Turkey, Bacon Sliders – Tahoe Meal Prep #3

Sunday was a day of menu planning and then a trip to Safeway so I could begin meal prep on Monday. Shout out to my daughter D! If it wasn’t for her help, I’d probably STILL be at the store! And she mad me laugh the entire time. Love you, D! Monday was another warm day in a series of warm days. Once I finished worked and headed off to get my kids, the mental mapping of how the evening was going to go had begun. I had organized the recipes by length of time and then divided them up into stacks that I felt I would get the most done, i.e., as one recipe (that takes the most time) cooks, I can prepare the second longest recipe and hopefully start the dishes. Then, as the second recipe is in the oven, I can prepare recipe number three, and work on the dishes. As I pulled into the driveway, I had visions of gathering the ingredients. Unlocking the front door and making my way into the kitchen, I began pulling everything together. Cheese – Image result for check mark emoji; Hawaiian Rolls – Image result for check mark emoji; Butter – Image result for check mark emoji; Bacon … Bacon … Hmm, bacon … Quick dash down the stairs and to the freezer in the garage. Bacon? Rummage … Rummage… No bacon. How can that be?? I know I had four packages on the list. Mad dash through the laundry room, family, room, and back up the stairs to the kitchen. Throw open refrigerator doors … Rummage… Bacon?? Toss… Bacon??? Rummage, rummage, rummage…No bacon! Did it get left behind at the store? In the car (oh, please no, it’s been too hot)? Could it be in… No. Now I remember, I needed to stop at a different store that carries the low sodium bacon. By the time I was done at Safeway I was too hot, tired, and just done. There was no way I was going to stop at another store. Oh boy, this is not starting well.

I would love for you to tell me what you would do different, add, or change to this recipe! ¡Salud!


1 package Hawaiian rolls
8 slices Havarti cheese
8 turkey deli meat slices
4 slices cooked bacon, cut in half
2 Tbs melted butter
¼ tsp garlic powder


Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 13×9 baking dish with cooking spray. Cut rolls in half crosswise to make 2 halves. Place one half of rolls into baking and pan and put slices of cheese to cover complete half. Then top with turkey, bacon, and another piece of cheese. Finally, top with the other half of the cut rolls.

In small bowl, mix melted butter and garlic powder; brush on top of rolls. Bake until rolls have browned, about 10-20 minutes.

Serves: 8 at 2 rolls per person

Prep time: 15 minutes; Cooking time: 20 minutes

Tahoe Meal Prep 3

*Derived from Pillsbury

Meatless “Enchiladas”

Ok, I put enchiladas in quotes because these really aren’t enchiladas. They are burritos with sauce. A true enchilada is made with corn tortillas. (Aren’t pet peeves weird?) Now that we’ve got that out of the way,this dish needs to be renamed “I’m SO good I should be an Enchilada!” The way I stuffed them, though, make them more of a burrito. While I was crushed for time and didn’t do it, these would go well with some Spanish rice and a Cesar salad. I’d love to mix up the filling, too. Add shrimp. Maybe some grilled steak. Or, add some sweet red bell pepper. Grab a margarita, get comfortable, and let’s go do this!



1 Tbs olive oil
1 6-oz can tomato paste
2 cups (up to 3) vegetable stock (you want a soup consistency)
¼ cup flour
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp chili powder (optional, I omit)
2 tsp ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste


1 Tbs olive oil
1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed & drained
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
¼ cup cilantro (optional, I omit)
2 tsp ground cumin
12+/- fresh tortillas
3 cups Colby-Jack cheese (or cheddar)
Sour Cream for topping




In a saucepan, heat oil on medium. Add tomato paste, spices, and flour. Stir and cook 1 minute. Whisk in broth / stock and cook 8 minutes.


Preheat oven to 350°. Warm olive oil in pan. Sautee spinach& onions until spinach wilts slightly. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups cheese, beans, corn, cumin, and spinach mixture. Add a thin layer of sauce to the bottom of 9×13 pan. Cook tortillas. Dividing evenly, add mixture to tortillas and roll up. Pour sauce over enchiladas, and finish with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, until bubbly, about 20 minutes.

Top with sour cream, olives, tomatoes, lettuce. Whatever sounds good to you!

Serves: 10 – 12
Total time: 45 minutes


*Derived from ButterWithAStickOfBread

Cheeseburger Macaroni

This recipe was not a hit with the family. D doesn’t like meat. Berto doesn’t like cheese. The Hubs doesn’t like ground meat or cheddar cheese. Sigh. This meal, to me, was wonderful! I do believe, though, it had less to do with the actual meal than with the fact this dish is true comfort food and it’s been over 100 degrees here in Cali. Maybe dinner would have been more successful had I just served ice cream. Hmmm, things to ponder . . .


1 Lb ground beef (I Texas Longhorn beef from the farmer’s market and it cooked up similar to ground turkey, but still had a wonderful beef flavor)
1 1/2 cups hot water
2 cups milk
2 cups whole grain elbow macaroni (or whatever you have on hand, I used penne)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I can see any number of types of cheese being used and it being wonderful)


1 1/2 Tbs cornstarch
3 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp black pepper


Heat a large skillet to meidum high and brown meat. Once cooked, drain any fat that remains.

While meat browns, mix together seasonings in a small bowl. When drained, return meat to skillet and add seasonings, stirring to combine. Pour in hot water, milk, and pasta. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until pasta is cooked.

Stir in cheddar cheese until melted. Remove from heat and let stand for a few minutes until sauce thickens.

Serve immediately with melty garlic bread and a crisp salad.

Wine Pairing Suggestions (because no matter the dish, we always need wine)

Pinot Gris / Pinot Grigio
Sauvignon Blanc

Serves 6

Total time: 25 minutes

*Derived from FoodFanatic

Beef Enchiladas

The other night I had steak leftover and didn’t want it to go to waste.  I know a lot of people here in the United States like to make enchiladas with ground meat, but ground meat isn’t an often used ingredient in Mexico.  But steak is.  And I had enough for these amazing, thumbs up enchiladas.  Oh, and if anyone tells you to use anything other than corn tortillas for enchiladas, let them know that it is then no longer an enchilada, but a burrito with sauce.  Here are a couple of tips for working with corn tortillas – first, use white corn whenever possible, they are more pliable; and second, warm the tortillas  in a skillet on medium to low heat.  Be sure to just warm and not cook, this will make them pliable for rolling without cracking or splitting. 


1 lb diced steak (you can sub with ground / diced meat of your choice)
2 cups Quick and Easy Enchilada Sauce(can sub 16 oz no sugar added red enchilada sauce or salsa)
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Mexican blend seasoning (such as McCormick® Perfect Pinch® Mexican)
½ tsp black pepper
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
10 white corn tortillas
*for some heat, you can add a 4 oz can of green chile peppers


In large skillet, heat the steak through.  If using ground meat, cook over medium heat, breaking up while cooking.  Drain off any fat.

In a medium mixing bowl, add meat, garlic powder, Mexican blend seasoning, salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.  Next add ½ cup of enchilada sauce, ½ cup sour cream, and 1 cup of cheese.  Mix well.

Preheat oven to 350° Warm tortillas in skillet and spoon meat mixture in center of tortilla. The amount depends on the size of your tortillas. Roll tightly and place seam side down in large baking dish lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Combine the remaining enchilada sauce and ½ cup sour cream, spread over enchiladas.  Sprinkle remaining cheese over top and tent loosely with aluminum foil and bake until bubbly, about 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and garnish with your favorite toppings, such as lettuce, tomato, avocado, sour cream, or Huy Fong Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce®.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:


Serves 6

Prep time: 30 minutes; Cooking time: 30 minutes

Beef Inchiladas

Beef Enchiladas

*Derived from Skinnyms.com

Corner- Cutting Chicken Parmesan with Spaghetti

Chicken parmesan is one of those enveloping comfort foods. And let me tell you, today I needed some comfort food! It was just one of those days, heck, it’s already been one of those years. It started two days before Christmas and again on Christmas morning with a major plumbing leak in the family room. Next, with the very start of demolition asbestos was detected. That prompted us 1) not being able to use our kitchen (or even enter it) for 48 hours, and then a move-out to a hotel for about 4 days. All of the nights at the hotel, my usual 5:00 a.m. girl slept way past that. When we finally get back into our house all of that changes and girlfriend brought herself into our room at 5:15 this fine Sunday morning. Sometimes there is just not enough coffee in the world. Sometimes one just needs a major food hug. And sometimes one that has been a mite grumpy needs to share that food hug with those that she was grumpy with. In walks my corner-cutting chicken parmesan with spaghetti. The Italians have really got this food hug thing down!


4 oz uncooked spaghetti
2 (14.5 oz) cans unsalted diced tomatoes
1 1/2 Tbs olive oil, divided
6 cloves garlic diced (time saver tip: use jarred minced garlic, such as Spice World)
1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
3 Tbs finely chopped basil (time saver tip: one of my fave products  – Gourmet Garden Basil Paste, it’s amazing!)
4 skinless chicken breast tenders
2 Tbs all-purpose flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup Italian style bread crumbs
1 tsp butter
4 oz shredded mozzarella


Cook pasta according to package directions,omitting salt and fat; drain.

While pasta cooks, empty cans of tomatoes in food processor; process until almost smooth.  Heat saucepan over medium-low heat.  Add 1½ tsp oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute, or until fragrant, stirring occasionally.  Add tomatoes and 3/8 tsp salt; cook 15 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.  Stir in basil (or basil paste).  Toss 1 cup sauce with pasta, keep warm.

While sauce cooks, combine flour, garlic powder, and remaining 1/8 tsp salt in a large ziploc bag.  Add tenders one at a time and shake bag to coat.  Shake off any excess flour mixture.  Place lightly beaten egg in shallow dish.  Place Italian bread crumbs in another shallow dish.  Dip tenders in egg mixture and then dredge in bread crumbs.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add remaining 1 Tbs oil and butter to pan; swirl until butter melts.  Add chicken to pay; cook approximately 4 minutes on each side, or until browned and cooked through.  Place chicken on a backing sheet, top with mozzarella.  Broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts.  Serve over pasta with sauce spooned over chicken.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Sauvignon Blanc

Serves 4

Total time: 45 minutes

Chicken Parmesan

*Original Serves-4 recipe

Spiced Chicken Thighs

This meal came together so well with the Garlicky Rice, and Raspberry Parmesan salad. The kids could not get enough of the chicken and rice, though they pretty much passed on the salad (well, with the exception of the raspberries!)


2 Tbs brown sugar
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground red pepper (I omitted this, my kids would have scrunched their noses)
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs


Preheat broiler to high. Combine sugar and next 5 ingredients; stir in 3/8 tsp salt. Sprinkle half the spice mixture over chicken. Place chicken a foil lined cookie sheet or jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Broil 6 minutes. Turn chicken over; sprinkle with remaining spice mixture, broil 6 minutes or until done. Remove chicken; reserve pan drippings. Let chicken stand 5 minutes. Spoon drippings over chicken; serve with Garlicky Rice (see Sides).

Serves 4

Total time: 40 minutes


*From Cooking Light

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