Posted in dinner, Pantry Challenge, Pasta, pasta, Recipes

Sundried Tomato Garlic Noodles – A pantry meal (Vegetarian)

My aunt came into town and helped me rearrange my pantry. Once I knew what was in my pantry, it was easy to decide what to make for dinner.

I had some Pasta Roni’s Butter and Garlic noodles, sundried tomatoes, black olives, chickpeas, and canned chicken in the pantry. What could I make for dinner?

I cooked up one box of the butter and garlic noodles and added the drained chicken to the noodles.

Once I cooked up the other box of the noodles, I placed half of it in the other bowl. With the other half, I added sundried tomatoes, black olives, and drained chickpeas. YUM! It sort of reminded me of my favorite dish at Piada.


Sundried Tomato Garlic Noodles

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: very easy
  • Print


  • 1 box of Pasta Roni, Butter and Garlic
  • ¼ c. sundried tomatoes
  • ¼ c. black olives or Kalamata olives
  • ¼ c. drained and rinsed chickpeas
  • 1 to 2 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese, optional


  1. Make the Pasta Roni according to the directions on the box.
  2. Once the Pasta Roni is cooked, add the sundried tomatoes, olives, and chickpeas.
  3. Sprinkle Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese.
  4. Enjoy!

Happy eating,

Posted in easy, Pantry Challenge, Side Dishes

Buttered Noodles

This is one of my family’s favorite side dishes.  When I make them, I get a yeah.  The Wee One especially loves it when I serve corn, peas, or mixed veggies because he will mix them with the noodles.  His dad also mixes his veggies with his rice and noodles, so he comes upon it naturally.

It’s as simple as boiling some noodles and then adding butter, cheese, and parsley.


Happy Eating,

Posted in Pantry Challenge, Recipes, Side Dishes

Roasted Potatoes

I’ve been working on perfecting this side dish for years.  I’ve finally found the best method to make tasty potatoes cooked all the way through and crispy on the outside.

I cut each potato into 16 pieces, so they cook up faster.

Roasted Potatoes

Stars of the recipe:

  • small potatoes (We like yellow potatoes.), cut into smaller pieces (I cut them into 16ths)
  • extra virgin olive oil (Enough to coat the potatoes.)
  • Spice (Use your favorite spices ~ I like seasoning salt.)


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut up the potatoes.  Place the potatoes in a mixing bowl.
  3. Drizzle olive oil over the potatoes.  (You only want enough to coat each potato).
  4. Sprinkle the potatoes with spices.
  5. Mix up the potatoes, olive oil, and spices.  (I use clean hands to do this.)  Make sure each piece of potato has olive oil on it.
  6. Place a single layer on a cookie sheet.
  7. Sprinkle more seasoning on the potatoes.
  8. Put the cookie sheet in the oven.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping the potatoes over once while baking.

Printable Recipe

This post has been linked to Every Day Mom’s Sunday Dinner.

Posted in Chicken, Main Dish, Meat, Pantry Challenge, Recipes

Paprika Chicken

We had this for dinner on Monday.  When I asked Hubby if he liked it, he told me that it was rude to talk with their mouth full.  I take it that he liked it a lot.

Paprika Chicken

Stars of the recipe:

  • 3 lbs chicken thighs, bone-in, skin on
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tomato, chopped (You can also use diced tomatoes in the can.)
  • oil as needed
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 3/4 c. chicken broth, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. paprika
  • 1 C. sour cream


  1. In a large pot, saute the onion, garlic, and green pepper in oil until soft. Add the paprika and mix well.
  2. Add the chicken, tomato, and 1 cup of chicken broth.
  3. Bring to a boil, then turn down to low to simmer.
  4. Cover and cook for 30 minutes or until chicken is tender and cooked through.
  5. Add remaining chicken broth and sour cream, stir to mix, and serve immediately over rice or egg noodles.

Printable Recipe

Posted in Cookies, Dessert, Holiday/Christmas, Pantry Challenge, Recipes

Peanut Butter Cups Chocolate Cookies

I love cookies. They are one of my favorite desserts. Like a Lay’s Chip, you can’t eat just one.

So last week, when Cookies and Cups posted a recipe for Peanut Butter Cups Chocolate Cookies, I knew I needed to try it to put it in my growing cookie recipe “file.”  These cookies were so easy to make with only four ingredients.

Everyone who has tried the cookies has given them a thumbs up. They are extremely moist, which is a plus.

Peanut Butter Cups Chocolate Cookies

Cookies and Cups

Stars of the recipe:

  • 1 Chocolate cake mix (I used Devil’s Food cake because that’s what I had at the house.)
  • 2 Lrg. Eggs
  • 1/3 cup of Canola Oil
  • 1 8 oz. bag of Reese’s Minis


  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. With your mixer, beat cake mix, oil, and eggs until combined.
  3. Pour in the entire bag of Reese’s Minis.
  4. Mix on low until Reese’s are evenly incorporated.
  5. Roll the dough into tablespoon-sized balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet about 2″ apart. Cookies will spread. (I used pan release from my local candy /cake supply store instead.)
  6. Bake for 8-9 minutes.

Printable Recipe

Posted in Dessert, Pantry Challenge, Recipes

Easy No Bake Cheesecake

All you need is five ingredients ~ six if you include the topping. So it’s perfect for the pantry challenge.

I found this recipe while various blogs had a countdown to 2012. Each day they posted their top recipes in different categories. Recipe Shoebox listed this as one of their top recipes in the dessert category. It looked so easy that I made it for New Year’s Eve. Hubby and I enjoyed it, and over the next few days, I finished the whole cheesecake. It was so delicious.

Easy No, Bake Cheesecake

Recipe Shoebox

Stars of the recipe:

  • 1 (8 oz.) container of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar (or a small package of instant pudding mix)
  • 1 Tbsp. Lemon juice (Don’t use if using instant pudding mix.)
  • 1 (8 oz.) container of Cool Whip or whipped topping
  • 1 prepared graham cracker crust
  • Toppings: pie filling, additional Cool Whip, cookie, or graham cracker crumbs, chocolate syrup for drizzling


  1. In a large bowl, cream together cream cheese, sugar (or pudding mix), and lemon juice (if using) until smooth and lump-free.
  2. Mix in Cool Whip just until thick, creamy, and combined.
  3. Pour immediately into the prepared graham cracker crust.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or if you’re in a hurry, stick in the freezer for  1-2 hours) or until set.
  5. Serve cold with desired toppings. (I used lite cherry topping. It was so good.)

Printable Recipe

Posted in Pantry Challenge

Pantry Challenge Recipes

Here are some recipes that can be made from items in your pantry.


Instant Oatmeal Mix  – Add any add-in you want, and you have a delicious breakfast

Fruit Smoothie – Use any frozen fruit on hand, juice, or even yogurt.  Be as creative as you like.


Sloppy Joes – As long as you have some hamburger in your house, you can whip up some sloppy joes.  If you have enough time, you can make homemade hamburger buns to eat the Sloppy Joes.  Save some of those sloppy joes for a Sloppy Joe pizza later.


Baked Spaghetti – Again, you can use whatever meat you have in your fridge or freezer.  Use whatever cheese you have in your fridge – maybe not bleu cheese.  If the cheese is not shredded, shred it yourself.

Ranch Chicken Legs – As long as you have chicken (it doesn’t have to be just legs – use chicken breasts or thighs), Bisquick or something similar, and a dry ranch dressing packet (or the ingredients to make your own), you can cook this simple main dish.

Taco Crescent Bake – You can switch this to cooked chicken or ground turkey.  You can try different cheeses.  This is a great main dish.  Don’t have tortilla chips but have tortillas; make your own chips.

Orange Chicken – I usually keep the ingredients for this simple dish in the freezer (popcorn chicken) and pantry (orange sauce) for an easy meal.

Crockpot Ribs – You can use this same method for chicken or a pork roast.  Use whatever barbecue sauce you have on hand.

Spanish-style chicken noodle soup – This recipe calls for raw chicken.  I’ve made it with cooked chicken.  You can use frozen corn or canned corn.  You can use dried black beans or canned black beans.  If you use dried beans, make sure you prep them beforehand.

Posted in Pantry Challenge

Pantry Challenge

Pantry Challenge – Winter of 2012

As I was looking through various blogs, I found a pantry challenge.  IT DOES NOT mean only eating out of the pantry or freezer.  It means looking at what’s in the pantry or freezer before shopping or planning a menu.

My goals for the pantry challenge are:

1.  Lower my grocery bill

We’ve been spending too much at the grocery store.  I want to lower that bill.  So does hubby.

2.  Clean out the pantry and freezer

We need to get that pantry cleaned out, so if I cook dinners based on what I have in the pantry, that will help us with the grocery bill.  This week we have had baked spaghetti, which used up a half box of spaghetti sitting in the pantry, and already cooked hamburger in the freezer.  We have also had peanut butter pancakes.  I used up some white whole wheat flour that was not being used.  Another meal was veggie beef soup.  In that meal, we used up more of the hamburger meat from the freezer and half a bag of frozen vegetables hanging around in the freezer.  We will have chicken scampi later this week to use up some of the frozen chicken tenderloins that have made their home in our freezer.

Next week’s meals will use a whole roasting chicken, taking up room in the fridge’s freezer.  We will also use the cooked chicken for soup the next day.  That soup contains corn and black beans.  I have those cans in the pantry, which will save us money.  It also calls for chicken broth.  Again I have that in the pantry.  The only expense I may have for that soup is the orzo pasta.  I will have to check the pantry to ensure I don’t have that.

3.  Once a month cooking

I would love to do some once-a-month cooking.  To do that, I need to get the deep freezer cleaned out.  Since I make most of the dinners, I don’t always want to cook when I get home.  On those days, I like to stop at a fast-food restaurant that is both unhealthy and cheap.  I would love to have backup meals in the freezer for the days I know I will be tired.  Also, with it being winter, the weather is unpredictable.  It might take me longer to get home, so I would like to have the option of a frozen meal that my hubby can pull out of the freezer.

Those are my three main goals for the pantry challenge.  As I navigate the challenge, I think I will come up with more goals than those 3.

Posted in Eat at home ingredient spotlight, Ethnic, Main Dish, Mexican, Pantry Challenge, Recipes

Taco Crescent Bake

Another recipe I found on the Menus4Moms website.  It is easy to put together, especially if you use taco-seasoned ground beef that you have already cooked and then frozen.

My picky hubby was surprised with how delicious this recipe was and how it didn’t taste too taco.  He does not like some spices used in Mexican cooking, especially cumin.  As a result, I make my own taco seasoning so I can adjust the number of spices.  When I make the taco meat, I also adjust the amount of taco seasoning.

Taco Crescent Bake

Stars of the recipe:

  • A can of crescent rolls (I like the seamless one but the regular one
    works just fine.)
  • 2 cups of tortillas, roughly chopped, divided in 1/2
  • 1 pound of taco-seasoned ground beef
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (We love sharp cheddar here, but mild cheddar would be okay.)


  1. In a greased 9 by 13 baking dish, unroll the crescent roll and press onto the bottom and about 1 inch up the sides.  (If using regular crescent rolls, press all the seams together.)
  2. Sprinkle 1 cup of the crushed tortillas over the crescent rolls.
  3. Next, layer the ground beef over the tortilla chips.
  4. Top with sour cream, cheddar cheese, and remaining tortilla chips.
  5. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  6. Serve plain or with additional sour cream or salsa.

This is linked up to Eat at Home’s Ingredient Spotlight.

Printable Recipe