Weeknight Shrimp and Grits

I’ve been doing pretty well sticking to our meal plan for the week. We’ve moved around some of the meals but no emergency pizza calls or cereal nights so that’s a plus! Tonight we tried this recipe for shrimp and grits.. It was so simple to make but has a flavorful and simple taste. It’s the perfect weeknight meal after a busy week when you want something different but don’t want to make an extravagant meal. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!


  • 3/4 cup instant grits
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley


  • Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat, covered.
  • Uncover and slowly whisk in the grits, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
  • Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the parmesan and 1 tablespoon butter.
  • Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm.
  • Meanwhile, season the shrimp with salt and pepper.
  • Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the shrimp, garlic and cayenne and cook, tossing, until the shrimp are pink, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add 2 tablespoons water, the lemon juice and parsley, stir to coat the shrimp with the sauce and season with salt and pepper.
  • Divide the grits among shallow bowls and top with the shrimp and sauce. Serve.

Original recipe available here.

Weeknight Dinners 1

So I’ve really been slacking on making dinner lately. Thankfully my husband is amazing and has been saving us and our tummies these past few weeks and taking care of making meals for us. In an effort to try and get on top of things again here is my meal plan for the week for easy weeknight dinners… week 1. Here’s to hoping I can come up with an easy month of meals to make future planning a little easier.

  • Sunday: Food Trucks after church
  • Monday: Filet steaks on the grill and roasted Brussel sprouts
  • Tuesday: Fish tacos with salmon and Mexican corn.  (I’ll have to write a post with the recipe for both of these that night)
  • Wednesday: Ranch chicken club roll-ups
  • Thursday: Homemade pizza
  • Friday: Date night- Dinner out!
  • Saturday: Shrimp and grits

So full recipes and results on how well we stuck with this plan to come!

Turkey and Spinach Stuffed Peppers

Last night I made dinner for one of our friends and neighbors who recently had their fourth child. It’s crazy to think we moved into our new home and neighborhood just two years ago, right around the time they had their third child. Man, how time flies!

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 8.12.13 PMMy typical go-to meal when bringing dinner to another family is Sicilian Meatloaf, however I’m pretty sure that’s what we gave them after baby #3 so I had to change it up a bit this time around. This recipe takes a little longer than my usual weeknight meal but the results are well worth it! And it makes a ton! So not only did we send a dinner (plus enough for leftovers) to our sweet friends but we had enough for 2-3 meals ourselves. That’s a lot of peppers (and yes, this recipe can definitely be halved if you don’t want this much).


  • 6-7 red, yellow, orange, or green bell peppers or a mixture of all
  • Olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp chili powder (if desired-I don’t love spicy food so I often leave this out)
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 16 oz ground turkey
  • 1 (16 oz) jar chunky salsa, mild or hot
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice*
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 2 large avocados, peeled and pit removed, sliced
  • 1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped basil

*Quinoa or couscous can be subbed instead of brown rice.


Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut the peppers in half lengthwise, slicing from the stem to the bottoms. Remove the white pithy ribs near stem and down length of inside. Remove the ribs and seeds and discard. Place the peppers in a shallow 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Drizzle the peppers with oil. Cover the dish with foil, and bake the peppers 15 to 20 minutes, until they start to soften.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, salt, black pepper, chili powder, and cumin; cook until the vegetables are softened, about 3 minutes. Add the ground turkey to the skillet. Cook, breaking it up with a slotted spoon or potato masher, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the salsa and the spinach, and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the cooked brown rice.

Carefully fill the pepper halves with the turkey mixture. Cover the dish with foil, and bake until the filling is hot and the peppers are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove foil, and sprinkle the cheese over the top of the peppers. Return to oven; bake, uncovered, until cheese has melted, about 7 to 10 minutes.

When ready to serve, top the peppers with a heaping tablespoon of the greek yogurt.  Place slices of the avocado on top of each pepper.  Sprinkle with the basil.  Serve immediately and enjoy!


Original recipe available here.

Chicken Enchiladas

Yesterday was a super busy day. We got up early, headed to my office to put together a new book shelf I recently purchased, then back to my husband’s office so he could finish up some work, lunch with my parents and then a trip to Costco. We left the house around 10:00 a.m. and didn’t get home until after 4:00 p.m. – just in time to throw together some dinner for friends coming at 6:00 p.m. This is one of those great recipes that can come together quickly either last minute or you can put it in a pot and forget it until you’re ready..it’s also one of those that I make without a recipe and the quantities often change every time I make it..  I’ll try and capture it below as best as possible- I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Chicken Enchiladas


  • 1 package tortillas (I like to use the Mission extra soft tortillas)
  • 3-4 chicken breasts (usually 1 chicken breast per person)
  • 2 cup shredded cheese (I like to use mexican blend or cheddar)
  • half and half
  • 1-2 jars of salsa (depending on size- you need enough to cover all of the chicken)*
  • 1-2 packets of taco seasoning (1 packet for every 2 pieces of chicken)*


  • In a crockpot mix salsa and taco seasoning. Cook on high about 6 hours or low about 4 hours until chicken breaks apart easily with a fork. (*If you missed the window to use the crock pot you can also cook the chicken in a skillet on the stove and then mix in a bowl with red enchilada sauce. 1 can per 2 pieces of chicken then continue with directions below).
  • About 20 minutes out from your preferred dinner time…
    • Preheat oven 350 degrees
    • Shred chicken with a fork and mix in bowl with half of shredded cheese.
    • Fill each tortillas with chicken/cheese mix and wrap with the fold face down.
    • Pour half and half over the top of all enchiladas (this keeps the tortillas soft while baking).
    • Sprinkle remaining cheese over enchiladas.
    • Bake 10-12 minutes.
  • ENJOY!

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Roasted Red Pepper & Goat Cheese Alfredo

Sunday nights almost always mean I’m in the mood to cook a homemade meal. But after working all morning and taking a long walk at the park with my family this afternoon it also means I usually want to make something fast yet tasty. This is one of my go-to dishes that doesn’t require a lot of ingredients that we don’t normally already have. Add a side salad or veggie and you have a tasty dish without the hassle of being homemade. Also as a side note, the goat cheese flavor isn’t over powering and is good for even your pickiest eater.
  • 1 jar roasted red bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup fat free half & half
  • 4 oz. garlic & herb goat cheese
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 lb. linguine, cooked to al dente
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • Begin boiling water and cook linguine about 10 minutes.
  • In the mean time, sauté onions and garlic in olive oil 7 minutes or until tender.
  • Pour in half & half, goat cheese, salt & pepper. Stir to melt goat cheese into sauce and keep warm over low heat.
  • Chop bell peppers into large pieces and place into sauce along with parmesan cheese. Stir to melt cheese and remove from heat.
  • Pour sauce into food processor and puree, or use an immersion blender. Place back into hot pan and toss with cooked pasta.
  • Top with more parmesan cheese, and parsley, if desired and serve immediately.
Yield: 3 large servings

Creamy Tomato Soup

I’ve been waiting for months (ok maybe weeks or days) for Tom + Chee (the new grilled cheese and tomato soup restaurant) to open up near my office. A friend and I attempted to go there again today and it was still not even close to being open. Since it’s rainy and cold outside I finally decided its time I went ahead and made some myself. This is my favorite recipe for some thick and creamy tomato soup (best served with a hot grilled cheese)! Enjoy!

Creamy Tomato Soup

1 T reserved oil from sun-dried tomatoes, or olive oil
1 C chopped onion
¾ C shredded carrot
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Tbs dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2/3 C sliced sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (14oz) can chicken broth
3 oz reduced fat cream cheese
optional: 1/2 tsp red pepper flakesOptional: Parmesan cheese and fresh basil for garnish
1. Place oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion,  carrot, and garlic, and cook for 3-4 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring often.

2. Add sun-dried tomatoes, canned tomatoes, chicken broth, sugar, salt, pepper, oregano and basil. (If you’re adding red pepper flakes, add them now)

3. Bring soup to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer.  Cover pan and simmer for 30  minutes.
4. Remove from heat. Place soup in a blender (do this in 2 batches if necessary). Add cream cheese. Remove center piece of blender lid to allow steam to escape, but place a paper towel over opening in blender lid to avoid spills. Process for a few minutes until smooth.  You could also add cream cheese directly to the pot and use an immersion blender to combine.

5. Add additional salt and pepper to taste and then divide soup among bowls.  Garnish each serving with a sprinkle of shredded Parmesan cheese and a fresh basil leaf if desired.

*Recipe by Our Best Bites

Cauliflower Soup

It’s been raining all week and so its about time for some warm comfort food in the form of a good soup. Here’s a recipe that even the pickiest eater can’t complain about.. Cauliflower soup by the Pioneer Woman. Enjoy!



1 stick Butter, Divided
1⁄2 whole Onion, Finely Diced
1 whole Carrot Finely Diced
1 stalk Celery, Finely Diced
1 whole (to 2 Whole) Cauliflower Heads (roughly Chopped) 2 Tablespoons Fresh Or Dried Parsley, Chopped
2 quarts Low-sodium Chicken Broth Or Stock
6 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
2 cups Whole Milk
1 cup Half-and-half
2 teaspoons To 4 Teaspoons Salt, To Taste
1 cup (heaping) Sour Cream, Room Temperature


In a large soup pot melt 4 tablespoons butter. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes, or until it starts to turn brown.

Add the carrots and celery and cook an additional couple of minutes. Add cauliflower and parsley and stir to combine.

Cover and cook over very low heat for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, pour in chicken stock or broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer.

In a medium saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter. Mix the flour with the milk and whisk to combine. Add flour-milk mixture slowly to the butter, whisking constantly.

Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup half-and-half. Add mixture to the simmering soup. Allow to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Check seasoning and add more salt or pepper if necessary.

Just before serving, place the sour cream in a serving bowl or soup tureen. Add two to three ladles of hot soup into the tureen and stir to combine with the sour cream. Pour in remaining soup and stir.

Serve immediately.

IMG_1205FullSizeRenderOriginal post available here.

Cheesy Chicken Rolls

One of our favorite go-to meals thanks to our neighbor, Jenny, who brought this to us after our little man was born. I’m returning the favor and making it for another friend with a new baby this weekend.

4 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
2 – 8 oz. cans crescent rolls
2 – 10 3/4 oz. cans cream of chicken soup
2 1/2 cups shredded Colby-Jack cheese
1 1/4 cups milk

In a saucepan on low heat, combine soup, 1 cup of cheese, and milk and stir until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Pour half* sauce into a 9×13″ pan prepared with nonstick spray.

Open cans of rolls and separate. Set aside 1/4 cup of cheese for topping. Combine chicken and cheese in a bowl. Place about 2 T of the chicken/cheese mixture on wide end of each dough triangle, pulling side points of triangle over filling. Roll up each crescent roll and set in pan with sauce. Top with remaining sauce. 

Bake at 375* uncovered for 30 minutes. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and then heat to melt additional 3 minutes.

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Creamy Chicken Taquitos

image2-1 image3-1 image4We were blessed by so many amazing friends and so many amazing meals after our little man was born. You never know how hard it is to feed yourselves until you have a newborn in your home. This was one of our favorite meals brought by my friend Jenn. We still repeat this recipe on a regular basis and stick them in the freezer – perfect for when we need a quick dinner. Add rice and beans and if you have dinner in a matter of minutes! Perfection!

6 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup green salsa
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic, or garlic powder
3 Tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 Tablespoon sliced green onions
2 C shredded cooked chicken (I usually use a rotisserie chicken)
2 C grated pepperjack or plain jack cheese
small flour tortillas
cooking spray or olive oil

Heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.Heat cream cheese in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds so it’s soft and easy to stir. Add green salsa, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, onion powder and granulated garlic. Stir to combine and then add cilantro and green onions. Add chicken and cheese and combine well.   You can prepare up to this step ahead of time. Just keep the mixture in the fridge.

Place 2-3 T of chicken mixture on the lower third of a tortilla, keeping it about 1 inch from the edges.  Roll up tortillas and place seam down on a baking sheet, not touching one another.  Place pan in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and the ends start to get golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.

Freezer Instructions: Prepare the taquitos through rolling them out and placing them on the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze until solid, then transfer to a large freezer bag. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 425 and place the taquitos on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

Yields about 12, when using 6″ tortillas, depending on how full you make them.

Original recipe by Our Best Bites and available here.

Sicilian Meatloaf

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The word “meatloaf” has always scared me until I tried this one! Forget everything you’ve ever heard, thought or tasted and give this recipe a try. Straight from the kitchen of a true Italian this will change everything you’ve ever thought about meatloaf. So yummy! (Btw for two 2 of us I usually half this recipe)

2 beaten eggs
1/2 cup tomato sauce or juice- ketchup is fine too
3/4 cup bread crumbs
2 Tablespoons snipped parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/4 teaspoon salt & pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
2 pounds ground beef
4 to 6 ounces sliced ham- I use black forest
6 ounces sliced mozzarella cheese

In a bowl combine the eggs & sauce.  Stir in the bread crumbs, parsley, oregano, salt, pepper, and garlic.  Add ground beef; mix well.  On foil or waxed paper pat meat to a 10×8 inch rectangle.  Arrange ham slices atop meat, leaving a small margin around edges.

Tear up cheese and place over ham.  Starting from short end, carefully roll up meat, using foil or paper to lift; seal edges and ends.  Place roll, seam side down, in 13x9x2 inch baking pan.

Bake at 350 till done, about 1 1/4 hours. Center of roll will be pink because of ham.  When making this for other people (like after having a baby, etc) I usually warn them about the pink center.. Makes 8 servings.