Monday, August 11, 2014

Mexican Pizza: Taco Bell Copycat

I don't eat a lot of fast food, but I think I could go to Taco Bell everyday of my life.  

I always order from the same three things on their menu.  A Mexican Pizza (no meat, because I was a vegetarian for 5 years, and I've never gone back to eating a Mexican Pizza with meat), a bean burrito, please add tomatoes or a Double Decker (with no meat).

As I was scrolling through Pintersest, I noticed a copy cat recipe for the Mexican Pizza.  

I made my shopping list and went to the store as soon as I could!  I even bought the bottled Fire Sauce because I was so excited to make my own Mexican Pizza!

It's so close to the real thing that I ate one every day until I ran out of tortillas. 

Mexican Pizza: Taco Bell Copycat


1 package of medium sized flour tortillas
1 can refried beans
1 can can of red enchilada sauce
shredded cheddar cheese
shredded pepper jack cheese
1 tomato, diced
1 small can olives
1 green onion, diced


 Preheat oven to 375º. 

Line a baking sheet with foil and place 2 tortillas on the foil. Bake in the oven for about 5 minutes.  Flip tortillas over and bake the other side for about 5 minutes or until they are browning and getting crisp.  Remove from oven and set aside. 

Spoon refried beans into a bowl and microwave until the are heated through. 

Spread the beans over one of the tortillas and place the other tortilla on top.  

Spread a few tablespoons of enchilada sauce over the top tortilla, and cover with pepper jack and cheddar cheese.  Add a few tomatoes, onion and olives. 

Place tortillas back on the baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted through. 

Remove from oven, slice in half both ways, smother with your favorite taco sauce and eat it up!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Loaded Baked Potato Casserole

I'm SUCH a sucker for cheesy potatoes. 

 I love cheese. 

 I love potatoes.  

I love cheesy potatoes. 

This meal is so topped with some sour cream and a side of broccoli!  

Is it normal that my mouth waters just looking at this picture? 

Loaded Baked Potato Casserole

3-4 Russet potatoes. scrubbed and diced (about 4 1/2 cups)
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced (optional)
4 slices bacon, cooked crisp, cooled and crumbled
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 green onions, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes


Preheat oven to 350º.  Grease a 9x9 casserole dish. 

Spread half of the potatoes across the bottom of the pan.  Place diced chicken across the top, evenly. Season chicken with 1/4 teaspoon of each salt and pepper.  Sprinkle with 1/2 the bacon crumbles, 1/2 of the cheese and 1/2 of the green onions. 

Spread the remaining potatoes on top, followed by the rest of the bacon, 1/2 cup of cheese, rest of the green onions, salt and pepper.  Pour heavy cream over the top of the casserole and scatter the butter pieces across the entire pan.  

Cover with foil and back for 1 hour.  Uncover and back another 30 minutes.  

In the last few minutes of baking, sprinkle with the remaining cheddar cheese and bake until melted. 


*Always make sure your chicken was cooked to an internal temp of 160º before eating. 

Source: Inspire Dreamer

Friday, August 8, 2014

Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

Don't you love when you make something and then because it's tastes so incredible, you eat it for lunch every. single. day until it is gone.  

And even then, you wish you had more? 

That's how I felt/acted with this pasta.  I would look forward to lunchtime (more than usual) because I could not wait to devour another bowlful of the creamy sun-dried tomato pasta.  

Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta


1 pound bow tie noodles, cooked
4 tablespoons butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tablespoon dried basil
8 ounces cream cheese, softened and diced into 8 pieces
8 ounce jar sun dried tomatoes, rinsed, drained and chopped
2 cups milk
6 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Diced fresh tomatoes and fresh basil for topping (optional) 


Cook noodles according the package and toss with a bit of olive oil.  Set aside while you make the sauce. 

In a skillet, melt butter over a medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes stirring constantly.  Do not let the garlic burn.  Stir in the dried basil.  Add the cream cheese and stir constantly with a whisk until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the sun dried tomatoes. 

Over medium heat, gradually add the milk about 1/4 cup at a time, whisking quickly and constantly until each addition is incorporated fully into the sauce.  Stir in the Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. 

Continue stirring until the cheese is melted and the sauce is the desired consistency. 

Pour in cooked, hot noddles and drool away!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Greek Yogurt Strawberry Cheesecakes (No bake!)

These are so tasty and perfect when you are expecting guests that are coming to visit, but aren't staying long enough for dinner.  You can whip them up pretty quick and pull them out to serve when you are ready. 

They are also great to serve as a dessert after you eat dinner. 

They are also just really tasty and you don't really have to wait until guests come over to make them. 

Greek Yogurt Strawberry Cheesecakes (No bake!)


16 ounces fresh strawberries, washed and diced
6 ounces fresh raspberries, washed and patted dry
1 teaspoon sugar

1 sleeve graham crackers (9 crackers) crushed into fine crumbs
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon sugar

16 ounce cream cheese (try reduced fat to lighten up this dessert), softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Greek yogurt (vanilla or honey-vanilla flavor)


Combine the strawberries, raspberries and sugar in a medium bowl.  Stir until well combined and let rest for 10-15 minutes.  This will allow the berries to macerate (a new word I recently learned!)

Combine the crushed crackers with sugar and butter and mix.  Divide evenly among small single serving bowls or ramekins.  Press lightly into the bottom of the dish.  These are more fun if you can serve them individually. 

In your stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar together until the mixture is light and creamy.  Mix in the lemon juice and vanilla.  Add the yogurt and beat until well combined and fluffy for about 30-1minute. 

Stir the fruit mixture one more time and spoon a bit on top of each crust.  Remember you'll need berries to go on top of the cheesecake layer too, so save about half. 

Spoon an even amount of the cheesecake mixture on top of the fruit until it is evenly divided among all the dishes.  

Top with the remaining berries. 

Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

**If you plan to serve this the next day, you might not want to assemble these until it's time to serve because the berries on top of the crust may make the crust too soft. 

Source:   Mels Kitchen Cafe

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Baked Ravioli

Sometimes, you don't really want to cook.  You don't want to chop and dice and measure and mix and pour and marinate.  

Sometimes, you just want to add three ingredients to a pan and bake.  That's exactly what this is.  

It's so easy. 

Baked Ravioli

1 bag of frozen cheese ravioli
1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
Shredded mozzarella cheese. 


In a casserole dish layer ravioli (don't let them overlap too much), sauce and cheese (in that order) evenly until you've run out of ingredients. Cover with foil and bake in the oven on 350º until cheesy is bubbly and the ravioli is heated through. 

Serve with garlic bread!

Source: Mom Mart

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Best Dinner Rolls

Baking anything that is bready is a little intimidating.  Everyone loves a warm, soft, buttery roll so if you get it wrong, it's a big waste of time.    Plus, baking bread takes a really long time.  And I really hate wasting time!  

So I haven't really ventured too far into breadland.  But, I was drawn into these rolls because they seemed so simple. 

I couldn't believe how easy they actually were!  I've made them a few times, and each time they have turned out to be a perfect dinner roll to our dinner entree

The Best Dinner Rolls


1 Tablespoon yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
2 eggs
3-4 cups flour
butter, melted


In a small bowl (cereal size) mix yeast with 1/4 cup warm water and 1/2 teaspoon sugar.  Let stand until bubbly.  (about 10 minutes)

In a medium bowl or the bowl to your stand mixer, mix 1 cup warm milk, 1/2 cup oil, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon salt with a wooden spoon. 

Add 1 cup of flour to mixture and mix well.  Add eggs and beat until smooth.  Add the yeast mixture and mix on high until smooth.  (with the whisk attachment on your stand mixer)

Switch to the kneading hook on your stand mixer and add 3-4 cups of flour to the mixture.  Dough should be very sticky.  Pour the dough into a large bowl.  Cover with a towel and let rise for a few hours or until it has doubled in size.

Punch it down and divide it in half. 

Roll the dough onto a floured surface making a circle about 12 inches in diameter.  Dough should be about 3/8" thick. 

Brush dough with melted butter.  Cut circle with a pizza cutter into 12 pieces (like a pizza). 

Roll each triangle from the rounded edge to the point to make a crescent roll.  Place into a greased pan.  

Cover with a towel and let rise for a few hours until they double in size. 

Bake at 375º until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.  

**If you touch the rolls, they should bounce back when they are done.  If they don't, they need to bake longer. 

Brush with melted butter while still warm. 

Try not to eat every.!


Source: Lil Luna