Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Oven Roasted Meatball Subs

When childcare arrangements shift for illnesses and holiday weeks, I need to have easy to prepare food on hand for my family.  Grandparents can't be expected to make anything more than a bowl of cold cereal when dealing with three young, energetic children or whiny, sick kids craving comfort.

I made these meatball subs on a Sunday afternoon so that my mother-in-law could have a hot meal before heading home Monday afternoon. I wrapped the subs in foil using Sharpie marker to identify toppings or the lack of topping.  Everyone was thrilled with the yummy, quick dinner.  Since I made the entire bag of meatballs, I saved the extra in the sauce and will use with pasta later in the week.

  • 1 bag of precooked frozen meatballs
  • 8 pre-sliced hot sausage rolls
  • Pasta sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Fire roasted peppers
  • Italian seasoning

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Throw sauce and meatballs in pot and cook through on low.
  2. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray.  Open roll, put 4-5 meatballs, top with sauce and cheese; sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Wrap in foil if desired. Place on baking sheet.
  3. Bake 10 minutes or until cheese is hot and bubbly.

Difficulty: Easy
Time:30 minutes prep; 10 minutes baking time
Source: Pinterest

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sausage and Broccoli Skillet

A few months back, I came across a Cambpell's cookbook that my mom had given me years ago and in briefly flipping through, this recipe jumped off of the page at me.  It was one for which I already had all of the ingredients and it looked like something my family would love.  I was right - my daughter, who has been eating dinner at a snail's pace recently, gobbled it up in (for her) record time.  My son asked for seconds with no hesitation, and I had to restrain myself from not overeating, it was so yummy.

  • 1 1/2 lbs sweet Italian pork sausage, casing removed OR ground sweet Italian pork sausage
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of broccoli soup (can be 98% fat free kind)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 bag (14-16 oz) frozen broccoli cuts or florets 
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 lb Rotini or Cavatappi pasta 
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Microwave broccoli with a tablespoon of water for 4 minutes.
  3. Brown sausage in large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring to separate meat.
  4. Add onion and garlic.  Cook until tender.  Drain fat.
  5. Add soup, milk, broccoli and 1/4 cup of the cheese.  Heat to boiling.  Cover and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, or until broccoli done to desired tenderness, stirring occasionally.
  6. Toss with pasta.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Difficulty: easy
Time: 25-30 minutes, start to finish
Source: slightly adapted from Campbell's Casseroles and One-Dish Meals cookbook

Monday, February 10, 2014

Aloha Chicken Sandwiches

My children are finally at an age where two of them can play for 30 minutes without needing me.  I try to encourage this time while the toddler takes his nap.  I try to do as much as humanly possible in the half-hour of non-chaos.  Last week, one of my breaks including searching Pinterest for crock-pot recipes for chicken.  While I love seeing all the pins of my friends, I didn't have time to peruse...I headed for the search option.  I found this AMAZING chicken dish.

After opening the slow cooker to shred the chicken, my husband arrived in the kitchen following the aroma.  He remarked twice how great it smelled and how he couldn't wait to eat!  I started to worry that the meal would meet his expectations.  I had no need to worry; everyone ate the tender, marinated chicken hungrily.  The high praise from John continued, "I think this is the best meat dish you've ever made-it's tender, perfectly shredded, moist, tangy! I could eat it all! Make sure you write this one down."


  • 5- 6 chicken breasts
  • 8 oz. pineapple juice (the amt in the can)
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce 
  • slider buns


  1. Place 5-6 chicken breasts in the bottom of slow cooker.
  2. Mix pinapple juice and soy sauce.  Pour over chicken.
  3. Add one cup barbeque sauce.  Cook on low for 4 hours (since I tend to use frozen chicken, I bump my cooking time to 5 hours.
  4. Remove chicken from slow cooker.  Shred with two forks.  Put back in slow cooker for 30 minutes.
  5. Serve on buns, garnish as desired.

Difficulty: Easy
Time: 4 hours
Source:  Pinterest

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


This is my absolute favorite lasagna recipe...partly because it is the easiest one I have tried (aside from Kelly's slow cooker version) and partly because of how tasty it is.  I was never a big fan of lasagna growing up, and I think it had to do with the fact that I don't care much for ricotta cheese.  This recipe does not have ricotta, and if you use the low fat cottage cheese that this one calls for, it is actually much healthier than traditional recipes, too.  As with any lasagna, it does take a little time to prepare, so this is one that I generally make on a Sunday.  I put it together after lunch and then throw it in the oven when the time is right.  We usually have enough for leftovers later in the week, especially if we have a salad with it, and definitely if we have a salad and breadsticks.

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 jar (26 oz) spaghetti sauce (or homemade sauce)
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 9 lasagna noodles, cooked, drained
  • 1 container (16 oz) low fat cottage cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Begin cooking pasta.  Brown meat with garlic and oregano.  Stir in spaghetti sauce, simmer 5 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes, remove from heat.
  2. Spread 1/2 c of sauce in 13 x 9 baking dish.  Layer 3 noodles, 1 c of cottage cheese, 1/2 c Mozarella, and 1 c sauce in dish.  Repeat layers.  Top with remaining 3 noodles and remaining sauce mixture.  
  3. Cover with foil.  Bake 30 minutes.  Uncover; top with 1 c mozarella.  Bake uncovered for an additional 5 minutes.  Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Difficulty: Medium
Time: about 25 minutes prep and then another 35 minutes to cook, plus 5 minutes to stand after cooking.
Source: adapted from Kraft Food and Family