Amazing Veggie Rotini & Meat Sauce

Veggie Rotini is a versatile and healthy food choice that should always be in your pantry.  There are a million and one ways to cook it, and its guaranteed to be a people pleaser no matter how you prepare it.  Today, I want to share a rendition that my family likes to request and enjoy time and time again.  Veggie Rotoniti with meat sauce!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups of Veggie Rottini
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 4 Green Onion Stalks
  • 1/2lb of ground beef
  • 12 oz of Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tsp of Salt
  • 2 Tsp of Garlic Powder
  • 2 Tsp of Oregano
  • 1 Tsp of Pepper
  • Dried Parsley Flakes
  • 8 – 10 Campari Tomatos
  • 1 1/2 Cups of water

Instructions:

  1. Begin by slicing and chopping the green and yellow onions.
  2. Set the on ions to the side and begin browning 1/2lb of ground beef in a skillet on medium heat.
  3. While waiting for the beef to cook, go ahead and cut 8 – 10 campari tomatos into quarters.
  4. Check on the beef and continue to chop and stir until thoroughly cooked.
  5. Now that the beef is cooked, its time for the fun part… making the meat sauce!
  6. Before getting started on the sauce, remove the excess grease from the beef and begin cooking 2 cups of Rotinni pasta in a pot of boiling water.
  7. While the pasta cooks, add 12 oz of tomato sauce, 1 1/2 cup of water, and 1 chopped yellow onion to the beef skillet.  Continue to cook and stir on medium heat until the onions soften.
  8. While cooking the sauce, be sure to occasionally stir the Rotinni pasta until they are soft enough to serve.
  9. Once the chopped onions have been cooked soft in the meat sauce, season the sauce with 1 tsp of salt, 2 tsp of garlic powder, 2 tsp of oregano, and  1 tsp of pepper.
  10. Continue stirring the sauce while adding the sliced green onions and campari tomatos.  Reduce the heat to low and allow the sauce to simmer for 15 – 20 minutes.
  11. While the sauce simmers, rinse the excess starch from the cooked noodles.

And that’s it!  Plate, serve, and enjoy!

Veggie Rotini & Meat Sauce

 

 

 

Shrimp & Gritz With Cajun Sauced Turkey

Growing up near New Orleans and the coastal regions of southern Mississippi, I’ve had my fair share of amazing Cajun seafood.  Here is an easy recipe for making one of my favorite dishes, shrimp & grits!

Ingredients:

  • 4oz Ground Turkey
  • 15 – 20 medium or large, peeled shrimp
  • 2 Slices of Bacon
  • ½ cup Grits
  • 1 tbs Butter
  • ¼ cup Milk
  • ¼ cup Fresh Cilantro
  • ½ Onion
  • ½ Green Pepper
  • 1 tsp Red Pepper
  • ½ Tsp Black Pepper
  • ½ Tbs Paprika
  • ½ tbs of Oregano
  • 1/8 tsp Thyme
  • 1 tbs Minced Garlic
  • Salt
  • ½ Cup Tomato Paste
  • 1 tbs Olive Oil
  • 4 – 5 sliced green onion tops

Instructions:

  1. Chop two slices of bacon into small to medium sized bits. Set a skillet to medium heat and begin cooking the bacon
  2. While the bacon is cooking, slice and dice ½ of an onion and ½ of a green pepper.
  3. Continue flipping and breaking up the bacon until it has cooked up nice and crisp. Once done, drain and towel away the grease. Crush the cooked bacon bits a little more and set aside for later.
  4. Now, prepare ¼ cup of fresh, chopped cilantro and 4-5 sliced green onion tops.
  5. Before starting on the sauce, go ahead and brown 4oz of ground turkey in another skillet and set to the side until ready to add into the sauce.
  6. Grab a large skillet and set the heat on medium/high and add 1 tbs of olive oil and 1 tbs of minced garlic. Cook the minced garlic in the olive oil for 3 – 4 minutes. Add the diced onions and peppers while continuing to cook and stir until the ingredients begin to soften.
  7. Add ½ cup of tomato paste and 2 1/2 cups of water to the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium low and allow the sauce to cook until reduced to about a third of its original volume.  However, if you prefer your sauce to be thin, cook until the onions and peppers are soft and turn off the skillet before any reduction takes place.
  8. While the sauce is still simmering, add 1tsp of red pepper, ½ tbs of Paprika, ½ tsp of black pepper, ½ tbs of oregano, 1/8 tsp of thyme, ½ tsp of salt and the ground turkey that was browned earlier Stir until evenly mixed.
  9. Turn off the heat, cover, and let the sauce rest while we prepare the shrimp & grits.
  10. Bring 1½ cups of water to a boil in a small pot. Add 1tbs of butter, ½ tsp of salt, ¼ cup of milk, and ½ cup of instant 5 minute grits.  Mix and continue to boil for 3 minutes.  Turn off the heat  and set the pot to the side.  Let the grits settle for about 5 – 10 minutes while preparing the shrimp.
  11. In a medium sized skillet, bring the heat to medium high and melt 1 tbs of butter. Add in 15 – 20 medium to large sized peeled shrimp and a handful of sliced green onion tops. Season the shrimp with a pinch of salt and ½ tbs of garlic powder. Stir the shrimp continuously for about 2 – 3 minutes until they are cooked firm and appear pink in color.

Now, its time to enjoy! Grab a plate and fill it with grits and sauce.  Place several shrimp on top and garnish with bacon, fresh cilantro, and just a little more sauce.  Enjoy!

Easy Crispy Fried Popcorn Chicken

I don’t know about you, but I could go for a basket of Crispy Popcorn Chicken just about any time of the day.  This dish is perfect for parties, lunch on the go, or a quick midnight snack.  Best of all, they are super easy to make.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Cup of All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Egg
  • 3/4 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Power
  • 2 Boneless Chicken Breasts (partially frozen)

Instructions:

  1. Begin by setting your fryer to 350 degrees.
  2. Then, dice the chicken breasts into thumb sized chunks.
  3. In a large bowl, prepare an egg wash with 1 egg, 1 tsp of garlic powder, 3/4 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper, and 1/2 tsp of baking powder.
  4. Mix the ingredients and eggs evenly. Add the chicken chunks and mix again until each one is covered thoroughly in the egg wash.
  5. Pour in 1 cup of all purpose flour. Then, give the bowl and its contents a few good shakes.
  6. Add the chicken chunks to the fryer one by one and cook for 10 – 15 minutes or until golden brown.

That’s it!  Grab a little honey mustard, plate, and serve!

Incredible Sausage, Egg, & Cheese Biscuit Melt!


Another great breakfast recipe that I enjoy cooking on the weekends is a sausage, egg, & cheese biscuit melt! In appearance, it really reminds you of an over sized pig in a blanket spin off.  It’s very easy to prepare and is guaranteed to hold your hunger down until lunch time!  Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • 1 – 2 Cooked Sausage Links
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
  • Cheese
  • 1/3 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Sugar

Cooking Instructions:

  • Go ahead and pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees
  • Crack two eggs in a small bowl, add 1/8 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. Then, wisk until evenly mixed and set aside for later.
  • Now, lets prepare the biscuit dough.  Begin by melting 1/2 cup of butter in a small bowl
  • Add 1 Cup of Flour, 1/2 Tbs of sugar, 1 1/2 Tsp of baking powder, and 1/2 Tsp of salt to the bowl
  • Then, add 1/2 cup of milk.  Stir and fold the biscuit dough until it become thick and evenly mixed.
  • Spread a 2 – 4 tablespoons of flour onto a baking sheet or pan.  Roll and fold the batter in the pan of flour until it becomes easy to handle without sticking to your hands.
  • Spray a little cooking oil in the bottom of a baking pan. Then place the dough divided into two to three pieces in the pan.  Place a sausage link on each piece of dough and shape up the dough around sides of each sausage.
  • Place in the oven and bake on 400 degrees for 10 – 15 minutes.
  • While the sausage and biscuits are baking, cook and scramble the seasoned egg mix.
  • Take the baked sausage biscuits from the oven and spread a little butter over the sides.  Then, add the scrambled eggs and shredded cheddar cheese over the tops of each one.
  • Place everything back in the oven for an additional 5 – 7 minutes, or until the cheese melts.

Remove from the oven, and you are done!

Sprinkle a little parsley, serve, and enjoy!

Sausage Egg Cheese Biscuit Melt

 

 

Delicious Yogurt Parfait With Mango, Strawberries & Grapes


To start any day in a very nutritious way, it’s always a good idea to make a yogurt, granola and fruit parfait!  Parfaits are not only great for breakfast, but they also make attractive and delicious snacks and desserts.  In this segment of I Just Like To Cook, we will be using the following ingredients:

  • Yoplait Lite Key Lime Pie Yogurt
  • Strawberries
  • Mango
  • Grapes
  • Whip Cream
  • Chopped Peanuts
  • Nature Valley’s Oats ‘n Dark Chocolate Granola

Instructions:

  • Begin by dicing and slicing the strawberries, grapes, & mango.
  • In a small to medium glass of your choice, start off with a layer of granola in the bottom.
  • Then, spoon a layer of yogurt before adding a layer of diced mango and grapes.
  • Now, add a little more granola and yogurt and finish filling the glass with sliced strawberries.
  • Top it off with whip cream and a few chopped peanuts.

There you have it! Simple and delicious, Enjoy!

Yogurt Parfait with Straberries, Mango, and Grapes

 

 

 

Amazing Chicken Vegetable Stew Recipe


I enjoy just about any kind of stew any time of the year. However, my chicken vegetable stew is absolutely perfect during cool fall and cold winter weather.  It’s a nice and healthy dish and a very filling one as well.  This stew is also great for those who may need a little extra boost when fighting seasonal colds and allergies.

Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • 3 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 1/2 Cup Tomato Paste
  • 1/2 Tbs Salt
  • 1/2 Tbs Pepper
  • 1/2 Tsp Cumin
  • 1 Tsp Parsley
  • 1 Cup each of Corn, Carrots, English Peas
  • 16 oz bag of Green Beans
  • 2 Tomatoes
  • 1/2 Cup Sliced Green Onion

Cooking instructions:

  1. Begin by pouring 3 cups of chicken broth and one cup of water into a large pot.  Then, set the heat to medium high.
  2. Slice two large chicken breasts into cubes and add them to the pot as the water begins to simmer into a boil.
  3. While the chicken boiling in the broth, go ahead and slice one large onion and add it to the pot along with 1 Tbsp of minced garlic.
  4. Continue boiling as the onion and garlic begin to soften.
  5. Slice 2 medium sized tomatoes into chunks, slice up a 1/2 a cup of green onions, and set aside for later.
  6. Add and stir in 1/2 cup of tomato paste to the pot.
  7. As the stew continues to boil, add and stir in 1/2 tbs of salt, 1/2 tbs of pepper, and 1/2 Tsp of cumin.
  8. After seasoning the stew mix, add 1 cup each of corn, carrots, and english peas.  Then, add one 16oz bag of green beans.  Continue boiling the stew for 10 – 15 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften.
  9. Add the green onions, tomato chunks, and 1 Tsp of parsley to the stew. Continue boiling for an additional 10 – 15 minutes or until the tomato chunks begin to soften.

That’s it!  Add a little extra parsley, serve and enjoy!

Chicken Vegetable Stew Recipe

Making AWESOME Strawberry Cream Stuffed French Toast


If you are looking for the perfect breakfast or dessert that will satisfy your sweet tooth and sooth your craving for strawberries, then this recipe is for you!  Here is what you will need:

  • 4 slices of italian or sour dough bread
  • 1/2 cup of sliced strawberries
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbs Butter
  • 1/3 cup Milk
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
  • Confectioners Sugar
  • Cream cheese
  • Strawberry Syrup (How To Make Strawberry Syrup – Click Here)

Cooking instructions.

  • Combine the eggs with 1/3 cup of milk, 1/4 – 1/2 Tsp of cinnamon, and 2 Tsp of sugar. Then, whisk until evenly mixed.
  • Spread cream cheese on the inside halves of all four pieces of bread. Place a layer of 5 – 7 strawberries on two of the bread pieces.
  • Put together each sandwich and pinch the edges so the strawberries and cream don’t leak out when handling or cooking.
  • Bring a large skillet to medium heat and melt 2 Tbsp of butter in the bottom.
  • Dip both sides of the sandwiches in the cinnamon milk egg wash. Then, place in the skillet and toast each side of the sandwiches for 2 – 3 minutes.

That’s It! Slice the toasted sandwiches into halves, sprinkle a little confectioners sugar, pour a little strawberry syrup, and enjoy!

Strawberry Cream Stuffed French Toast

Making your own home made strawberry syrup is very simple and easy to do.  Find out how by clicking the link on the screen.  The link can also be found in the description below.

 

How To Make Simple Strawberry Syrup


If you’ve never had home made strawberry syrup, you should definitely give it a try.  Making syrup from scratch is very simple and easy to do.  All you need is:

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of honey (optional)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 lb of fresh strawberries

Cooking instructions:

  • Pour the water, sugar, and sliced strawberries into a pot and bring to a low boil.  To prevent the syrup from foaming up too fast, stir often and make sure it doesnt boil too hot.
  • When the strawberries begin to fade in color, dip them out and strain any excess syrup back into pot.
  • While continuing to boil the syrup, skim off any excess foam.  Pour in 1/4 cup of honey and continue boiling until the mixture has been reduced to a little less than half of its original volume.
  • Once the syrup has been reduced, pour into a mason jar, cover, and refrigerate for 4 – 6 hours.

That’s it! Enjoy

How To Make Strawberry Syrup

Southern Style Pepper Steak

I have seen pepper steak cook a variety of different ways.  All of them are great, but my favorite is southern style. What makes it southern?  Mixing in some good ol’ tomato gravy of course!  Here is how to do it:

Ingredients:

  • 2 Pork or Beef Steaks of your choice
  • 2 Tbs of Self rising flour
  • 5 – 6 medium sized tomatoes
  • 1/2 of a green, yellow, and red pepper
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Cup of rice
  • 1 Tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Red Pepper
  • Cilantro

Cooking Instructions

  1. Begin by bringing a small pot of water to a boil.  Then, add 1 Tsp of salt and 1 Cup of rice.
  2. While the rice is boiling, spray a little oil in a large skillet. Turn the heat up to medium, add the steak, and season each side with a pinch or about 1/4 Tsp of salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  3. While the main ingredients are cooking, go ahead and slice up the peppers, onion, and tomatoes.  Once done, its time to prepare a light tomato, onion gravy mix that will give our pepper steak a unique southern touch.
  4. Place another skillet on the stove and pour 1 tbsp of olive oil in the bottom.  Bring to medium heat and add 2 Tbs of flour.  Stir the flour and oil until it is mixed smoothly and begins to bubble.  Add 1 cup of water along with the sliced onions and tomatoes.  Let it continue to cook until the tomatoes begin to soften.
  5. In the mean time,  check on the rice. It should now be soft enough to rinse and set to the side for later.
  6. Check and periodically flip the steak so that each side is browned evenly.
  7. Add 1 Tsp Paprika, 1/2 Tsp of pepper, and 1/2 Tsp of salt to the gravy.  Stir it around until evenly mixed.  Cover and cook the gravy until the tomatoes become soft enough to easily break apart with a spoon.
  8. Add the peppers, cover and cook until the peppers soften within the gravy.
  9. Once the meat is done, slice it into strips and season with a few sprinkes of red pepper.
  10. Now, there is only one more step to go.  Lets put everything together, ad a dash of cilantro, and serve.

Enjoy!

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Smoked Parmesan Tomatoes Recipe


There are so many ways that you can prepare a great side dish of tomatoes.  One of my favorites is to load them with parmesan cheese and smoke along side my favorite meat on the grill.

What you will need:

  • 6 vine ripe tomatoes
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • Oregano
  • Salt
  • Aluminum Foil

Instructions:

  1. Begin by slicing each tomato into halves.
  2. Pull out two sheets of aluminum foil, each about 20 – 24 inches in lenght.  Overlap the two sheets and fashion it into an open, rectangular box.
  3. Arrange the tomatoes into rows inside of the foil.
  4. Add a pinch of salt and pepper over the tops of each tomato half.
  5. Completely cover the tops of each tomato with a generous amount of parmesan cheese.
  6. Now, sprinkle a few dashes of oregano over the cheese.
  7. Fold in the aluminum foil box, place on the grill and close the grill lid.
  8. After smoking the tomatoes for about 15 minutes, open the foil and smoke for an additional 10 minutes before serving.

And that’s it! Enjoy!

Smoked Parmesan Tomatoes