One-Pot Lemon Chicken Rigatoni

Today is Soft Serve Ice Cream Day. Wish I had a recipe for Soft Serve to share, but Soft Serve really isn’t something made at home. True Soft Serve Ice Cream requires a Soft Serve Ice Cream Machine, something most of us don’t keep on our kitchen counters.

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Scallop Potato Pork Chops for Family Suppertime

I cannot speak for the rest of the world, but here inflation has reared its ugly head. While you might be able to avoid unnecessary inflated spending, food isn’t something we can do without. There are many factors spurring the latest hikes.

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Tip-Toe Through the Kitchen

Do you feel lucky? Want to tempt faith or the gods or the Powers of the Universe? Today is National Kitchen Klutz Day so we’re taking our chances in the kitchen with both a knife and a hand-held electric mixer.

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Castaway Skillet Supper

Hey there, how’s life in 2021 been so far? We’re still on such a roller coaster ride in California, half the time I don’t know if I’m coming or going. We’re open, we’re closed. Stay home unless your skiing. Depressed? Shop retail. Just don’t go inside a church, because that’s where the virus thrives.

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Baked Gemelli with Herb Pinwheels

Today is National Croissant Day. When it comes to pastries, Croissants rank right up there as my favorite. I love Croissant Sandwiches. And I adore Almond Croissants for breakfast. Here in American, we think we know Croissants. What we know are grocery store bakeries. If you can, find a true French Bakery. What a difference!

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Giant Dinner Roll Pretzel Dogs

At a family gathering back before backyard gatherings in California were banned, my brother-in-law cooked up some Pretzel Hot Dogs as a change from the usual grilled hot dogs. They came in a giant box from Costco – enough Pretzel Dogs to feed a small country. They were good, but the dog to pretzel ratio was off – too much pretzel, not enough dog.

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One-Pot of Deliciousness!

I gotta tell ya, this was one of the most difficult dishes to make. And not for the reasons you might think. The first time I had this one-pot wonder on our meal planner was the day after restaurants closed for the second time in California. Don’t ask me why, but I felt very rebellious. Fine, if we can’t eat out, I won’t cook at all was my attitude. We can starve. That in itself made no sense since we don’t eat out very often. It was just frustrating to have options removed.

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Rosemary Pork Roast with Carrots

Not every Sunday equates to chicken, but Sundays gotta have something special. It’s the Lord’s Day after all. As Catholics, we don’t just attend Mass, the Mass is Celebrated. Life should be celebrated. I know, sometimes that’s a tall order. Sometimes there is so much pain and suffering you cannot help but wonder why.

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A Slow-Cooker Sunday Supper

Talk about the perfect slow-cooker dish for a Sunday! Unlike some slow-cooker recipes, this one requires a little prep work in the morning. By searing the skin of the chicken, it brings depth of flavor to the finished dish. You can sear the chicken before heading off to the market or church or whatever else you do on Sunday. And unlike most slow-cooker dishes, this one takes about five hours, making it perfect for the weekend rather than a long day at work.

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Creamy Parmesan Pork Chops

We’ve already established that today is Ash Wednesday. While in hour house that means fasting and abstinence, not everyone will be observing dietary restrictions for religious purposes.  For some, this is just another Wednesday, for others it has meaning without the Catholic limitation. Fine by me.

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Crunchy Doritos Chicken Casserole

Do you like crunch? How about the flavor of Cool Ranch? And Alfredo Sauce. And tomatoes. Are these striking a cord with you? Great, then we’ve got a casserole that is right up your alley.

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Sunday Roasted Herb Chicken and Potatoes

Thank goodness, it’s Sunday. Sunday in the fall can only mean one thing – roast chicken! Golden, beautiful and just screaming of childhood memories. Many a Sunday we came home from Mass and sat down to a late afternoon supper of roasted chicken. The house was warm and filled with family. Cousins, aunts and uncles. People we weren’t really related to but called family anyway.

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Crock Pot Pizza Pasta Get a Heavenly Stamp of Approval

Today Brother Dear would have been 62 years young. Over the years since his surrender to cancer, when I’ve felt that need to draw him near, I’ve cooked up one of his favorites. Sure enough, as the aromas float to the heavens, I feel his spirit smile, filling the room with warmth and joy. But the world moves on, and so must I.

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Rhodes Curly Dogs

Here’s a fun idea that I picked up from Rhodes Breads – just a cute way to serve up an old family favorite – the hot dog. I served mine with big bowls of Baked Beans. It was fun, whimsical and we all felt like kids again.

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Hamburger Helper Cheesy Italian Shells

If someone had told me that my 504th posting would have been how to make a Hamburger Helper Style meal without a box, I would have laughed. No way – I would have something sensational, something so awe-inspiring, it will knock your socks off. Yet, here it is. I will admit, I stressed about reaching over 500 posting – and then I realized it is just a number. The point of my little blog isn’t about numbers, it’s about enjoying my life, my family, and puttering about in my cozy kitchen. Simple pleasures and the sound of my guys laughing together – that’s what matters.

italian-shellsThis is now my eighth “installment” of Hamburger Helper meals without using an actual box of “Hamburger Helper”. Yep, the easy, busy mom’s best friend, only without all the stuff no one wants to eat in the first place. Have you ever read a box of Hamburger Helper ingredients? Half of the ingredients are words I cannot even begin to pronounce – but have no fear – all those yellow and red dyes and words that seem to be a bunch of letters strung together have all been deemed safe for human consumption by the FDA – so no worries. Right? What’s that – you aren’t impressed? Neither am I.  Especially when you consider how absolutely easy it is to skip the box and still have all the convenience of a quick, easy weeknight meal. Add a fresh salad, some warm bread and tall glasses of ice-cold milk – what more do you need? Oh, and just like the boxed variety – one pan will do the trick. Unlike the box variety – this dish has chunks of tomatoes you can actually see.

I adore suppers that only need a tossed salad and warm bread for the finishing touches – especially the bread part. Bread has to be my greatest weakness. I could easily sit down with a loaf of fresh-baked bread and sweet butter and call it a day. Happy, content. Okay, maybe a glass or two of a full-bodied red wine to go with the bread. Yeah, bread and wine – reminds me of a prior life – before Hubby. Sitting ’round a campfire on a beach in San Francisco, dining on warm, fresh-baked San Francisco Sourdough slathered in butter and drinking cheap wine from a Bota bag. And cheese. Yeah, bread, wine and cheese . . . oh, but I digress. We’re here to talk about Hamburger Helper-Style suppers.

Hamburger Helper Style Cheesy Italian Shells
Italian Shells:
1 lb Lean Ground Beef (Ground Turkey is fine, too)

1-2 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 ¼ Cups HOT water
½ Cup Milk
1 Can (14 oz) Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Garlic
2 Cups Medium Shell Pasta
1 Cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
¼ Cup Parmesan Cheese

Seasoning Package:
1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
1 Tablespoon Italian Seasonings
1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
1 Teaspoon Salt

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and garlic together. Drain well.

Add water, milk, tomatoes and pasta. Bring to a boil. Stir in seasoning package (everything else but the cheese). Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 12-15 minutes or until liquid has evaporated and noodles are tender.

Stir in the Mozzarella and Parmesan Cheeses, cover and simmer a few minutes more to allow cheese to melt.

Remove from heat, uncover, and allow to sit for 5 minutes for sauce to thicken.

That’s it – dinner is served.

hamburger-helper-italian-pasta-shells-1


What’s that? You missed the other seven posting? No need to worry –  All delicious, all one-skillet, all family friendly.

Hamburger Helper Style Chili-Cheese Macaroni

Hamburger Helper Style Skillet Lasagna

Hamburg Helper Style Cheesy Jambalaya

Helper Style Cheesy Taco

Hamburger Helper Style Stroganoff

Hamburger Helper Style Salisbury Steak

Hamburger Helper Style Cheeseburger Macaroni