Chicken Nugget Casserole

Casseroles are always fun to me, but I like the variety of different textures and flavors. This dish has good variety and tastes like chicken parmasean and pasta. The chicken has it’s own flavor, the pasta has it’s own texture, the cheese adds a bit more savory flavor to the dish, and the dices tomatoes added more fresh flavor and additional texture. My chicken nuggets are always precooked, but your best bet would be to bake them early if you are nervous about them being cooked through, or you can bake for double the recommended time on your package. My nuggets said to bake for 15-20 minutes, so I baked them for 40. This dish created 4 1/2 adult sized meals.

  1. Heat a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add 8 oz Farfalle, and boil for 10-15 minutes until al dents. Strain and place into a 7 x 10 casserole dish.
  2. Heat oven to 350 F.
  3. Add to the pasta 10-15 frozen chicken nuggets and mix. In a large sauce pan, add 1 jar of pasta sauce and 1 can of diced tomatoes. Heat until hot and bubbling.
  4. Pour hot sauce over your pasta. Cover with 1 1/2 cup mozzarella, then bake for 40 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before eating.

Mini Manicotti With Lasagna Noodles

Manicotti is a classic Italian dish. Last week I had a family member pass away, so to be able to do something productive, my mom and I made several meals to take as a gift. Besides bread and other family classics, we made lasagna. We had extra of everything, so I decided to make Manicotti as a different form of lasagna. I did make this dish with a meat sauce I had left from the lasagna, but you can choose to do whatever you wish. I also forgot this time when making them, but in the future, it would taste good to add an additional tablespoon of Italian seasoning. The green would be nice for the dish and the cheese would be a bit more varied with some seasoning.

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Break 6 Lasagna noodles in half using the edge of the counter.
  2. Generously salt water. Add broken noodles one at a time and stir continuously to keep from sticking together. Boil for 10 minutes until noodles are flexible.
  3. Rinse noodles and submerge in cold water. Set at your assembly area.
  4. Grab a 7 x 11 baking dish.
  5. Mix together in a bowl, 1 cup of small curd cottage cheese, and 1 cup mozzarella. Also, brown 1/2 pound of ground beef, mix in 1/2 jar of spaghetti sauce and set aside.
  6. Begin assembly by placing a cooled noodle in the bottom of your baking dish. Place 2-3 Tbsp of cheese mixture near one end of the noodle. Roll up the noodle starting on the side with the cheese mixture. Place in open spot in dish.
  7. Repeat step 6 until there is no more room in your dish, or until you run out of noodles. Pour over top the sauce and meat mixture. Spread evenly over the noodles. Top with 1 cup of mozzarella.
  8. Heat oven to 350 F. Bake for 30-40 minutes until cheese is melted and browning. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Tilapia Fish Tacos

Fish tortillas add a bright fresh flavor to a classic Hispanic meal. The spices in this meal are very light, but your tacos will have lots of flavor. Most of the flavor comes from your toppings. Toppings like avocado, sour cream, and different salsas will change the flavor of your tacos. The fish is very neutral in flavor and will go great with anything that won’t over power it. My tacos look a bit watery plated because my cheese was frozen, so there was some water from that, and the salsa was homemade and a bit watery.

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Prepare flour tortillas.
  2. Add 3 Tbsp oil to skillet. Add 2 tilapia fillets. After 3 minutes, flip tilapia.
  3. Add 3 tsp Cumin, 2 tsp ground cayenne pepper, and 2 Tbsp Lemon juice. Cook the fish until it can be broken apart. Break up into large flakes, and stir in flavoring. Add 3-4 Tbsp diced chives, stir in, then remove from heat.
  4. Place on tortillas, top with cheese, salsa, lettuce, or any other desired toppings.

Grilled Cheese with Mayo on Homemade Bread

Bon Appetite published a video on YouTube very recently where each person made their own favorite version of the grilled cheese. Since I watched that video, I’ve been dying for a grilled cheese. One thing I had never done was make the grilled cheese with mayo on the outside instead of butter. Many of the chefs in the video used mayo, so I figured I’d give it a shot. Many said mayo is the way to go, because mayo is made with eggs, they argued it would help with browning and is easier to spread. I found it was easier to spread and the browning was good, it also didn’t leave the bread with a greasy fried exterior like butter would, however, these were still very greasy. I also used homemade bread, which is why my bread broke easier than store-bought.

  1. Heat a large frying pan to medium heat.
  2. Add mayo to the one side of your bread and place it faced down in the pan. Add a slice of cheese and any other fillings. Mayo one side of your second piece of bread, them place mayo side up.
  3. Cook the first side about 3-5 minutes until brown. Flip prematurely if nervous. Cook on the second side for the same amount of time.

Megan’s Cheeseburgers

I love cheeseburgers. Cheeseburgers were one of the first things I ever cooked. I like mixing the meat, picking the flavors, and the wonderful smell as the burgers cook. I started making normal cheeseburgers, but over time I started experimenting with topping. I found topping a burger with speedied mushrooms and caramelized onions to be one of my favorites. I also liked covering them with Cooper sharp cheese and covering them to fully melt the cheese before plating. After a while, I began placing the toppings under the cheese and that is my preferred method today.

  1. Place a pound of ground beef into a medium sized bowl. Add 2 tbsp A1, and about 2 tsp worcestershire sauce. Mix together with your hands. Divide into 3-5 pieces.
  2. Begin heating a small frying pan over medium low heat. Add 1 can of strained mushroom stems and pieces. Add 4 Tbsp Italian dressing or speedie sauce.
  3. Heat another large frying pan on a second burner over medium heat.
  4. Each piece, roll into a ball. Press these balls between the palm of your hand. Make them thinner in the center, and wider than you want them. They with get thicker in the center and shrink on the edges as they cook. Place each patty onto the large heated frying pan.
  5. Cook on the first side until it is browned about 3/4 up the side of the burger. Flip your burgers and cook just as long on the second side. Top flipped burgers with a dollop of A1. Once you only have about 5 minutes of cooking, top your burger with mushrooms, then top with cheese.
  6. Let burgers rest for 5 minutes before placing on buns to eat.