Caprese spaghetti squash

Are you sick of squash yet? Clearly I’m not. This recipe from Pink Troll Kitchen is a yummy dinner option.

To make it, I first cut the spaghetti squash in half and scooped out the seeds. I let it bake for about an hour on a cookie sheet with olive oil.

While the squash was cooking, I prepared the other ingredients. The basil, spinach, minced garlic and tomatoes are put aside in a bowl.

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I used larger tomatoes, which were from our garden.

When the squash was done, I scooped out the flesh into the bowl. I mixed it all up with some olive oil, salt and pepper.

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Next comes the cheese. Now, in typical me fashion, I didn’t go and buy this one ingredient, and just used the cheddar I had at home. Which kind of defeats the point of it being caprese. I seriously need to learn to follow directions. Haha.

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The mixture is then put into a baking dish and sprinkled with the remaining cheese over top.

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The dish spent about 35 minutes in the oven. This is what it looked like when it came out.

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Now, although I used the wrong cheese, this was still a pretty tasty dish! My 2 year old gobbled it up (minus the tomatoes). That makes me one happy mama!

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Broccoli chicken casserole

The weather here has been cool and damp lately. Which is why I’ve been making soups and comfort food more than usual.

Usually, I don’t like making things that require packaged food like dip mixes or cans of soup. But this casserole sounded too delicious to not make because of a can of soup!

The recipe is pretty simple. The only thing that takes time is the prep.
I started out by cooking my chicken. I used chicken breast and cut it into bit size pieces after it was cooked.

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At the same time, I cooked up the rice.

Next came cutting up the broccoli into bite sized pieces.

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And all that needs to be done after that is put the chicken, can of cream of chicken soup, rice, grated cheese and mayonnaise into the dish and mix it up.

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The crushed corn flakes are sprinkled over top and the melted butter is then drizzled over. Then into the oven for half an hour.

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Once the 30 minutes are up, out comes the casserole. I had my friend and her daughter over for lunch that day, and her daughter gobbled it up faster than I’ve ever seen her eat!

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This dish was very tasty! And pure comfort food. Plus, you are sneaking in broccoli! Yum!

Chicken pot pie crumble

When I think about my childhood and comfort food, I think about chicken pot pie. This recipe I found is the same comfort without all the shell of the pie. Although this recipe is a lot more complicated than I usually like, it is a good recipe for a cold day. A good recipe to make on occasion.

The recipe starts out with making the crumble. The flour, baking powder, salt, pepper and cayenne are all combined in a bowl.

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Then, the chilled butter is added in and mixed until coarse.

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Next, the Parmesan and milk are added and mixed in. I found my dough quite sticky so I used my hands to make little pieces that I put on a cookie sheet.

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While the crumble pieces cooked, the chicken is simmered in chicken broth until cooked.
Once the crumble pieces are done, they are put off to the side.

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The next step is to make the filling. It starts with cooking the vegetables in a pot until tender.

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While the veggies cook, the chicken is cut up into bite sized pieces. When the vegetables are done, they are added to the plate with the chicken.

In the same pot, butter is melted and flour is added.

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After about a minute, the chicken broth from earlier on, and the milk is whisked in and brought to a simmer until the sauce thickens.

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The next step is to remove it from heat and add in the chicken, cooked vegetables and peas and stir until combined.

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The mixture is topped with the crumble pieces and put into the oven on 400 degrees until the top starts turning brown and the sauce is bubbling.

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Finally, after all of this, the recipe is complete. And believe me, it’s worth it! It was pretty tasty!

What are your go-to comfort dishes?

Baked Coconut shrimp

Coconut shrimp is one of my favorite things! Yum! So, when I saw a recipe for coconut shrimp from skinny taste, I knew I wanted to make it.
The steps are pretty simple. First, you assemble all the dishes for coating the shrimp. The coconut flakes, panko and salt are combined in a bowl. I put the flour on a small plate. And I whisked the egg in a small bowl.

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Unfortunately, I didn’t have uncooked shrimp, so I had to use cooked shrimp instead. I dipped the shrimp in the flour, making sure it was coated, then I dipped it into the egg and dropped it into the coconut mixture.

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Once all the shrimp were done, they baked in an oven for 10 minutes on one side, and about 6 on the other.

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For the dipping sauce, the recipe called for apricot preserves, rice wine vinegar and red pepper flakes. But, in my fridge, I already had apricot chili jam. So, I added a bit of rice wine vinegar to it and used it as the sauce.

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The dipping sauce was okay. I prefer store bought sweet chili sauce over this dipping sauce though. A piña colada sauce would go great with this shrimp as well!

Crock pot beef and pasta

I was planning on making this dish when I found out our friends with 3 kids were going to be in town and having dinner with us. This seemed like a perfect dish to make!
The day before I made it, I browned the beef with onions and garlic, and put it into the fridge overnight.

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The next morning, I added the beef, stewed tomatoes, 2 cans of tomato sauce and a few fresh cherry tomatoes into my crock pot. Also thrown in was oregano, basil, salt and pepper.

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After being in the crockpot on low for about 7 hours, I cooked two bags of bow tie pasta, and got some fresh spinach from my garden. Unfortunately, my garden didn’t have too much in the way of spinach this time.
Once the pasta was cooked, I added it along with the spinach, Parmesan and the mozzarella (along with some cheddar since I ran out of mozzarella!) to the crockpot.

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After mixing and letting it sit for about 20 minutes on high, I dished out the pasta for us and our guests.

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The verdict? Well, most if not all the kids had seconds. I think one even had thirds… So I guess it went over well!
Personally, it was not my favorite dish. BUT, if I can sneak tomatoes and even more spinach in, then I will be serving this again!

Kale frittata

Once again we opted to have breakfast for dinner. This time we decided to try a kale frittata. It was another recipe you just need to throw together and let it cook. Just my style!

It starts with the onions and oil in a pot.

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While the onions cook, the eggs are whisked together with salt, pepper and Parmesan.

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Once the onions are cooked, the coarsely chopped kale is added and wilted in 3 batches.

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Next, the salami is added into the pot.

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After about a minute, the egg mixture is poured in. Then the frittata is left to cook.

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The recipe suggests cooking the frittata for about 4 minutes. I found that mine took a few more minutes.
Then, it is put in the oven on broil. Once again, the recipe suggests a minute on broil, but mine needed about 5-7 to fully cook.

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My husband thought this was pretty good. Personally, I found there to be a bit too much kale. It was tasty but I would have preferred less kale. Chloe seemed to think the frittata was okay. She had about half of her piece. To be honest, that’s more than I thought she would eat.

Beef stroganoff

On Saturday, I had my friend Shannon and her daughter over for dinner. I decided to try a recipe from gimme some oven for beef stroganoff. It is something I have never made from scratch before.
Before Shannon came over, I prepped all the ingredients so that I would only have to do the cooking while she was over.

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The recipe calls for a pound of mushrooms, but I didn’t have quite that amount. And of course I looked at my bag of egg noodles right before I started cooking and realized we were going to need more. My husband, Matt, offered to grab more from the store. He came home with a kind of egg noodle, but not the kind that typically goes with stroganoff (see last picture). In the end, it made no difference to any of us.

I’m glad I did some of the work before she came because I got caught up in talking and made a few errors that luckily didn’t change the outcome.
I cooked up all the beef, sautéed the onions and then added the mushrooms and garlic.

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Instead of white wine, I opted for the beef broth to deglaze the pan. I’m sure white wine would have been yummy though.
After that, I added the rest of the ingredients to make the sauce and then added the beef back in.

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The verdict? Every plate, including both 21 month old girls, were completely clear. Um, I’d call that a success!!

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Not only was the recipe delicious, but it was also easy and fed 4 adults and 2 toddlers. What more could you ask for?!

What did you have for dinner?