your chicken back in once cheese has melted and serve. We topped ours with avocado, Greek yogurt, cilantro, and jalapeños. 

For extra goodness, try making your own tortilla chips. Use a pizza cutter to quarter yellow corn tortillas. Brush both sides with EVOO and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake at 350 on a baking sheet until edges begin to turn brown. Yum.😋

Adapted from: Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Grilled, Cheese Stuffed Banana Peppers

With yesterday’s harvest of 15 banana peppers and 18 jalapeños, we felt compelled to try something new.


We took a small batch of 5 banana peppers and hollowed out the seeds and membranes.

Slice them lengthwise almost all the way down one side. 

Combine 4oz of cream cheese and 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt. Then add: 2 cloves minced garlic,  1/4tsp basil, 1/4tsp oregano, 1/2tsp salt, pinch of pepper, 1/2 cup mozzarella, and 1/4 cup parmesan. Fill each pepper with mixture. 

We capped the ends with foil and put them on the grill until they blackened on the bottoms and began to brown on top. 

These were really tasty, however, we love spicy food, so next time we make them we will either use spicy cheese or leave some of the seeds inside!

Adapted from: Cooking a la Mel