Chicken Alfredo Sandwiches



magnolias in spring

I think I shrieked when I saw that the magnolias were blooming! This has to be one of my all-time favorite flowering trees in the spring…

magnolias in spring


magnolias in spring

magnolias in spring

I grabbed my camera and just went crazy…

magnolias in spring

magnolias in spring

It felt like I just couldn’t get enough photos of the tree and just kept snapping away…

When the kids started saying, “Heh, Mom, we’re hungry!” I knew that it was time to put the camera away and get them something to eat!

Do you ever open the door and stare inside of your full refrigerator and  think, “there is nothing in here to fix for lunch…”  That was me the other day. I stood and just stared at the icebox, while holding one child in my arms, while the other one sat on my foot and hugged my leg. I sighed. I scanned the kitchen and saw some french bread on the counter and then began to think,  “I wonder if I have any…”  and began to assemble some simple little sandwiches.

They turned out to be a hit, that is with my daugher anyway  ( my little boy still steadfastly refuses to part from his diet of bananas, peanut butter, noodles and milk……sigh). And my husband didn’t get any because…well, we ate them. Sorry, honey 🙂 but I’ll be making more some other time!

Sandwiches, they can be made out of “nothing” and still taste great!

Chicken Alfredo Sandwiches

First, heat according to the package’s directions:

        Tyson brand frozen grilled chicken breasts ( 1 breast will make about 2 sandwiches)

Then slice:

        french bread

into thick slices ( about 1 inch thick).Then open a jar of:

      Alfredo or creamy garlic sauce

and spread this over the bread slices…using about a tablespoon and a half per slice of bread. Then slice the grilled chicken breasts and arrange them over the slice of bread. Sprinkle:

      shredded cheddar cheese

over the top and broil in the oven until the cheese has melted. (If you would like to add a little heat to the sandwiches, add a few drops of tobasco or hot sauce to the sauce before spreading it on the bread)


Ooooooh, cold weather is upon us…

When your kids are complaining how rough they have it, do you ever say “Well, when I was a kid…” and you go on to tell them some story of your youth? That was me the other day… As I was listening to my little kids stating how cold it was getting into the car (ummmm…into a van in the warm garage) I told them a story about when I was young and single and parking my car in a warm garage wasn’t an option. My kids got such a laugh out of this story, I thought I’d share it with you all too…

When it was -29 degrees below zero one morning, I set out from my apartment building to walk to my car in the parking lot.  As I was walking, I was lamenting that I had misplaced my earmuffs.  Now this was in the 1980’s when “big” was in, big hair and big earmuffs! I had huge orange fuzzy earmuffs that looked like orange soft balls on either side of my head…and they were so warm…

When I reached my frigid cold car and opened my car door, I saw two orange “fuzzy softballs” laying on my carseat! My ear muffs! I stretched open the  earmuffs, as they were attached with a plastic band, and put them on my head. I started my car and drove off to work like usual…

I was stopped at a red light listening to the radio when  there was a loud – BANG!!  As I jumped a foot off my carseat,  I saw two  orange balls fly out. One hit my windshield and the other hit the driver’s side window! It took me a second to collect my thoughts! …What had just happened here?!… I wondered was it gunfire? did someone just have an accident? did my tire just blow? And what?! were those orange balls flying around inside my car??  Then it dawned on me…

I reached up to feel my ears and my ear muffs were gone! That’s what those orange balls were flying around the car… My earmuffs had exploded! I laughed at that thought and then thought –  wow! thank goodness the windows were rolled up or my earmuffs would’ve blown out the side windows and hit the cars next to me!

Aaahhh, the life of a Minnesotan in winter…so let that be a lesson for all of you who live in cold weather! 🙂 Never keep your plastic-banded earmuffs in a frigid cold car!  ( I still chuckle at the thought of how that whole scenario must’ve looked from the viewpoint of the driver behind me that morning…)

Well, I hope we are finished with our extremely cold weather up here in Minnesota…but  I kind of doubt it.   🙁  So on a warmer note, here is quick and simple casserole I like to throw together to warm tummies and satisfy the hungriest of appetites…

Chili and veggie casserole

Into a large stock pot put:

      2- 15 oz. cans chili soup

      32 oz. bag of frozen mixed veggies

      1 t chili powder

      1 t garlic salt

      1  t onion salt   

Stir and heat until hot then pour into a greased 2 qt. casserole dish (**see note at bottom) and bake uncovered  in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbling. Meanwhile, open:

     1 can (10 ct.) refrigerated biscuits

Cut the biscuits in half with a clean scissors. Arrange the halved biscuits around the sides and top of the casserole dish. Sprinkle:

      1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

over the center of the casserole, between the circle of biscuits. Bake for about 10 minutes more or until the biscuits are light golden brown.

** Somtimes this likes to bubble over… I place it on a cookie sheet to save cleaning up in the oven…

Breakfast time…or anytime

You know, the english muffin is one of those foods that just seems to taste good no matter when you eat it…morning , noon or midnight. 

Here is a recipe that is good morning, noon or nighttime also. It could easily be called a “breakfast eggdish” but I am going to call it a casserole instead. It’s filled with all kinds of  “breakfast” ingredients like hash browns (tater tots), sausage and eggs but my family often eats it for dinner and not breakfast. Oh, and it is good served with our anytime friend, the english muffin!

Sausage and Mushroom Casserole

Into a greased 13×9 inch baking dish place:

      frozen tater tots (about 20 0z. or enough to cover the bottom)

Bake in a 450 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until the tater tots are golden brown and crisp. (Stirring them halfway through the baking time will help them become more evenly crisp) Meanwhile, into a skillet place:

      1 lb. bulk pork sausage

      1 medium onion, finely chopped

Fry until completely cooked and then place on a couple layers of paper towels to drain off the grease. After it has cooled down somewhat, wrap the paper towels around the sausage and give it a squeeze to remove more of the fat. Into the same skillet put:

      12 beaten eggs (* see note at bottom)

Fry the eggs over medium heat until firm. Into a medium-sized bowl place:

      2 – 10.5 oz. cans cream of mushroom condensed soup

      2 T  milk

Stir together and set aside.  When tater tots have baked until they are golden brown, remove pan from the oven and turn down the oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle the cooked sausage over the tater tots and then spoon the scrambled eggs over that layer. Sprinkle over the top:

      1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Then carefully pour and then spread the mushroom soup mixture over it all. Place in the 350 degree oven and bake for 40 minutes or until mixture is hot and bubbling. Then sprinkle:

     3 oz. container fried onions

over the top and return to the oven for about 10 minutes. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

* When cracking this many eggs, it is a good idea to crack open each egg into a small bowl, one at a time. Then empty the small bowl into a larger mixing bowl. Doing it this way will prevent you from having to throw out the whole batch of eggs if you happen to crack a bad egg into the other eggs…

Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

I hope that you all had a nice Christmas!

Are you celebrating New Year’s Eve? We usually keep it pretty low key around here. My only tradition for that evening is watching “The Twilight Zone” marathon on the sci-fi channel. I love the old shows – the black and white ones. They have such a charm to them and can be sort of spooky without being scary and horrifying. I can’t stand horror movies and “The Twilight Zone” is about as scary as I care to watch!

Well, that being said, what’s more fun than watching old black and white shows? Eating while watching them! 🙂

Here is a recipe for my favorite all-time comfort food! Hot and cheesey Spinach and Artichoke spread/dip!  This can be baked in a casserole dish or spread on pizza crust, topped with cheese and baked like a pizza!  But no matter how it is served, it makes a nice comforting dish on a cold winter’s night…

I like to serve this dip/spread with thick slices of bread,  made with frozen bread dough. I prepare the bread according to the directions on the package, but place it on a greased cookie sheet so that it can spread out a bit. Once baked, I brush some melted butter over the top and sides then  sprinkle on some LaVae! Seasoning.  It makes a very nice herb bread and compliments the cheese and other flavors in the dip/spread.

I hope you all have a safe and happy New Year!

Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Into a large mixing bowl place:

      1 c mayonaise

      2 – 8 oz cream cheese, softened

       1/4 t nutmeg

      2 T  chopped garlic

      2 T garlic flavored Ms. Dash seasoning

Mix until creamy. Then add:      

      1 – 14 oz. can artichoke hearts (unseasoned,well drained and chopped)

      9 oz. box frozen spinach (thawed,drained and rung in a towel to remove all excess moisture)

      1 c  grated parmesan cheese

      8 oz. sharp white cheddar cheese

Stir until combined. Place in a greased casserole dish and top with:

      8 oz. shredded mozarella cheese

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes or until mixture is hot and bubbling and the cheese is starting to turn a light golden brown. Serve with chunky slices of herbed bread or any other bread you would like to use…

It’s the most wonderful time of year…

Are you familiar with the Christmas song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”? I think Andy Williams made it popular years back… I love Christmas, but I think I would consider this time of year, the most wonderful time of the year!

It’s the season ” to be thankful for what we have“…before the next season begins and the feeling focuses on “what we think we need to have” begins… 

Beings as it is Thanksgiving this week, I’d like to share one of my favorite ways to use up some of those leftovers! You know those little dabs that never seem to get used up…

This breakfast dish calls for turkey, stuffing, craisins (dried cranberries) and gravy. If I don’t have any leftover stuffing or gravy, I just substitute a boxed stuffing or gravy mix (prepared according to the directions on the packaging). I wrote “cold stuffing” in the directions because if you are making fresh stuffing and it is still hot when you mix it in with the eggs, you will be left with a gooey mess. Please use cooled stuffing for best results.

I call this a breakfast dish because it contains eggs, but I often serve it for dinner as well…Oh, and I apologize for the name! It’s was my attempt at humor trying to incorporate chicken (the eggs) and turkey!!…haha…


Into a large mixing bowl put:

      10 eggs

      1 t  thyme

      1/2 t  dried rubbed sage

      1/8 t  salt

      1/2 T Dijon mustard

Beat well and then add:

      3 c  cold crumbled stuffing

      2 c diced turkey

      1/3 c craisins (dried cranberries)

      1 medium onion (finely chopped)

Gently toss and pour into a greased 13×9 inch casserole dish. Sprinkle over the top:

      1 c shredded cheddar cheese

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Meanwhile prepare or heat until hot:

      1 cup of turkey gravy

After the dish has baked for 30 minutes, remove from oven and pour the hot gravy over the top and spread evenly. Sprinkle over the top:

      approximately 1/2 can of french fried onions

Return to oven and continue baking for 10 more minutes. Serve immediately.

I am thankful for all of you that have taken the time to look at my blog these past months. It has been fun sharing my favorite recipe creations with you and my hope is that they will become your favorites too.

May you all have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving!



Sauteed Fresh Spinach and Garlic



I was out in my garden the other day and noticed something…Autumn was peeking around the corner. It was very subtle, but I could feel its presence…


Pretty soon we will enter that season where we just stand in awe of nature as it paints our leaves fiery shades of red and orange…

But I thought before I get caught up marveling at the beautiful leaves of Autumn, I should pay tribute to my summer leaf friends. They are faithfully there all summer adding just a splash of color here and there…

Some leaves aren’t boastful with their beauty…in fact, you may even miss it if you aren’t looking…



Hosta leaves

Leaves have a beauty all their own, but some leaves have a beauty due to their flavor and not appearance…I think spinach falls into this category. I love spinach but when it comes to this leaf, I’d rather eat it than look at it!

When we were visiting my husband’s niece this summer, we ate at a cute little bistro (Bijon’s) in downtown Chicago. I ordered a grilled chicken breast that came with garlic mashed potatoes and sauteed spinach and garlic. It was phenomenal…

Here is my version of the wonderful dinner that evening…

Warm Sauteed Fresh Spinach and Garlic Salad

This sauteed salad comes together quickly at the very end so it is best to have the following completed before you begin saute-ing the butter and garlic…

*  cube 8 oz. fresh mozarella cheese – please don’t substitute bagged pre-shredded mozarella…If you have never tried fresh mozarella, there is a world of difference between that and the pre-shredded kind found in bags. Fresh mozarella has almost a creamy-like texture to it and compliments this dish perfectly…

* slice approximately 1 pint of cherry tomatoes into halves

* slice 3 Tyson brand fully cooked, grilled chicken breasts into strips…I love these chicken breasts! Not only are they convenient (they are found in the freezer section of your grocery store in a bright green bag) but they are sooooo good! Follow the directions on the bag to prepare them but reduce the baking time to only about 10 minutes as you are going to be saute-ing them later…

Once these things are completed, continue with the following:

Into a large saucepot or extra large skillet put:

      1/4 c butter ( salted butter)

      1 T  extra virgin olive oil

Place on medium heat. When the butter has melted add:

      1 pint halved cherry tomatoes

      1 T  chopped garlic

When the mixture begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes. Then add:

      3 grilled chicken breasts, sliced

Saute until heated through. This next portion comes together very quickly.  When you are ready to sit down and eat procede with the following…

Into the hot mixture put:

      1 –  6 oz. bag pre-washed fresh spinach

Using a tongs, toss the spinach until all the leaves have been coated with the hot butter mixture. Place a lid over the pan and wilt the leaves slightly (this will take only seconds so please watch it carefully) Then add:

      8 oz. fresh mozarella cheese cut into bite-sized pieces

Remove from heat and serve immediately. Fresh mozarella cheese is a very soft cheese…you don’t want it to melt or you will be left with a stringy salad. To complete this meal, try serving it with garlic mash potatoes…the combination is absolutely heavenly! Enjoy!

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

To make garlic mashed potatoes, I add about 1 T chopped garlic and about 2 teaspoons of onion powder to about 4-5 cups of mashed potatoes. Oh, and of course there’s the melted butter over the top…

garlic mashed potatoes

Flavor-filled burgers!



A good hamburger sure hits the spot, doesn’t it?…especially done on the grill in the summer!

Using lean meat for a hamburger seems like it results in a dry tasteless burger, but using this recipe can give you a juicy burger without all the fat! 

 The secret? shredded pickles…the juice from the pickles goes into the meat during the cooking process and results in a very juicy burger! tomato slices, sliced tomato, tomatoUsing regular hamburger will still give you the juiciest, most flavorful burger, but try this recipe with lean meat too and see if you miss the extra fat…

My other secret to a flavor-filled burger is adding beef bouillon, onion powder and a touch of mesquite liquid smoke to the raw hamburger before forming into patties. Yum!

Flavor-filled Hamburgers

Into a mixing bowl, place:

2/3 cup shredded dill pickles

1 teas beef bouillon powder

1 T onion powder

1/2 t mesquite liquid smoke

1 lb. hamburger

Mix first 4 ingredients together then add the hamburger and thoroughly combine.  Form into patties…and grill to perfection! Makes about 4 patties.