Spinach and Bacon Ziti


Want a quick meal? Yeah, me too. We all do. Sometimes coming up with dinner, cooking that dinner and getting it on the table is exhausting. How many times have you stood at your refrigerator's open door at 5:30 p.m. just waiting for dinner to materialize? 

This recipe is easy and fast and you probably have most of the ingredients. 

What you'll need:

One package bacon rendered in the oven (cook for 10 minutes at 400)
Two cups cooked whole wheat Penne
2 - 4 diced tomatoes
1 bag baby spinach 
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups mozzarella cheese 
some grated parmesan cheese
A smidge olive oil
1 package baby bella mushrooms

Heat up your electric skillet to 350 and warm the olive oil. Add your tomatoes and mushrooms and garlic. Let them cook for a few minutes. Add your bacon and then your pasta and basil. Add your spinach and cheese, cover and let cook for 10 minutes. 

If you don't have an electric skillet use a skillet on the stove, then before you add your cheese transfer to a baking dish, add cheese and bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

Apple Stuffed Roast Chicken

What you'll need:
A Chicken - About 5 pounds
One large apple
1/2 bulb of garlic
16 oz Bag of carrots
Spicy Brown Mustard
Olive Oil
Kosher Salt

Preheat your oven to 375. Sprinkle EVOO in your pan.
Remove all skin and fat from the outside of the chicken. Rinse the bird. If the chicken came with giblets you can throw them out. Line your pan with carrots.
Stuff apple, onion and garlic. If there is any leftover apple, onion or garlic, throw them in the bottom of the pan.
Rub the bird with mustard and oil. Sprinkle with salt. Cover with aluminum foil and roast for 2 hours. (That's 20 minutes per pound plus 20 minutes.)

A bag of rinsed spinach
2 oranges
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Gorgonzola Cheese

Throw the spinach in the bowl. Cut the peal off your oranges and squeeze any left over orange from the peal over the spinach. Add your orange segments.
Sprinkle spinach with 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar.
Place in fridge to chill. Once you're ready to serve add your cheese.

Don't forget to hop over to Romance on a Dime for Take it On Tuesday. Betsy is the best!

The leftovers challenge part 2: Pulled Pork Pizza with Homemade Whole Wheat Crust

It's day two of the leftovers challenge and we're still cooking - pun intended. My pork tacos were a big hit with hubs and got the bearded thumb of approval.

Now on to day 2. Pulled Pork Pizza. Pizza is one of my favorite things to make because a few ingredients go a long way. I make leftovers pizza all the time when I have 1/3 of an onion, a little bit of chicken and some cheese leftover. You can get a lot for your dollar with a pizza. Plus, homemade crusts are delicious and costs less than $1 to make.

Let's start with our crust. It's so easy.*Note. This will make 2 crusts. You can store one in the fridge for up to a week or stick it in the freezer for later.

What you'll need:

Print crust recipe

1 cup all-purpose flour (preferably unbleached, but whatever you have works)

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp yeast

1 tsp olive oil

1 cup HOT water (but not boiling)

1 extra cup flour the pan

Preheat your oven to 350.

In a bowl combine your flour, yeast, oil and water. 

Then mix.

You won't need to knead the dough. *snickers at need to knead.

Cover in a dark, damp rag and let sit for about 20 minutes. It will need to double in bulk.

After your dough has doubled you will want to flour your pan directly and roll the dough flat. I use an old glass bottle. No need for fancy equipment.

Stick that crust in the oven for 10 minutes. It will come out golden and delicious. You can even top it with herbs and grated parm before you put it in the oven if you want to make it extra special. I highly reccomend this step.

Okay, step 2 our toppings.

I used about a 2 cups shredded pork, two sliced Roma tomatoes, some various herbs, 1/4 onion, Romano cheese and bbq sauce from a bottle. (Later this week I will attempt to make my own.)

Layer your toppings on your crust and place back in the oven for 20 minutes at 350. The end.


100 different cards 

Mama and baby cook: French Onion Pot roast (it's not really French)

What is easier than a pot roast? Serisously. You throw stuff in a post and you're good to go.

What you'll need:
A pot roast pork or beef 1 - 2 pounds
Large sweet or white onion
One carton of mushrooms
Garlic Pepper
Half a bulb of garlic
1 cup of water
Olive Oil
Kosher Salt

Brown Rice


Pot roast:
Preheat oven to 350
In a cast iron Dutch oven or deep casserole dish place dived onion and mushrooms along with a couple tablespoons olive oil. Mix together with your hands.
Place the roast on top of the onions and mushrooms and sprinkle with kosher salt, garlic pepper and paprika. Cover with a cup of water.

You will need to cook your roast for 3 hours.
(You can use a crock pot and set on the 8 hour low setting.)

Prepare your rice according to the instructions. 2 cup of uncooked rice is equal to four servings.

Preheat your oven to 350.
Drizzle a little olive oil in a deep pan and place the asparagus in the pan. Mix the asparagus in the oil with your hands to make certain the vegetable is fully coated.
Sprinkle with kosher or sea salt and roast in oven for 20 minutes.

Prosciutto and Kale with Orzo

Kale! Kale! Kale! It's not just for making chips and soup no one wants to eat. I was sure of that. I had half a bag of kale left over last week and since I am now living a waste not want not lifestyle I really didn't want it to go to waste.

So I thought and I walked around my kitchen and I pulled everything out of my cabinets and then it came to me! One of my favorite things to make is a pizza with caramelized onions and prosciutto. The salty and the sweet are incredible together.

What if I took my favorite elements of the pizza and made pasta I could throw in some baby bella mushrooms and the kale and the meaty baby bella and the bitter kale would balance each other. Right? Yes!

What you'll need:

Prosciutto a 3 0z package (I got mine on sale at Publix for $3.99)

1 medium size sweet onion

2 Roma tomatoes

4 cups Kale (it cooks down)

1 carton baby bella mushrooms (regular white button mushrooms or canned mushrooms could work too)

Garlic (duh) 3 cloves or one tbsp minced.


Get your Orzo going according to the instructions.

Heat up your oven for 350 and placed your Prosciutto in a greased cookie sheet. You will cook the Prosciutto in the oven for 8 minutes until it renders. (Becomes crispy.)

Break it into pieces and place in a serving bowl.

Heat up your skillet over a medium heat and drizzle with olive oil. Add your chopped onion. It will take 30 minutes to properly caramelize. (But that's not quick? I know. I didn't say this would be fast.)

Add your minced garlic once the carmelzation process seems good and almost done.

Chop up your tomatoes and place it in a bowl with the Prosciutto.

Add your kale and mushrooms to the skillet with the onions and cook for about 5 minutes. You don't want the leaves mushy.

Once your orzo is finished put it in the bowl with the Prosciutto and tomatoes.

Add the onion, Kale, mushroom mixture to the orzo and mix everything together. This is a really good mix of flavors. Believe me.

Print this recipe

Sausage Pepper Bake - Mama and Baby in the Kitchen


It's hot. So hot and it's only March. So that means it's only going to get hotter in Alabama. Why am I complaining now? I should reserve my complaints for August, right? This is a quick, easy and simple meal that requires few ingredients. 

Also, you want something cheap. Right? We are all about cheap. And nothing complicated. Nothing fancy? Got it. Here we go.

What you'll need:

Print recipe

One 14 ounce package of sausage ($2.50)
One green pepper ($.66)
One red pepper ($.66)
One yellow pepper ($.66)
1/3 of an onion or a whole small onion ($.35)
1 lb of potatoes ($1.19)
Cooking spray. (.05)
Total: $6.07!
Preheat oven to 350.
Chop all your vegetables and add to a grease pan. Then add your sausage. And spray with Pam. You can add salt and pepper or your favorite seasoning.
Bake at 350 for 30 - 45 minutes.

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Mama and Baby cook: Panko Crusted Tilapia Taco


 Print this recipe

Want to feed your entire family (4) for less than $10? Of course you do. Try this amazing Tilapia Taco. It's sweet. It's spicy. It's wonderful!

Five4FiveMeals.com presents a cooking show where I show you how to cook a meal for a family of four for less than $5 a person.

Today we make Panko Crusted Tilapia Tacos. This recipe yields 8 small tacos and costs less than $2.00 per person.

What you'll need:


Four 4 oz Tilapia filets
1 cup Panko Crumbs
1 tbsp dried cilantro
1 tbsp lemon pepper
1/2 cup cheese

Peanut Sauce:
4 tbsp creamy Peanut Butter
4 tbs hot water
1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp lemon juice

Pico De Gallo:
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 sweet onion, diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 tbsp lemon juice
heaping table spoon garlic, minced

Preheat your oven to 350.


Mix the panco, cilantro and lemon pepper. Wet your fish and press into the taco. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes.

Pico De Gallo: Mix tomato, onion, cilantro, 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, 1 jalapeno seeded and minced, garlic. Place in fridge.

Peanut sauce: Using a jar, scoop in 4 tbsp peanut butter, add 4 tbsp hot water, brown sugar and lemon juice and shake (with the lid on of course). It will be the consistency of salad dressing so you will need to refrigerate for 20 - 30 minutes.

Place the fish on your tortilla and cover with peanut sauce and pico de gallo and a little cheese.



Cilantro, chicken rice bowl - recipe cost breakdown

Cilantro, chicken rice bowl - recipe cost breakdown

Still yawning from Sunday's time change? No energy to fix dinner? Stay away from the drive thru! This recipe is ridiculously simple and easy on both your wallet and waist line. Best part, it takes less than 30 minutes to make, start to finish so dinner is ready in a snap.

I bought some boneless, skinless chicken breast on sale at Publix a couple weeks back. I devided the package and use two chicken breasts for this. But, if you want to save even more, use skinless thighs. They are no worse for you and you will save big bucks.

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One pot pork roast

Last week my grocer had pork roasts on sale for $1.99 a pound. As a rule I never pay more than $2.99 a pound for meat. The roasts were HUGE so I cut them in half, and had two -2 pound roasts.

We recently moved, and in a horrible twist of fate, my crock pot has gone missing. *clutches heart, sobs uncontrollably.

Let's all have a moment of silence for Clarese the Crock Pot.

Okay *sniffle* we can get back to topic. I pulled out the cast iron Dutch oven my husband gave me for Christmas (Yes, I am at the age where I get sexy gifts like Dutch ovens) and down to the business of making a sweet red pepper pork roast. A beef roast can be substituted if your family doesn't eat pork. This is an eight person roast, easy and costs around $10 to make. This is a great dish for company.

What you'll need:

1- 2 pound pork roast (or beef they both work the same for this recipe) ($4)

1 good sized onion($.99)

4 small sweet red bell peppers ($1.99)

1- 16 oz jar of salsa ($1.65)

A little smidgen of olive oil ($.09)

4 cups rice - not instant (to be served over) ($1.00)

Preheat your oven to 350 and oil the bottom of your pan. If you don't have a Dutch oven, a deep casserole dish will work.

Chop your onion and pepper into strips and line the bottom of the pan.

Place the roast over the onions and peppers and cover with salsa. Cover the dish and slide it into the oven. You will cook it on 350 for about 3 hours.

Cook the rice according to the package directions. (What? You need me to tell you how to cook rice?)

This is seriously delicious and ridiculously easy to make.