Mexican Mac & Cheese

My husband loves mac & cheese and I love Mexican food.  Here is a random dish that I came up with that actually turned out as a crowd pleaser!  I love to add lots of spice to mine but you can easily tone the heat down by not adding red pepper flakes & using a mild taco seasoning.

Ingredients

2 Cups Small Pasta Shells
1 Pound Ground Beef
2 Cups Beef Stock
3/4 Cup Heavy Cream
1 Can Diced or Chopped Tomatoes
2 Cups Shredded Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 Small Yellow Onion, diced
1-2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
1/2 Package Spicy Taco Seasoning
2 Tsp Mexican Chili Powder
2 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
Salt & Pepper to taste

Let’s Cook!

1. In large pot, cook pasta according to package.
2. In large skillet, heat olive oil. Saute onion & garlic for 1-2 minutes, then add ground beef.
3. As you are browning the beef, add in taco seasoning, Mexican chili powder, and red pepper flakes (this helps season the meat and cook down the spices). Drain excess fat from beef mixture and set aside.
4. In same skillet, whisk in flour until lightly browned.
5. Whisk in beef broth & diced tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally until thickened.
5. Mix in pasta, beef mixture, and heavy cream until heated through. Then mix in cheese.
6. Add salt & pepper to taste and enjoy!

**To save time, I have made this dish super dumbed down as well. While it’s not AS good, it’s still pretty amazing. Follow steps 1 & 2. Once you’ve browned the beef & spices, add in the canned tomatoes (do not drain); let simmer. Add the pasta to your skillet. Add 1/2 stick of butter and cheese to your skillet and mix together. Again, this is the easy version and while it’s good, it can turn out a bit dry. If you have the time, stick with the original recipe. 🙂

Chicken Peanut Satay

I am obsessed with Thai food.  Our friends own a Thai restaurant in West Jordan, Utah and I could honestly eat there every freaking day.  On a random Thursday, the craving for Thai was strong and it just so happened I had all the items on hand to make an easy version of chicken peanut satay.  It. Was. DELICIOUS.  I really didn’t even want to share but of course I did, because I’m nice like that. Hopefully you will enjoy this easy version of chicken peanut satay

Ingredients
1 Package Rice Noodles
1 Jar Peanut Satay Sauce
1 – 2 Tbsp. EVOO
1 – 2 Cups Cubed & Cooked Chicken
**Add in veggies of your choice to make this dish extra amazing
**Add a touch of soy sauce to add some salt (I love soy sauce)

Let’s Cook
1. Cook rice noodles according to package, strain, and set aside
2. Cube & season chicken with salt and pepper
3. In a large skillet or wok heat EVOO on medium heat. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink
4. Stir in peanut satay sauce TIP: I suggest adding in the sauce slowly and then doing a quick taste test to ensure the peanut sauce isn’t too overpowering. Continue to add sauce to your liking.
5. Add rice noodles to skillet and stir with tongs until sauce has coated all the noodles
6. ENJOY

**If you are adding veggies, add them in before the noodles. I used “broccoli crack” in mine. You can find the recipe for that here
**If you using soy sauce, top off individual serving with a touch of soy sauce to give it a salty bite

Broccoli Crack

I was sick of steaming broccoli for a side dish and turned to Google to see if roasting broccoli was a thing.  It is and its amazing.

Ingredients
2 Heads of Broccoli cut into florets
2 tbsp EVOO
1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper (give or take depending on spice level you prefer)
1 tsp dried garlic (or 2 cloves fresh garlic)
Dash of salt & pepper to taste

Let’s Roast
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Spread broccoli on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle EVOO on top
3. Sprinkle crushed red, garlic, salt and pepper on top of broccoli
4. Use your hands to mix up all the ingredients
5. Bake for about 15 minutes or broccoli edges are brown
6. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

EASIEST. CHEESECAKE. EVER!  Plus, it’s September and I’m slightly obsessed with pumpkin spice everything.  Hope you enjoy this cheesecake as much as I did!

Ingredients
2 9 Inch Graham Cracker (I used Target’s premade crust to save time)
3 8oz Packages Cream Cheese – Softened
1 14oz Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 15oz Can Pumpkin
3 Large Eggs
1.5 Tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
**OPTIONAL: Whipped Cream Topping

Let’s Bake!
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
2. In large bowl, using a mixer, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Then beat in milk until smooth.  Add pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, and spice until combined completely.
3. Pour cheesecake mixture into crusts evenly
4. Bake 1 hour
5. Let completely cool (about 1 hour or so)
6. Refrigerate, covered, over night for best taste

 

Add some cool whip on top for an amazing treat!

Baked Apple Pork Chops

Growing up, my mom would make pork chops with cinnamon apple sauce as a side. It’s a staple in my household now. As I was thinking of making some boneless pork chops, I realized I didn’t have any applesauce but I did have a few raw apples that I needed to use. Here is one of the most delish and easy baked pork chop recipes I’ve ever made! Even the left overs were amazing. Plus, the baked apples make your home smell amazing.

TIP: Below are the exact measurements I used but next time I will def make more of the drizzle as well as use 3 large apples because YUM!

Ingredients
4 Boneless Pork Chops
2 Medium Sized Apples – Peeled and Sliced
1/2 Stick of Butter
4 Tblsp Brown Sugar
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Nutmeg
Salt & Pepper

Let’s Bake
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Spray baking pan with non stick spray
3. Lay sliced apples on bottom of baking sheet, sprinkle with cinnamon for extra flavor
3. Sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper
4. Lay pork chops on top of apples
5. In a sauce pan on medium heat, add butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir continually until the consistency is smooth.
6. Drizzle sauce over top of pork chops and apples.
7. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes.