Tag Archives: comfort food

Sweet Italian Sausage Stuffed Pork Chops


Some days just call for comfort food…real, hearty, stick to your ribs comfort food. On those days – days where the snow continues to pile up and we begin to doubt that spring will ever come – stuffed pork chops just seem like the right thing to make.


This recipe looks fancy, and it is. It’s definitely a “company’s coming” sort of dish, and it does take some prep time. But it’s not all that tricky. Spoken from a girl who was afraid to attempt anything so fancy or tricky until recently.

The truth is: I cook from scratch every single day now. So much so, that it takes a really impressive dish to truly wow my family. Homemade dinners from scratch, whether it’s pizza, or mac and cheese, or calzones have become commonplace rather than intimidating. But this one, albeit initially intimidating, turned out to be fun to make and really delivered the wow. Continue reading

Easy, Fast, Creamy Mac & Cheese from Scratch


Hunting season is upon us here in Minnesota. The air is crisp; the leaves are falling, and our extra freezer is bare – ready to be filled with a fresh batch of wild game.

Meanwhile, I’ve been on the hunt for a homemade mac and cheese recipe… Continue reading

Cheddar Jalapeno Popper Pasta with Crumbs


Lesson learned: never chop jalapeños and then rub your eyes. Trust me. Ouch.

I’m growing jalapeños in my garden this summer and have been looking for new recipes to try so that we can use them up.

Tonight I made a recipe I found while searching for jalapeño popper recipes. It combines the zing and flavor of traditional jalapeño poppers with pasta and crunchy breadcrumbs…perfect for a quick and easy meal. Continue reading

Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf with Chipotle Cheddar


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. We had our first big snowfall of the season this weekend. Over a foot of snow fell in the course of 24 hours.

I have to admit, I was probably even more excited than my kids to go play in the snow.


We bundled up in our snowpants, jackets, hats, mittens, and boots and headed out for some winter fun. The snow was light and fluffy…perfect for sledding and making snow angels…but not quite ideal for snowmen.

So, what do we make for dinner on a snowy, weekend evening? Comfort food, of course. Meatloaf and mashed potatoes.


I came up with this concoction based on what we had on hand. Most meatloaf recipes call for crushed crackers or breadcrumbs to bind everything together. I thought…why not try rolled oats??? And, instead of just ground beef, since we like a little kick, I used a combination of ground beef and hot Italian sausage.


I also replaced the typical cheddar cheese with chipotle cheddar. And, for the piece de résistance, I layered a few strips of bacon on top.


Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf with Chipotle Cheddar

1 lb ground beef
1/2 lb hot Italian sausage
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 egg
1 cup shredded chipotle cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp Frank’s hot sauce
1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup green pepper, diced
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
Dash of salt and pepper
A few strips of bacon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients except the bacon in a large bowl. Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap. Dump mixture into loaf pan and press down with a fork. Invert loaf into a 9 x 13 baking pan. Discard plastic wrap. Cut bacon slices in half and layer over meatloaf. Bake for 60 minutes or until temperature reads 170 degrees. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before slicing.


Serve with garlic mashed potatoes and salad. The salad in this picture is super simple: spinach, apples, almonds with lemon olive oil dressing (equal parts fresh lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil whisked with a dash or sea salt and pepper).

A new culinary adventure…

What better way to start than with soothing comfort food.  Warm, creamy, rich comfort food.  Meat and potatoes.  The meals mom always made on chilly winter days.  Grab a blanket, your fuzzy slippers, and a mug of steaming hot chocolate…go ahead…throw in an extra handful of mini marshmallows.

Ham and Scalloped Potatoes

2 cups ham
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
3 cups milk
4 cups potatoes
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic – diced or pressed

Peel potatoes, thinly slice, and set aside.  Slice or dice ham and set aside.  Place butter in a 4-cup glass measuring cup and microwave 30 to 60 seconds until melted.  Whisk in salt, pepper, and flour.  Gradually whisk in milk until smooth.  Stir in garlic.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes.  Whisk.  Microwave on high for another 3 minutes.  Whisk again.  If sauce is thin, microwave for another 3 minutes on high until sauce is smooth and slightly thickened, but keep a close eye on it, as it tends to boil over in the last few minutes.  Layer half of the potatoes, ham, onions and sauce in a 2-quart casserole dish.  Repeat layers.  Cover.  Microwave on high 18 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

Amy’s Notes:

This recipe is adapted from a scalloped potato recipe found in The Microwave Cookbook (Copyright General Electric 1998).  I added ham and garlic to give it my own spin.  Every time I make it, this recipe reminds me of the one my mom used to make when I was little.  Most recipes call for baking the scalloped potatoes, but mom always microwaved hers, and after a few attempts at baked scalloped potatoes, I decided the microwave is the only way to go.  Not only is the sauce creamier, but also the cooking time is cut in half.  It’s a great, hardy meal, even on a busy weeknight!