RECIPE: Skillet Chicken Parmigiana

Skillet Chicken Parmigiana (Serves: 4)

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/4 lb)
  • 1/3 cup Progresso™ Italian-style dry bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 2 cups tomato pasta sauce (any variety)
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (2 oz)


  1. Between sheets of plastic wrap or waxed paper, flatten each chicken breast half to 1/4-inch thickness. In shallow dish, mix bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. In another shallow dish, beat egg. Dip chicken into egg, then coat with bread crumb mixture.
  2. In 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook chicken in oil 10 to 15 minutes, turning once, until no longer pink in center. Pour pasta sauce around chicken in skillet; heat until hot. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over chicken.

Recipe Source: Betty Crocker


Personal Review: I need fast, easy, and toddler friendly recipes these days. This particular recipe meets all three requirements!

I was able to throw this one together on a weeknight, from start to finish, in about 35 minutes. And it was SO GOOD! It was even a big hit with our 3-year-old, who is slightly picky. I served it with a small side of spaghetti with meatless sauce, garlic bread and a salad.

Highly, highly recommended. It seriously tastes just as good (if not better because I could control the amount of cheese & sauce to use) as any chicken parm I’ve ever gotten in a restaurant.




RECIPE: Baked Penne

Baked Penne

  • 1 lb penne pasta
  • 1 jar of Spaghetti Sauce
  • ½ carton Ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TB Italian Seasoning
  • Mozzarella cheese (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook the pasta al dente (1 min less than it says on the box)
  2. Mix together the cheeses, egg, and Italian seasoning.
  3. Spoon a thin layer of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 pan.
  4. Layer pasta, spaghetti sauce, then the cheese mix. Repeat. (so in the pan you have a little sauce, then pasta, sauce, cheese, pasta, sauce, cheese)
  5. Top with some shredded mozzarella cheese. (optional)
  6. Bake for about 15-20 mins, until nice & bubbly and golden brown on top.

Recipe Source: Hi! It’s Jilly


Personal Review: Speed and toddler friendly. Those are the two requirements I have now when searching for new recipes. This one fulfills both of those needs.

It’s very flavorful and easy to throw together.

Definitely something that makes a great weeknight meal, pair it with a veggie and salad and you’ve got a great full meal that your whole family will enjoy.


RECIPE: Oreo and Fudge Ice Cream Cake

Oreo & Fudge Ice Cream Cake (12 servings)

  • 1/2 cup  hot fudge ice cream topping, warmed
  • 1 tub  (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
  • 1 pkg.  (3.9 oz.) JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding
  • 8 OREO Cookies, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 12 vanilla ice cream sandwiches


  1. Pour fudge topping into medium bowl. Whisk in 1 cup COOL WHIP. Add dry pudding mix; stir 2 min. Stir in chopped cookies.
  2. Arrange 4 ice cream sandwiches, side-by-side, on 24-inch-long sheet of foil; top with half the COOL WHIP mixture. Repeat layers. Top with remaining sandwiches. Frost top and sides with remaining COOL WHIP. Bring up foil sides; double fold top and ends to loosely seal packet.
  3. Freeze 4 hours or until firm.

Recipe Source: Kraft Recipes


Personal Review: Here’s something I’ve never shared with my readers … a dessert! Why, you might ask? Because I don’t make dessert very often. I have two go-to recipes for dessert … this is one of them (and the easiest).

I make this every year for Easter dinner and it is always a huge hit. I would make it more often if it wasn’t so addicting, ha!

I will say that if you make this and you have trouble getting everything to mix together in step 1, add a splash of milk to thin it out some. By the way, you don’t *need* to buy an entire package of Oreos … I just do it because I’m an Oreo freak 🙂


RECIPE: Cheesy Turkey Nachos

Cheesy Turkey Nachos

  • 1 package corn tortillas, each cut in 6 wedges
  • 1/2 tablespoon oil
  • 4 ounces ground turkey
  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 ounce taco seasoning
  • 1/2 can black beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded


  1. Heat oven to 425. Spread tortilla wedges on two baking sheets. Bake 5 minutes. Flip over. Spray with Pam, bake 5 minutes, until crispy.
  2. Heat oil in skillet. Add turkey and bell pepper. Cook until browned. Stir in tomato sauce and 1/3 cup water. Add taco seasoning. Cook 4 minutes.
  3. Reduce oven to 350. Line bottom and sides of a 9×13″ pan with tortilla chips.
  4. Spoon turkey mixture, beans and salsa over chips. Top with green onions and cheese.
  5. Bake 15 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted.

Recipe Source: SimpleMeals Yahoo Group


Personal Review: I love nachos in almost any shape and form. Love them. So I was excited when I first came across this recipe in a Yahoo recipe group I belong to. Not going to lie, I was a little nervous about the ground turkey. However, I definitely recommend sticking with that (ground beef could easily be used in its place though).

Another thing … I totally cheated and used packaged tortilla chips. Why? Well, let’s just say that it involved a lot of smoke in my house (should have taken a picture of the burned beyond recognition tortilla chips I “made” … would have been a “nailed it” picture!)

Either way, this recipe was really good. So, so easy! And the best thing … it was toddler approved in my house!


RECIPE: Pizza Chicken Roll-Ups

Pizza Chicken Roll-Ups (4 servings)

  • 4 chicken  breasts
  • 12 pepperoni slices
  • 8 slices mozzarella cheese
  • 1 can (15 oz) pizza sauce


  1. Flatten chicken to 1/4″ thickness. Place three slices of pepperoni and one slice of cheese on each. Roll up tightly; secure with toothpicks. Place in a greased 11×7″ baking dish. Spoon pizza sauce over top.
  2. Cover and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Uncover; top with the remaining cheese. Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. 

Recipe Source: Taste of Home

Pizza Chicken Roll Ups

Personal Review: Right before the arctic weather hit our little neck of the woods, I went onto Taste of Home’s website and printed out 4 new recipes to try (nothing like a little homemade food on cold wintry nights!) The first recipe I tried was a total bust and won’t be featured here. The second one was this one. 

It gave me the opportunity to put my handy dandy new meat tenderizer as well! I’ve made other roll-up recipes before and never had a tenderizer. So I was excited that I would be able to flatten the chicken breasts correctly! That said, I will admit that I failed to make them thin enough to roll them very easily. But you live and learn and now I know how to flatten those suckers properly, ha! 

Anyway, this recipe is incredibly easy (read: idiot-proof). It’s fast and simple. It tastes great. I will say that I used more than 3 pepperoni slices, opting to put 5 on each roll-up. I think in the future I will add even more pepperoni because I just love pepperoni. I also didn’t plan very well in advance and had absolutely nothing to serve with it. Next time I will try to have some garlic bread, noodles of some sort and a salad. 

Not much else to say about this recipe. It’s good and I highly recommend it. 



RECIPE: Mexican Lasagna

Mexican Lasagna (6-8 servings)

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with garlic, drained
  • 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)
  • 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 can (4 oz) diced green chiles
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 375. Cut chicken into 1/2″ pieces.
  2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken, chili powder and cumin. Cook 4 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and hot pepper sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 2 minutes.
  3. Combine ricotta cheese, chiles and 2 tablespoons cilantro in small bowl; mix until well blended.
  4. Spoon half of chicken mixture in bottom of 12×8″ baking dish. Top with 6 tortillas, ricotta cheese mixture, remaining tortillas, remaining chicken mixture, cheddar cheese and remaining cilantro. Bake 25 minutes or until heated through.

Recipe Source: 100 Best Chicken Recipes Cookbook (ISBN: 0-7853-8052-3)

Mexican Lasagna

Personal Review: This cookbook has been sitting on my shelf forever (I’m terrible about buying cookbooks at bargain prices and then never even cracking them open.) Anyway, Garrett got into all my cookbooks one day and while Nathan was helping me put them back in their bookcase this cookbook caught his attention. He started flipping through it and found this particular recipe and told me he wanted me to make it.

So I did.

And I’m torn about it. First of all, I liked it overall. But I have an issue with cilantro … I’m not a huge fan of it. I think it’s way too strong at times and like I said, I just am not a fan. Nathan, on the other hand, is obsessed with cilantro. I swear he would put it on everything in sight if he could. Now that being said, I made this before I got my new handy-dandy herb mill for Christmas and so I was just chopping the cilantro up and it was in big huge pieces (you can see them in the pictures). I think if I made this recipe again with the aid of my new kitchen tool the cilantro wouldn’t be as strong and I would like it a lot better.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this recipe. It really had a good taste. I didn’t use the hot pepper sauce, but I think I would add it next time I make this one (although I think I would add it to the ricotta cheese mixture, I felt as if it needed just a smidgen more taste other than just ricotta cheese).

If you make this recipe, I’d be curious as to your opinions. And if you have any suggestions on how to make this recipe even better, I’m dying to hear them as well. Because the recipe itself is a good start, but I think it needs some tweaking, but I don’t know where to begin with that.



RECIPE: Shrimp Fajitas

Shrimp Fajitas

  • 1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro, divided
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) fat-free sour cream
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium sweet red pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 medium green pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 8 flour tortillas (6 inches), warmed
  • 1/2 cup salsa




  1. In a large bowl, toss shrimp with 2 tablespoons cilantro, 1 tablespoon oil and spices; let stand 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix sour cream and remaining cilantro.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and peppers; cook and stir until crisp-tender. Remove from pan.
  3. In same pan, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add shrimp; cook and stir until shrimp turn pink. Return onion mixture to pan; heat through. Serve with tortillas, salsa and sour cream mixture.

Recipe Source: Taste of Home

Shrimp Fajitas

Personal Review: I love just about anything Mexican. Fajitas are one of my absolute favorites, though. I’m always on the look-out for new recipes and this one caught my eye in my Sept/Oct 2013 issue of Taste of Home. I tore it out and decided that I would make it this week.

I tell you what really caught my eye with this recipe … the cilantro. Hubby is a huge fan of cilantro (me, not so much, but I don’t hate it). So I knew for sure that he would like this recipe.

I was right. It’s a quick and easy meal to get prepped and cooked. It’s a good taste too. It’s supposed to be a little bit healthier for you. You might notice in my picture there’s no sour cream … that’s because I do not like sour cream all that much and left it off of my serving (I used a bit of salsa instead). But hubby used the sour cream and thought that the cilantro added to it really added a good taste.

Definitely a recipe that will go in my keeper binder!

I served it with a big plate of cheesy nachos (totally ruining any chance of being healthy!) and chips and salsa.


RECIPE: Easy Mexican Calzones

Easy Mexican Calzones

  • 2 refrigerated pie crusts, room temperature
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 can diced green chiles
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Garnish: salsa, shredded lettuce, sour cream, sliced green onion


  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. Brown beef and drain. Add the chiles, water and seasoning mix; mix well.
  3. Place unwrapped pie crusts on cutting board; unfold. Cut each crust in half, making 4 half circles. Place 1/2 cup beef filling on half of each half circle. Place 1/4 cup cheese on top of each. Dampen edge of crust with water. Fold sides over filling; crimp edges with a fork. Place on an un-greased baking sheet.
  4. Bake 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. Garnish as desired.

Recipe Source: LuvRRecipes Yahoo group

Mexican Calzones

Personal Review: I copied this recipe down from a Yahoo recipe group I belong to and thought it sounded really good. And easy. Easy is always a good thing in my house 🙂

If any of you follow Trish on Twitter, you might have seen her tweet a link this morning to a “nailed it” cooking post. It was really funny, and I have to tell you that the pretty picture you see above is not how the very first calzone I sealed up looked like. It was definitely a “nailed it” moment that I really wish I would have taken a picture of. I was ashamed of how it looked and I shouldn’t have been. By the way, I should tell you guys that we ate 3 of the 4 calzones that we made … want to guess which one didn’t get consumed? Ha! The “nailed it” one 🙂 Moving on…

Overall this is a really simple recipe. I cooked it for 18 minutes waiting for it to turn golden brown. It never turned that color and I think I might have overcooked it just a smidge while waiting for that to happen. So I definitely recommend watching that if you try this recipe. Also, I highly recommend using a good salsa for a garnish. (I can be a salsa snob.) I smeared salsa all over my calzone (after the picture was taken of course) and it was so yummy. Hubby smeared salsa and dolloped sour cream on his.

I served it with tortilla chips and salsa and mexican rice. Definitely an easy weeknight meal that I highly recommend and will be adding to my keeper recipe binder!



RECIPE: Cuban Sandwiches

Cuban Sandwiches 

  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 8 ounces French bread, split open
  • 1/4lb deli swiss cheese
  • 1/4lb deli turkey
  • 1/4lb deli ham
  • 12 slices dill pickles


  1. Spread the mustard over the inside of the bread. Layer the bottom half with the cheese, turkey and ham. Arrange the pickles on top. Cover with the top and cut in half into 2 sandwiches.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and spray with Pam. Add the sandwiches and place a heavy skillet on top, pressing down to flatten them. Cook 3 minutes, remove the top skillet, and turn the sandwiches over. Press down again with the skillet. Cook until the cheese melts and the sandwiches are heated through, 4-5 minutes. Cut each sandwich in half crosswise before serving.

Recipe Source: Weight Waters Make It In Minutes Cookbook


Personal Review: A while ago I went to the library in search of cookbooks. I came home with 5, three of which were Weight Watchers books. I’ve been on a quest to make “healthier” options, but I don’t want to have to give up too much in this quest. In other words, I want to be 18 again and be able to eat what I want when I wanted to. Alas, I am no longer at that point in my life, and while I do go to the gym on a regular basis, I need to start watching what I eat a little closer. Thus the Weight Watchers cookbooks. I actually did weight watchers my sophomore year in college (yeah, the “Freshman 15” was closer to the “Freshman 30” for me) and had incredible results. So I figured if I went back to the recipes, I should be in a little better shape.

This recipe immediately caught my eye. We actually go to a restaurant in Florida, Columbia’s, that is known for their awesome salad. But they also have an amazing cuban sandwich. Knowing that my husband loves that sandwich, I figured it would be a good recipe to try.

First, I used a griddle just to make it easier to place a heavy skillet on top of the sandwiches to flatten. I also used dijon mustard (why? well because I had bought it for a different recipe and then used it in this recipe unintentionally, but it didn’t hurt anything). And I didn’t use “deli” cheese or meats … I bought thicker cut ham and turkey lunch meat. And since I am not very fond of pickles in general, I had Nathan add his to the sandwich at the table.

Overall, I really enjoyed this recipe. It’s simple and quick. I probably should have cooked them a little bit longer just because I didn’t get them completely heated through. But it’s definitely a keeper recipe that passed the test in our household.


RECIPE: Cheesy Salsa Mini Meatloaves

Cheesy Salsa Mini Meatloaves (6 servings)

  • 1 lb.  ground beef
  • 1/2 cup  finely chopped onions
  • 1 egg
  • 12 Saltine Crackers, finely crushed (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1-1/2 cups Mexican Style Finely Shredded Four Cheese, divided
  • 1 cup Thick & Chunky Salsa, divided


  1. Heat oven to 400ºF.
  2. Mix first 4 ingredients with 1 cup cheese and 1/2 cup salsa.
  3. Press into 12 muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray. Use back of spoon to make indentation in center of each. Place muffin pan on foil-covered baking sheet.
  4. Bake 20 to 25 min. or until meatloaves are done (160°F). Top with remaining salsa and cheese; bake 3 min. or until cheese is melted.

Recipe Source: Kraft Recipes



Personal Review: This is another really good recipe that I use often. It’s easy to throw together on a weeknight and it’s something a little bit different too.

There’s not much of anything to say about this recipe, really. It’s fast, easy, and delicious. I would definitely recommend it.

I typically serve it with chips and salsa and spanish rice. You can round it out with a salad as well.