Grilled Eggplant and Squash Panini with Fresh Mozzarella

On our honeymoon, in South Beach, Miami, we stayed at a hotel that offered lots of fresh dishes created with local ingredients. This recipe was inspired by an eggplant and squash panini that I enjoyed there. The fresh mozzarella caught my eye, even though I wasn’t sure what I thought about adding grilled vegetables to a grilled cheese, I decided to give it a try. I was surprised at how tasty it was, a light but filling sandwich. I love making paninis and grilled cheese sandwiches (like my Tomato Mozzarella with Pesto Grilled Cheese and Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese sandwiches). This panini is … Continue reading Grilled Eggplant and Squash Panini with Fresh Mozzarella

Smoked Salmon Philadelphia Rolls

Sushi will always hold a special place in my heart. On our very first date, Drew took me out for my first taste of sushi. I was a little apprehensive, but fell in love immediately… with both sushi and the man that would turn out to be my future husband. My first attempt at sushi making was a huge success! The taste was so good, exactly what you’d find in a sushi restaurant (and so much more economical). The process is a bit time-consuming, but quite easy. And it turned out to be very pretty, if I do say so … Continue reading Smoked Salmon Philadelphia Rolls

Toasted Cheese Ravioli

These toasted ravioli are my new favorite thing! They’re crispy, and delicious with a warm cheese filling… perfect for an appetizer or snack. We enjoyed these so much that I made them two days in a row. The second time I served these toasted ravioli with tomato soup, as a fun alternative to grilled cheese! I’ve seen a simple toasted ravioli recipe bouncing around on Pinterest for quite some time. Vague directions are written under the pin, and the pin doesn’t actually link to the recipe. I decided to wing it and try using Buitoni ravioli from the refrigerated section. … Continue reading Toasted Cheese Ravioli

Ranch Pasta with Smoked Sausage and Mini Sweet Peppers

This bright pasta dish is made with just 5 ingredients, you can have this fresh and filling dinner on the table in under 30 minutes. I created this meal by pulling together fridge and pantry ingredients that I already had on hand and then seasoned it with a packet of ranch mix! The ranch mix makes this pasta so flavorful without the addition of any heavy sauces. Do you have a favorite simple and fast dinner recipe? Feel free to share a link in the comment section below! I love these mini peppers. They’re so sweet and perfect for snacking! They’re … Continue reading Ranch Pasta with Smoked Sausage and Mini Sweet Peppers

Cheesy Pepperoni Skillet-Baked Ziti

I hope that you’ve enjoyed a good week and weekend, I’m happy to be back after a little blogging break. I’ve been busy filling orders over at my Etsy shop and, well, we ate a lot of quick meals and frozen pizza last week! I also try to take advantage of any daylight that I can get when taking food photos, so meals that come together after 6 o’clock often don’t make the cut. When I was growing up, my mom would make baked spaghetti with pepperoni and mozzarella. It was always a family favorite and this baked pizza pasta is my … Continue reading Cheesy Pepperoni Skillet-Baked Ziti

Poblano Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

Did you know that homemade macaroni and cheese is really easy to make? And that real cheese can be turned into a rich and creamy cheese sauce? Homemade macaroni and cheese with chicken makes the perfect warm and filling meal for a cold winter evening. I love adding roasted peppers to homemade sauces like this one, it’s one of my favorite flavors, and it’s incredibly easy to roast fresh peppers at home (even without an open flame). This is a variation of my Chicken Bacon Macaroni and Cheese… you can use the basics of this recipe to make macaroni & cheese with … Continue reading Poblano Chicken Macaroni and Cheese

Crescent Roll Taco Pizza

Looking for a quick and easy meal? Try this Crescent Roll Taco Pizza! It’s a fun twist on tacos that can be made in under half an hour. The slight sweetness of the crescent rolls is a great compliment to the spiciness of the taco meat. My mom used to use these ingredients to make a crescent-topped casserole, it was always a family favorite, I thought it would be fun to try making it in pizza form! Like most of my recipes, this one can easily be altered to include whatever ingredients you like… try it with ground turkey or shredded … Continue reading Crescent Roll Taco Pizza

Easy Pretzel Hot Dog Buns

Pretzel buns are so trendy right now. After enjoying a hot dog on a pretzel bun, I started wondering just how difficult it would be to make them at home. After looking up a few pretzel buns recipes I realized that, while it’s a bit time-consuming, they’re pretty simple to make from scratch! These pretzel buns also have the husband’s seal of approval. We liked them so much that we easily could’ve enjoyed the pretzel buns all by themselves. I can’t wait to use this recipe to make buns for hamburgers or sandwiches next! Try topping your hot dog or … Continue reading Easy Pretzel Hot Dog Buns

Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup

I’ve been in a habit of pulling ingredients out of the pantry and throwing together Mexican flavored soups. I start with chicken and broth, then add Mexican spices and whatever spicy ingredients that I have on hand. Several weeks ago I pulled together the ingredients for this Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup and tossed them into the crockpot. It turned out so deliciously. I love it when a throw-together meal turns into a new favorite! I love spicy soups (especially in the winter!), if you’re a fan of milder things try halving the amount of salsa and rotel in this recipe. And … Continue reading Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup

Sour Cream Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas

This enchilada recipe is my favorite recipe ever. I love a good Mexican or Southwestern recipe and this one is so simple! The creamy salsa verde sauce is made with only 3 ingredients, it’s quick, easy, and so delicious! This is actually the very first recipe that I blogged… I wanted to share it again, for anyone who might have missed it the first time around. You seriously need to try it, it’ll change your life. You can cook the chicken for this recipe however you’d like, my personal favorite is cooking it on low in a slow cooker. The chicken … Continue reading Sour Cream Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas

Green Chile Double Cheeseburger

Hopefully this recipe has found you just before your healthy New Year’s resolutions have taken effect. I was inspired to make this after enjoying Whataburger’s Green Chile Double. Whataburger is one of my husband’s favorites and I’ve come to love their specialty burgers! My favorite was their Avocado Bacon Burger which was retired to make way for the new limited-time only Green Chile Double. New favorite! With a little research I learned that this yummy burger is only available in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona. If you don’t live in one of these states, or if you love this burger … Continue reading Green Chile Double Cheeseburger

Spicy Southwest Cornbread Dressing

As un-American as this sounds, I’m really not a fan of traditional Thanksgiving dressing or stuffing. I’ve always liked the idea but I just can’t get into the taste. Last year, at my husband’s family’s Thanksgiving dinner, we enjoyed dressing that was flavored with cilantro. It’s something that I never would have thought of, but the flavors really go so well together. As much as I love Southwestern food, I had to try making it myself, so I came up with this similar, spicy, version! Note that this makes a pretty large batch, perfect for serving up at the holidays! … Continue reading Spicy Southwest Cornbread Dressing

Parmesan Crusted Baked Potatoes

I’ve just found my new favorite potato recipe! I’m honestly not much of a potato fan, but I do try to make them frequently for my husband. I came across this recipe (here) and had to give it a try. We both loved it! When they come out of the oven, these potatoes are soft and buttery, topped with a deliciously crispy parmesan crust. Serve these Parmesan Crusted Potatoes as a side dish or an appetizer! Parmesan Crusted Baked Potatoes 6 small potatoes 1/4 cup butter grated parmesan cheese garlic salt freshly ground pepper Preheat oven to 400F. Scrub potatoes … Continue reading Parmesan Crusted Baked Potatoes

Homemade Alfredo Sauce

It’s National Pasta Day and, while this was not planned in coordination with the holiday, I do have the perfect pasta sauce for you! This was actually my first attempt at making Alfredo sauce. While it did take more time than popping open a jar of sauce, it was easy and worth the extra time. This sauce tastes even better than restaurant Alfredo sauce! When searching for the perfect Alfredo sauce recipe to try, I found that many recipes are fairly similar. I gathered up a variety of ingredients and decided to create my own version. Try this rich and creamy … Continue reading Homemade Alfredo Sauce

Garlic Asparagus

Lately I’ve really been attempting to make healthier, less processed, food for us. I’m not going to lie, my favorite meals are the unhealthy ones… dishes that are loaded with pasta and cheese… cheeseburgers have really been my thing recently… and, of course, pizza is always acceptable. I’m not completely cutting out these foods, but I’m trying to get as many vegetables into our diet as possible. Garlic salt makes amazing garlic bread (another unhealthy favorite), so I decided to try it on baked asparagus. We loved it! This way of cooking vegetables is definitely a keeper (try this flavoring method … Continue reading Garlic Asparagus

Mexican Street Corn

This recipe is so quick and easy… do I always say that?? Well, this recipe really is almost effortless (adapted from here). I’ve really been wanting to try Mexican Street Style Corn and I finally found some really good-looking corn last week. This recipe was such a hit! It has so many layers of flavor with the sweetness of the corn, the salty spiciness of the mayo, and the tartness of the lime. I love this spicy mayo, it’s such an excellent compliment to sweet and juicy corn (it would be great over grilled corn)! Mexican Street Corn 4 ears sweet corn olive oil … Continue reading Mexican Street Corn

Broccoli Cheese Jalapeño Soup

I first tasted this spicy broccoli cheese soup at Hoffbrau, a local Texas steak house. I’m not really a steak fan, but I love going there for their Broccoli Cheese Jalapeño Soup. It is so deliciously cheesy with the perfect amount of spiciness! I was searching for a copycat recipe and was pretty excited when I found that the actual recipe for this soup is on the Hoffrbrau website! I didn’t change the recipe but I did attempt to simplify it and I converted measurements to cups. If you want to take a look at the original recipe, you can find … Continue reading Broccoli Cheese Jalapeño Soup

Tex-Mex Roasted Stuffed Peppers

I can’t get enough of roasted peppers! I love how roasted peppers are crispy charred, and yet soft and juicy. I used to be under the assumption that I couldn’t get a good charred pepper without a gas stove or grill, but I’ve discovered that an oven broiler is a great way to cook peppers! Roasted bell peppers are a tasty and healthier alternative to tortillas for Mexican dishes (or try a sandwich bread or bun swap with my Roast Beef Stuffed Peppers!). These Tex-Mex Roasted Stuffed Peppers are a great way for turning leftovers into a fresh new dish! Use … Continue reading Tex-Mex Roasted Stuffed Peppers

Bacon Wrapped Sausages

This appetizer brings back so many memories! As I was growing up, we had these bacon wrapped sausages at almost every family celebration that I can remember. We still make these sausages every Christmas, along with all of our other favorite finger foods. Everyone loves them, they’re just so addicting! The brown sugar caramelizes over the bacon, creating an amazing sweet and savory treat! These Bacon Wrapped Sausages are such an easy party food and they’ll be a hit at your next gathering! Bacon Wrapped Sausages 6-8 servings beef little smokies sausages (1 package) bacon (1 package) 2 cups brown sugar … Continue reading Bacon Wrapped Sausages

Fresh Tomato Sauce

I wasn’t a big fan of tomato soup until I tasted fresh tomato soup (served at a local restaurant) and fell in love. It was so rich and creamy, I was surprised and even skeptical when I was told that there wasn’t actually any cream in the soup at all. It’s true, this recipe isn’t actually for tomato soup, but this sauce features that same unbelievably rich creaminess (even without adding any dairy!). I love this sauce because it can be served on several different levels, from hearty and rustic to smooth and velvety (my favorite)! Fresh Tomato Sauce 2 … Continue reading Fresh Tomato Sauce

Salsa Verde Casserole

It’s been a busy few weeks since opening my Etsy shop (if you haven’t already checked it out, you can find the Hello Homebody Etsy shop here). I’ve been attempting to fill orders, create new items for the shop, and keep up with recipe planning and blogging. My goal is to create a good schedule so that I’m not jumping from project to project all day long, but I haven’t found that happy balance of organization quite yet. In the middle of my scattered-ness, I’ve been falling back on our favorite dishes for dinner, simple recipes that I know by … Continue reading Salsa Verde Casserole

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce

Pasta is my favorite comfort food… macaroni and cheese… fettuccine alfredo… lasagna! What I really love is a good sauce. Honestly, pasta is just plain boring without it! This Roasted Red Pepper Sauce is rich, creamy, and cheesy, balanced with the flavors of fresh basil and red peppers. Roasting peppers couldn’t be simpler but it adds great flavor to sauces (and dips, like my Roasted Red Pepper Hummus). If you’ve never roasted peppers (or if it’s your favorite thing ever) you should give this recipe a try! Roasted Red Pepper Sauce 4 servings 2 large red bell peppers 2 large … Continue reading Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Sauce

Chile Rellenos Casserole

This just might be the very first “new” recipe that I tried out right after Drew and I were married. I’d loved to cook for years before that, but cooking for my new husband was just so much fun! Casseroles. I love them for so many reason: they’re so tasty (I really don’t know if I’ve ever met a casserole that I didn’t like), they’re great leftover, and one-dish dinners make clean-up easy! But so many of the casseroles that I make are loaded with pasta or tortillas. This dish is light on carbs but still filling and easy! Green … Continue reading Chile Rellenos Casserole

Crockpot Tex-Mex Black Beans

You’ve probably heard about the pros of cooking dry beans: it’s cheaper than buying canned beans and they’re healthier (because you can decide what goes into them!). But cooking dry beans is also so easy! Cooking beans in chicken broth really gives them an extra meaty flavor (but you could use water or vegetable stock instead). The chicken broth thickens with the spices to make a rich and flavorful chili sauce! Serve these tasty beans as a side dish, in burritos, or on top of nachos! Crockpot Tex-Mex Black Beans                        … Continue reading Crockpot Tex-Mex Black Beans

Smoked Chipotle Ketchup

Ketchup is the condiment of Summer! We use it to top hamburgers and hot dogs, french fries and corn dogs. I’d never even thought about making ketchup from scratch before but, after trying a smoky chipotle ketchup at Twisted Root, I became inspired to try it! I loved the thought of playing with flavors to make my own ketchup. When I started researching ketchup-making recipes I discovered that there are lots of different methods, ranging from recipes that start with fresh tomatoes, to recipes that require no cooking at all. I settled for an in-between method that’s quick and simple, … Continue reading Smoked Chipotle Ketchup

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

I’ve been on a little hummus kick recently. Roasted red pepper hummus was the first hummus flavor that I ever tried. It was the single-serving kind that came with pita chips in the same package. In case you haven’t already guessed, homemade is way better! I love the flavor that fresh roasted peppers add to this hummus. Try it as a simple and healthy snack the next time you’re craving something salty! Roasted Red Pepper Hummus 2 red bell peppers  1  16oz can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) 1/4 cup lime (or lemon) juice  2 tbsp olive oil 1/4 tsp garlic powder … Continue reading Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Chicken Avocado Lime Soup // Crockpot Recipe

These past few weeks I’ve been loving the fresh avocados! I bought several during early Spring and was really disappointed, I almost thought that I’d lost my love of avocados. I’m glad that wasn’t the case! I can’t get enough of them right now and I’ve been adding them to everything. With all of that said, if you don’t prefer avocados (like my husband), this soup is good even if you don’t top it with avocado!  I know it’s the beginning of summer, we’re in Texas and it just keeps getting hotter, but I couldn’t wait to make this soup! … Continue reading Chicken Avocado Lime Soup // Crockpot Recipe

Avocado Hummus

I really like hummus but I’ve never made any myself. It’s so simple, I’m not sure why I didn’t do this sooner! Hummus is a healthy snack, or a great appetizer for summer parties and barbecues. It’s also completely vegetarian! I chose to make hummus with avocado, I love the taste and texture that the avocado added to this recipe. Avocado Cilantro Hummus 1 16oz can chickpeas (garbanzo beans) 1 avocado cilantro -small bunch (optional) 1/2 lime 2 tbsp olive oil 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper Drain and rinse chickpeas. Juice the lime and … Continue reading Avocado Hummus

Crispy Potatoes with Smoked Sausage

This is one of my go-to meals that I make all of the time. We often have all of the ingredients for this recipe on hand and it’s one that my husband loves. Meat and potatoes are the base for this recipe, add any veggie that you have on hand to give it some variety! I don’t like kitchen clean up, so I absolutely love the fact that this is a one dish meal! The ingredient quantities in this recipe are easily adjusted for making any amount of food that you need. Crispy Potatoes with Smoked Sausage             … Continue reading Crispy Potatoes with Smoked Sausage

Spicy & Sweet Baked Beans

Recently we were served a Mexican meal that came with a side of baked beans. The beans were spicy and sweet, with bacon, jalapenos, and cilantro. I’d never considered combining baked beans and Mexican black beans but it was so good, I couldn’t wait to try to duplicate the recipe! I feel like what I came up with is pretty close, though I did choose to use black beans instead of navy beans. Spicy Baked Beans                                    6 servings 5 strips of bacon 1 cup … Continue reading Spicy & Sweet Baked Beans

Chicken Bacon Macaroni and Cheese

I’ve wanted to make homemade macaroni and cheese for quite a while, it’s one of my favorite things to try at restaurants. This creamy homemade macaroni and cheese recipe is made with only fresh ingredients, no processed cheese! I’m not going to lie, macaroni with velveeta cheese is still one of my favorites, but fancy macaroni and cheese is a great treat. I really wanted to use white cheddar for this recipe, but couldn’t find any at the store that I went to. I used mild cheddar instead and it gave this dish a good, rich flavor. This recipe is … Continue reading Chicken Bacon Macaroni and Cheese

Corn and Black Bean Salsa

This salsa has such a fresh and flavorful taste, it’s perfect for summer! All of the ingredients in this simple recipe are easily kept on hand, great for a last minute appetizer or side dish. Corn and Black Bean Salsa 1 cup rotel 1 cup corn 1 cup black beans 1/4 cup onion (chopped) fresh cilantro corn chips 1 lime Stir together rotel, corn, beans, and onion. Add lime juice to taste. Top with chopped cilantro. This salsa is best if chilled before serving. Serve with corn chips. Enjoy this salsa with a tasty Mexican meal or at your next … Continue reading Corn and Black Bean Salsa

Herb Tips // Favorites

I love cooking with fresh herbs, but they can be expensive and don’t have a very long shelf life. Here are a couple of quick tips to extend the life of your herbs! If you’ve purchased way too many fresh herbs, or if your garden is full of them, chop herbs and place into an ice cube tray. Pour olive oil over the herbs and freeze. I’ve used this trick with cilantro and basil, two of my favorites! I pull the cubes out of the freezer and toss them into a skillet when cooking meat, beans, or sauces! Cilantro is … Continue reading Herb Tips // Favorites

Cheese Stuffed Crust Pizza

We love pizza around here (we may or may not have had pizza three times last week). We’re also big fans of cheese! You’ll find both in this cheese stuffed crust recipe! It’s definitely worth taking the time to make your own pizza dough (I love that fresh dough smell!). You can find my recipe for crusty pizza dough here. Choose whatever toppings you’d like for your pizza, I chose turkey pepperoni (which tastes just as good as “regular” pepperoni!) and grilled onions, two of our favorites. Needed: pizza dough 8oz marinara sauce 6 mozzarella sticks 8oz mozzarella cheese pizza … Continue reading Cheese Stuffed Crust Pizza

Chicken Stir Fry // Spicy Honey Sauce

This Asian inspired Chicken Stir Fry is an easy and healthy dinner that you can put together in 20 minutes. It’s a meal that I always fall back on when trying to use up a mix of fresh veggies. Choose any variety of vegetables and this recipe will never get old! The spicy honey sauce reminds me of sweet and spicy Asian food, and I love how simple it is! Chicken Stir Fry Needed: veggies of your choice (carrots, bell pepper, onion, brocoli, snow peas) pineapple chunks breaded chicken nuggets (homemade or frozen) rice olive oil 1/4 tsp garlic powder … Continue reading Chicken Stir Fry // Spicy Honey Sauce

Crusty Pizza Dough // Chicken Alfredo Pizza

This was my first attempt at making pizza dough from scratch, I chose this recipe because it’s a thick crust that doesn’t need to rise for hours (or days!). The pizza crust came out perfectly, soft without getting soggy from the sauce, with a nice crispy bottom layer. This pizza crust recipe is adapted from a recipe found in the Kitchenaid mixer recipe book. Crusty Pizza Dough makes 1 pizza 1 package active dry yeast 1 cup warm water 1/2 tsp salt 2 tsp olive oil 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups flour Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed … Continue reading Crusty Pizza Dough // Chicken Alfredo Pizza

Fancy Grilled Cheese // BBQ Mac and Cheese

We first experienced this BBQ – macaroni and cheese – grilled cheese sandwich at Fort Worth’s food truck park. The combination of macaroni and cheese with barbecue is amazing. Granted, you wouldn’t want to eat these every day but, if you’re ready to splurge, it’s a great treat that you can easily make at home! BBQ Macaroni and Cheese Grilled Cheese Needed: french bread barbecue meat macaroni and cheese cheddar cheese butter Make macaroni and cheese, I simply cooked pasta and added velveeta cheese (don’t add milk, you don’t want the cheese to be too runny). Heat up barbecue meat. You can … Continue reading Fancy Grilled Cheese // BBQ Mac and Cheese

Brisket Barbecue // Crockpot Recipe

I grew up in the midwest, where we always ate pork barbecue. After moving to Texas, I was introduced to brisket (it’s all about the beef here). After marrying a Texan, I decided that I should try to tackle the beef BBQ thing myself. The crockpot really makes cooking brisket so easy! For best results, use a small brisket. I have found that larger pieces of meat overwhelm the crockpot and don’t cook down as well. Also, fat around the meat is good (it will help the meat to become tender and it will peel off easily after cooking) but … Continue reading Brisket Barbecue // Crockpot Recipe

Fancy Grilled Cheese // Tomato Mozzarella

I absolutely LOVE fresh mozzarella with tomato and basil. You can find that perfect combination in this fresh version of a classic comfort food! Tomato Mozzarella Grilled Cheese Needed: french bread fresh mozzarella  tomatoes  pesto butter Slice bread, mozzarella, and tomatoes. Spread a thin layer of pesto on bread (you can find my recipe for Basil Pesto here). If you’d rather, you could layer on a few fresh basil leaves instead of pesto. Top with tomato and cheese. Lightly butter the outside of sandwiches. Heat skillet or panini press. Toast sandwich on both sides. Enjoy that goodness! And if you’re looking for … Continue reading Fancy Grilled Cheese // Tomato Mozzarella

Bruschetta with Fresh Mozzarella

My first bruschetta experience was at a local Italian restaurant while on a date with my (now) husband. We decided to try something new, we chose their bruschetta. I enjoyed it so much, I couldn’t wait to try to duplicate it! This is such a fast and tasty recipe. It’s a great appetizer, an alternative to garlic bread, or it can stand on its own! Bruschetta Needed:  loaf of fresh bread (I used french bread) 1 can (fire roasted) diced tomatoes fresh basil fresh mozzarella olive oil garlic salt cracked black pepper Slice loaf of bread and lay slices onto a … Continue reading Bruschetta with Fresh Mozzarella