Taco Lasagna

I love Mexican food and I also love lasagna so this seemed like a no-brainer when I saw the pin on Pinterest. Plus it seemed alarmingly easy.

Adapted from a recipe on The Girl Who Ate Everything.


  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • Packet of taco seasoning
  • 8oz shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 15oz ricotta
  • 24oz jar of salsa
  • No-boil lasagna noodles
  • 1 can of refried beans
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of taco sauce
  • 1/3 cup of water


  1. Brown the ground beef in a skillet, drain the fat and add taco seasoning and 1/3 cup of water, mix well.
  2. In a greased 9×13 pan place your first layer of noodles (I put a little bit of the salsa in first so the noodles wouldn’t stick, but cooking spray would’ve been better.)
  3. Mix your ricotta and the egg together and spread half of it on the first layer of noodles.
  4. Sprinkle a third of the beef and a 1/3 of the salsa and top with 1/2 a cup of the shredded cheddar and the next row of noodles.
  5. Mix the refried beans and the taco sauce and use half the mixture on the next row of noodles.
  6. Top with 1/3 of the beef and 1/3 of the salsa and 1/2 cup of cheese. Then place the next row of noodles.
  7. Place the rest of the ricotta, beans, meat, salsa and cheese.
  8. Cover with aluminum foil and bake on 400 for 1 hour.

Verdict: Fail

So, I had such high hopes for this meal and I just didn’t care for it. This wasn’t a fail for everyone in the family, one of us quite liked it. For me personally, I just didn’t like the ricotta in my Mexican dish. I thought it would be great but it didn’t work for me. If I made it again, I would omit the ricotta and keep the beans. If you love ricotta this recipe might work for you and it really is pretty easy.

Super Easy Breakfast Scramble

So, my family loves breakfast. I occasionally like to make breakfast for dinner, but I don’t do it often because it can be so much work and I like things as easy and quick as possible.

I threw this scramble together because I happened to have two ham steaks I got for 50 cents each thanks to coupons. It wasn’t enough for the whole family, so I figured I would dice it up and throw it in with eggs and cheese.


  • 1 ham steak, diced
  • 4 slices of American cheese
  • 1 dozen eggs


  1. Pour your scrambled eggs into a skillet and add diced ham and cheese.

Super easy! I served it with hashbrowns, biscuits and bacon (because breakfast without bacon is kind of sad.)

Verdict: Win

This was a great way to use the ham steak. It wasn’t enough to be the main dish of any other meal, so mixing it in with the eggs worked out perfectly. Plus, it ended up being a really cheap meal which is always a bonus for me.


Oven Baked Pork Chops

So, raw meat has long been an issue for me, but with the help of cooking gloves I felt ready to tackle this spice rub. In the original recipe the pork chops are cooked in a skillet, but since the unfortunate schnitzel incident I’ve been a bit leery of that, so I decided to try it in the oven.

Adapted from a recipe at The Recipe Critic


  • 4-5 boneless pork chops
  • 1/4 cup of light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of paprika
  • 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of pepper


  1. Mix the brown sugar and spices in a bowl.
  2. Rub each pork chop generously with the rub (both sides) and place on a pan. (I sprayed the pan with cooking spray first.)
  3. Bake at 400 for 1 hour or until pork chops are done.

Verdict: Win!

These pork chops came out great! They were nice and juicy and the spice rub gave them some sweetness, but not too much. Really delicious. I will definitely make them again.




Tortellini Crockpot Soup

This recipe sounded really good in theory, but didn’t go so hot when I actually made it. I thought it would be something different to try since I have never used tortellini before.

Adapted from a recipe on Chef Recipes


  • 1lb of ground beef
  • 1 tsp of Italian seasoning
  • 20oz package of tortellini (I used frozen, but I thawed it overnight in the fridge.)
  • 8oz of cream cheese, softened
  • 32oz of chicken broth
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes, undrained (I used the ones with basil, oregano and garlic.)


  1. Cook ground beef in a skillet with the Italian seasoning, drain the fat.
  2. Add beef and tortellini to the crockpot.
  3. Pour diced tomatoes and chicken broth in and mix.
  4. Add cream cheese in chunks and then stir again.
  5. Cook on low for 4 hours.
  6. Take off lid and cook for an additional 30 minutes.

Verdict: Fail

While the flavor of this wasn’t bad, I did not care for the beef in it at all. The original recipe called for sausage, but I’m not crazy about sausage either, so I think I might’ve done better by leaving the meat out completely. In the original recipe the thirty minutes with the lid off was supposed to help it thicken up, but mine never did. So instead of a pasta with sauce I got soup. I won’t make this one again.

Easy Meatball Lasagna

It didn’t really come out looking like lasagna, but it was pretty yummy!

So, this was my first attempt at making a lasagna (which is the reason my noodle to everything else ratio was less than perfect) but I found a recipe I really wanted to try. Unfortunately for me the original recipe was really complicated for someone that has cooking anxiety and limited skills in the kitchen. SO, I simplified it.

Adapted from a recipe at A Nut in a Nutshell


  • 1 package of frozen meatballs, thawed. (The package I bought had 26 and that was plenty.)
  • 8oz bag of shredded mozzarella
  • 30oz container of ricotta cheese
  • 1 package of no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 2- 24oz jars of pasta sauce


  1. Cut all the meatballs in half.
  2. Then in a greased 9×13 pan, pour enough sauce to cover the bottom.
  3. Place your first layer of noodles.
  4. Cover lightly with sauce, then spread half of the ricotta cheese on top.
  5. Add your next layer of noodles and cover lightly with sauce.
  6. Place the meatball halves on the noodles and then top them with 1 cup of mozarella.
  7. Add your next layer of noodles and cover lightly with sauce.
  8. Spread the rest of the ricotta, cover with noodles and then top with the rest of the sauce and mozzarella.
  9. Bake covered at 400 for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Verdict: Tasty, but A Learning Experience

Okay, so this came out quite yummy, but I learned a few things after making it that will hopefully make it even better next time. First off, I needed more noodles. I was not sure how close together I should put them and if I should try to break them to make it work better (next time I WILL) so I feel like I didn’t have a good noodle to sauce ration. I also think it would’ve held together better. Other than that, I’m calling it a win.

Mexican Chicken and Rice Bake

This recipe caught my eye right away. Initially because it has Mexican flavors (a favorite of mine) and secondly because I already had all the ingredients. (It was also a huge plus that it uses uncooked rice!)

I adapted this from a recipe on Dessert Now, Dinner Later.


  • 4 or 5 thin chicken breasts. (You can cut them in half if you have larger ones. I happened to have some thin cut ones in the freezer.)
  • 16oz jar of salsa
  • taco seasoning
  • 1 cup of long grain white rice
  • 2/3 a bag of Birdseye Recipe Ready Southwestern Mix  (This was a coupon freebie I’ve had in the freezer for a while and it worked perfectly in this recipe.)
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • About 1 cup of Mexican blend shredded cheese.


  1. In a greased 9×13 pan, stir together rice, salsa and water.
  2. Add the Southwestern mix and mix well.
  3. Place the chicken on top of the mixture and rub it with the taco seasoning.
  4. Bake at 400 for 45 minutest or until chicken is cooked through.
  5. Add Mexi-blend cheese on top of each piece of chicken and bake for an additional five minutes.

Verdict: Win

This came out great! The rice almost had a Spanish rice type flavor to it and the cheese really made the chicken taste delicious. The family enjoyed it (and some people were sure they wouldn’t like it, so that is saying something.) Very flavorful and quite easy to put together. I would definitely make this again. If you are feeding more than three or four I would recommend doubling it.

Easy Crockpot Chicken Parmesan

So, I love chicken parmesan, so this recipe was an obvious choice. Plus, crockpot recipe! I love when I can just throw dinner in the crockpot and let it do it’s thing.

Adapted from: Mom On Timeout


  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2- 24oz jars of pasta sauce
  • 8oz shredded five cheese Italian blend cheese
  • Spaghetti – prepared according to the package


  1. Place chicken and sauce in the crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours.
  2. In the last five minutes of cooking, add the cheese evenly on top.
  3. Serve over the prepared spaghetti.

Verdict: Not Quite A Win

There was absolutely nothing wrong with this dinner. It was perfectly fine. I just really missed the breading on the chicken. I guess for me it’s just not chicken parm without breaded chicken. This came out a bit more like chicken spaghetti. Everyone ate it, but I probably won’t make it again.

Easy Tres Leches Cake

I made this along with the Peeps cake for Easter dessert. I liked the fact that it’s basically a poke cake and I’m familiar with those. Also, it uses a cake mix (yay!)

Source: Mommy’s Kitchen


  • 1 yellow cake mix, prepared according the directions on the box
  • 1 container of Cool Whip
  • 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 5oz  can of evaporated milk
  • 1 can of Nestle Media Crema (this was in the Latin section at my local Meijer.)
  • Assorted fruit (I used fresh strawberries, canned pineapple, canned oranges and fresh kiwi.)


  1. Once you’ve prepared the cake mix and baked it according to the package in a 9×13 dish, take it out of the oven and poke holes in the cake. (I use the handle of a wooden spoon when I make poke cakes.)
  2. Mix the three different kinds of milk together and pour half over the cake. Smooth it out and try to get it into the wholes.
  3. Let it sit for a half hour, then pour the rest of the milk over the cake.
  4. Let the cake sit out for 30 minutes.
  5. Cover and refrigerate overnight. (If you need it sooner you can refrigerate for less time. I’ve always just done it overnight and I think it works great.)
  6. Frost the top with Cool Whip
  7. Add the fruit.

Verdict: Win

This was quite yummy. I don’t know how authentic it is in comparison to a traditional tres leches cake, but it was a crowd pleaser and it made for a lighter cake than the Peeps cake I made.


Oven Roasted Onion Potatoes

Pictured with the Italian Turkey Casserole I posted yesterday.

This recipe came about because I had potatoes I wanted to use up. As you can tell from the pic, I got a bit distracted so my potatoes ended up a tad more well-done than I intended. (I say that because it sounds nicer than burnt. Hehe!)

Adapted from a recipe at South of Your Mouth


  • 4 large red potatoes
  • 1 envelope of Lipton’s onion soup mix
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil


  1. Cut up potatoes into a bowl and mix with olive oil and onion soup mix.
  2. Spread onto a greased pan. (Trust me on this, the baking spray is so important.)
  3. Bake at 400 for 30 to 40 minutes.

Verdict: Win

Okay, so despite the fact that they were a bit burnt, these were surprisingly tasty. They had tons of flavor. I was worried at first they would be too oniony, but they were just right. If I make them again, I will definitely try to keep my eye on them better so they don’t end up quite so well done.


Italian Turkey Casserole

We always have turkey on Easter. I gather from the lack of turkeys in the grocery store that this is not the norm, but not everyone in the family loves ham. But of course fixing turkey means leftovers. So, I took to Pinterest to find something fun to do with my leftover turkey. This recipe sounded different and tasty and I had all the ingredients in the pantry so it was pretty easy to decide on this one. (I humbly apologize for the less than stellar photos, the lighting was less than perfect and I was in a hurry.)

Adapted from a recipe on My Life of Travel and Adventures


  • 4 cups of cooked turkey, shredded
  • 1 box of Stove Top stuffing mix (I used the Cornbread one since that is what I had on hand.)
  • 3/4 cup of mayo
  • 2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup of frozen mixed veggies (I only had frozen corn, so I used that.)
  • 1 cup of water


  1. Add 4 cups of cooked turkey to a bowl and stir in mayo until the turkey is evenly coated. (This was not in the original recipe, but it’s a trick I’ve used before to keep the turkey from drying out when you reheat it.) Layer it into a greased 9×13 pan.
  2. In a bowl combine all the other ingredients and mix well.
  3. Spread the stuffing mixture on top of the turkey evenly.
  4. Bake at 400 for 40 minutes or until heated through.

Verdict: Win

I really enjoyed this and it smelled wonderful while it was cooking. The turkey hater in the family had two servings! I cut the seasoning back quite a bit from the original recipe, but the pickiest of the fam still thought it had too much seasoning, so that is something to be aware of if you have a picky eater in your family. Overall though, it was a hit.