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The Cowboy Burger: Fast & Delicious

 

 

I’ve been trying for years to make the perfect cheeseburger at home. I’ve tried countless recipes, added countless spices to the meat, tried all kinds of toppings….my burgers were still never as good as the ones I get from a restaurant.

 

Until this weekend.

 

I made the perfect burger. I consider it to be a life-changing miracle in our house. Ironically, I didn’t even make the burger meat. I recently bought a huge box of pre-made burgers from Wal*Mart- 34 patties (frozen but not pre-cooked) for $17. We were planning our Labor Day block party so I needed burger patties in bulk for the lowest price possible. I was going for bulk, not premium flavor. Little did I know I was getting one of the best burger patties I’ve had in a long time.

 

We grilled a few of the patties a few days before the block party just to try them out. The patties were large and seasoned perfectly. Matt grilled them for 6-8 minutes per side and they had the best chargrilled flavor without being too overdone. They were so easy and fast- and it eliminated all the messy prep work. I hate the prep work.

 

Matt has been dying for me to make a Cowboy Burger and I figured this was the perfect opportunity to try it out. I have to say, I liked it a whole lot more than I anticipated.

 

 

 

The Cowboy Burger

 

2 perfectly cooked burger patties, seasoned if you prefer
2 slices Munster deli cheese, sliced thin
1 slice tomato
2 crispy onion rings
1 T honey BBQ sauce
2 slices crispy bacon
dab of mustard

 

Layer it all on the bun- Ball Park Golden Buns are my favorites right now- and enjoy. The kids did not like the BBQ sauce so they substituted ketchup and it was still delicious. Better with the BBQ sauce though. I served it with extra onion rings on the side.

 

 

Delicious.

 



10 Fast, Easy & Kid Approved Weeknight Dinners

 

 

 

I don’t know about everyone else’s household but I have a hard time making sure I can get a healthy and tasty dinner on the table on school nights. Between soccer practice, gymnastics, football, cheerleading, dance….it’s a never-ending cycle of running late and picking up fast food in a hurry. Not great for my budget or our health. So I started collecting a variety of fast and easy dinner recipes that I can throw together in a hurry or even make ahead of time and heat up at dinner time.

 

 

Spinach Ravioli Bake

 

2 cup spaghetti sauce
1 pkg frozen ravioli
8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed & squeezed dry
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

 

Place 1 cup spaghetti sauce in greased 2qt baking dish. Top with half ravioli, mozzarella, spinach, and parmesan. Repeat layers. Bake uncovered at 350 for 45 minutes.

 

*I make this one the night before and re-heat it when we are ready for dinner.

 

Baked Mexican Tilapia

 

8 Tilapia fillets, thawed
1 cup salsa
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup coarsely crushed tortilla chips
1/4 cup sour cream

 

Lay fish fillets in bottom of casserole dish. Pour salsa over top and sprinkle evenly with cheese. Top with crushed tortilla chips. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes and serve with sour cream.

 

*I thaw the tilapia fillets in the fridge during the day and throw the dish in the oven at dinner time.

 

Chicken Cordon Bleu Skillet

 

2 cups cooked chopped chicken
1 T margarine
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 T water
1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese
1/2 cup chopped ham
1 box pasta shells

 

Heat butter in skillet. Add chicken, soup, water, cheese, and ham. Heat to boil. Cover and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Serve over noodles.

 

Italian Baked Shrimp Linguine

 

1 lb frozen shrimp, thawed
1/4 cup oil
1/2 T garlic salt
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1 pkg linguine

 

Rinse shrimp and pat dry. Pour oil in baking dish. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and garlic salt. Add bread crumbs and toss to coat evenly. Bake at 475 for 5 minutes. Turn gently and bake for additional 8-10 minutes. Serve over linguine.

 

Layered Taco Salad

 

1 bag shredded lettuce
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 lb ground beef, cooked with taco seasoning
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
2 cups taco sauce
2 cups sour cream
1 bag tortilla chips, broken in pieces

 

Layer all ingredients in bowl and chill.

 

Pesto Ranch Chicken Pasta

 

2 cups cooked chopped chicken
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/4 cup pesto sauce
1 can asparagus tips
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 box penne noodles, cooked

 

Preheat oven to broil. Mix together pasta, asparagus, ranch, and pesto sauce. Add chicken. Pour into greased casserole dish. Top with cheese. Broil for 2-4 minutes until cheese starts to brown.

 

Mini Meatball Sandwiches

 

1 bag frozen meatballs
1 jar marinara sauce
1 pack soft dinner rolls
thinly sliced provolone cheese

 

Cook meatballs with marinara in saucepan until heated through. Cut stack of provolone cheese into 4 wedges. Open each roll and place one wedge of cheese on each side. Spoon a meatball and good amount of sauce into roll and close top.

 

Chicken Nacho Scoops

 

1 bag Tortilla Scoops chips
2 cups cooked chopped chicken
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese
1 jar salsa
1 cup sour cream
1 tomato, diced

 

Spread tortilla scoops on foil lined baking sheet. Sprinkle pepper jack cheese over top. Spread chicken over top of cheese. Add cheddar cheese, covering each scoop. Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve with sour cream and diced tomatoes on top and salsa on the side.

 

Cheeseburger Cups

 

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup ketchup
2 T brown sugar
1 T mustard
1 1/2 t worcestershire sauce
1 tube (12oz) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/2 cup cubed velveeta cheese

 

Cook beef and drain. Stir in ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, and worcestershire sauce. Remove from heat; set aside. Press each biscuit onto bottom and up sides of greased muffin cups. Spoon beef mixture into cups; top with cheese. Bake at 400 for 14-16 minutes.

 

Chicken Ranch Soft Tacos

 

2 cups cooked chopped chicken
1 pkt taco seasoning
1/2 cup ranch dressing
8″ flour tortillas
sour cream
shredded Mexican blend cheese
tomato, diced
lettuce, shredded

 

Heat chicken over medium heat until warmed through. Sprinkle taco seasoning over top and stir to combine; do not add water. Heat for 5 minutes. Add ranch dressing, stir to coat, and warm through. Serve in tortillas with toppings.

 



5 Of Our Favorite Summer Grilling Recipes

We love to grill out during the summer. It’s usually too hot for me to even think about turning on the oven so grilling out is really the only option if we want to eat! Matt grills dinner while the kids play on the swing set and you can usually find me sipping a glass of wine while keeping Matt company. It’s the perfect end to our long summer days. Today I’m sharing 5 of our family’s favorite grilling recipes. These are our go-to grilling recipes and I keep the ingredients on hand for those nights when we need dinner fast.

 

 

 

 

Grilled Shrimp Tacos

 

1 large avocado (pitted, peeled & diced)
1 can (10oz) Ro*Tel
1/2 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
1/4 tsp salt
1 pound frozen large shrimp, thawed
1 Tbsp oil
1/2 tsp chili powder
8 corn tortillas (6 inch), warmed

 

Spray cold grill grate with grilling spray. Preheat grill for medium heat. Meanwhile toss together avocado, drained tomatoes, corn and salt in medium bowl; set aside. Toss thawed shrimp with oil and chili powder in large bowl. Thread shrimp evenly onto metal skewers; grill 2 to 3 minutes each side until cooked through. Divide shrimp evenly between tortillas. Top each with about 1/4 cup of avocado mixture.

 

 

 

 

Aloha BBQ Sliders

 

1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
2/3 cup Brown Sugar BBQ sauce, divided
3/4 tsp Montreal steak seasoning
1 pkg Hawaiian dinner rolls
3 slices Swiss cheese, quartered
1 can (8oz) pineapple slices, drained & cut into thirds
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

 

Spray cold grate of grill with grilling spray. Preheat grill for medium heat. Meanwhile combine beef, 1/3 cup BBQ sauce, and steak seasoning in large bowl. Shape mixture in 12 small patties. Grill patties 3 to 4 minutes each side until cooked through. Meanwhile remove attached rolls from package- Do Not Separate. Cut rolls in half horizontally. Spray cut sides with grilling spray; toast on grill. Spread remaining 1/3 cup BBQ sauce on rolls; separate rolls. Place patties on bottom half of rolls; top with cheese, pineapple, and onion. Close with tops of rolls.

 

 

 

 

Pesto and Tomato Grilled Pizzas

 

4 white flatbreads (6 inch)
1/3 cup refrigerated basil pesto sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 can (14.5oz) Stewed tomatoes, drained
3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp ripe sliced olives

 

Spray cold grate of grill with grilling spray. Preheat grill for medium heat. Place flatbreads on baking sheet; spread each evenly with pesto sauce. Top each flatbread with mozzarella cheese, stewed tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, and olives. Grill 6 to 8 minutes or until cheese melts and flatbreads are browned slightly. Sometimes we add grilled chicken on top too. 

 

 

 

 

Santa Fe Chicken Packets

 

1 can whole black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups frozen whole kernel corn
1 can Ro*Tel, drained
1/2 tsp cumin
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend

 

Preheat grill for medium-high heat. Stir together beans, corn, drained Ro*Tel, and cumin in mixing bowl. Place four 18×12″ pieces of heavy foil on counter and spray each with cooking spray. Place 1 chicken breast in center of each. Spoon 1/4 bean mixture over each chicken breast. Bring up short sides of each foil packet and double fold top. Double fold both ends to seal each packet, leaving space for steam to gather. Place packets on covered grill grate. Grill 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Carefully open packets; sprinkle 1/4 of cheese on top of each breast. Close foil and let packets stand for 2 minutes or until cheese melts.

 

 

 

 

Blue Cheese Steak Wraps

 

1 1/4 lbs beef flank steak, trimmed
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
6 Tbsp chunky Blue Cheese dressing
6 whole wheat flour tortillas (8 inch), warmed
1 1/2 cups packed baby spinach leaves
1 can (14.5oz) petite diced tomatoes, drained
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion

 

Spray cold grate of grill with grilling spray. Preheat grill for medium heat. Sprinkle steak with garlic salt and pepper. Grill 6 to 8 minutes each side or until cooked through. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut steak into thin strips. Prepare wraps by spreading 1 Tbsp dressing on each tortilla; top with steak, spinach, tomato, and onion. Fold sides in; roll up burrito style. Cut in half to serve.

 

All recipes and pictures from Readyseteat.com.

 

 



Fiesta Ravioli Recipe

I love dinner recipes that I can have on the table in 15 minutes or less without sacrificing taste or nutrition. My family loves dinner recipes that combine their favorite things- cheese, pasta, and Mexican. This recipe happens to fit the criteria for all of us!

Fiesta Ravioli

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag frozen beef ravioli
  • 1 can enchilada sauce
  • 1 jar (16oz) salsa
  • 2 cups shredded Colby Jack cheese

1. Cook ravioli according to package directions.
2. Combine enchilada sauce and salsa in saucepan and heat through.
3. Add cooked ravioli to sauce and stir gently to combine.
4. Add shredded cheese and stir until melted.

If I know it’s a hectic day and I want to cut my prep time I might even pre-cook the ravioli and have it in the fridge so I can just toss it into the sauce when I’m ready. It really doesn’t get much easier or faster than that!



5 Fast Dinner Recipes

I’ve made no secret that I’m always on the look out for fast and easy dinner recipes that can be tossed onto the table in no time flat. With our schedules and commitments it is increasingly hard for me to make sure we get a balanced and nutritious dinner every night. Some nights are just a wash out but every night can’t be fast food night….can it? No, no it can’t. Damn. Today I’m sharing 5 of my favorite Fast Dinner Recipes that I pull out on the weeks we are crazy busy. I try to have the meat done ahead time: the meatballs cooked, the ground beef cooked, the chicken chopped, etc to cut down on prep time.

Mini Meatball Sandwiches

1 bag frozen meatballs
1 jar marinara sauce
1 pack soft dinner rolls (I use Hawaiian rolls)
1 pkg thinly sliced Provolone cheese

Cook meatballs and marinara sauce in saucepan. Cut stack of Provolone cheese into 4 wedges. Open each roll and place one wedge of cheese on each side. Spoon a meatball and good amount of sauce into roll, close sandwich and serve.


Cheeseburger Cups

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup ketchup
2 T brown sugar
1 T mustard
1 1/2 t worcestershire sauce
1 tube (12oz) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1/2 cup cubed velveeta

Cook beef and drain. Stir in ketchup, brown sugar, mustard and worcestershire sauce. Remove from heat, set aside. Press each biscuit onto bottom and up sides of greased muffin cup. Spoon beef mix into cups; top with cheese. Bake at 400 for 14-16 minutes.


Chicken Ranch Tacos

2 cups cooked and chopped chicken
1 pkt taco seasoning
1/2 cup ranch dressing
flour tortillas
sour cream, shredded cheese, tomatoes, lettuce for topping

Heat chopped chicken over medium heat until warmed through. Sprinkle packet of taco seasoning over top; do not add water. Heat for 5 minutes. Add ranch dressing and stir to coat. Serve in tortillas with toppings.


Baked Ham & Cheese Croissants

4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 T honey dijon mustard
6 large croissants
6 slices cheese
1/2 lb ham, thinly sliced

Blend cream cheese and mustard together until well combined. Slice croissants in half and spread cream cheese mix on both sides. Top with slice of cheese and ham. Close croissants and put on baking pan. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.


Chicken Cordon Bleu Wraps

Sliced deli ham
Sliced deli chicken
4 wedges Laughing Cow Swiss cheese
4 T mayo
2 T creamy honey dijon mustard
1 cup baby spinach leaves
8 large tortillas

In a bowl, stir together mayo and mustard. Set aside. Spread one wedge of cheese over each tortilla. Add couple slices of chicken and couple slices of ham over cheese. Spread 1 T mayo mix over top and add couple pieces spinach. Roll into log and wrap tightly with plastic wrap and chill. When ready to serve, unwrap and cut in half. I either toss these together in the morning if I have an extra 5 minutes or I make them sometime during the day to give them time to chill. Really they only need an hour or so in the fridge and they’re delicious!

What are some of your favorite fast dinner recipes?