Archive for the ‘Comfort Foods’ Category

Cold Tuna Noodle Casserole with Peas and Dill

My Mom’s cold tuna noodle casserole is creamy, packed with tuna chunks, green peas and the brightness of dill! It’s the perfect Friday meal during Lent!

This dish… gosh people this dish was literally served every Friday during Lent in my house growing up. And it didn’t matter if was for lunch or dinner. You see Mom had 4 go-to meals on Fridays during Lent – plain cheese pizza, grilled cheese, baked tuna noodle casserole (which is different than this one) and this dish. Some Fridays we’d have this for lunch and baked tuna casserole for dinner. So needless to say I got “tuna’d” out VERY FAST! When I moved out on my own I quit eating this. There were 3 reasons if you must know why:

  1. I absolutely can’t stand mayo or to touch it. It works in recipes, don’t get me wrong but the actual container of mayo makes me shudder.
  2. I get the heeby-jeebies when mayo is mixed with tube noodles. It’s a specific sound it makes and it makes me cringe. Trust me, I have to seriously be in love with you to make you her macaroni salad. Even now I’m making that “OMG no” face!
  3. I was beyond burnt out from eating it.

It wasn’t until, what, 5 years ago or so when a TKW family member asked if I had any Lent recipes. Immediately I thought of her dishes. And then something happened.. I actually craved this stuff. Since the ingredients are pretty much a pantry stable (fyi… you can use ziti, penne or good ol’ elbow macaroni in this recipe) I decided to make it. I was getting ready to assemble it when I got to the jar of mayo. I seriously had to put the jar down and walk away for a minute. No joke, there’s just something not quite right about it. Yet I have no issues with ranch, sour cream or even when I make homemade mayo. I’m weird, I know. But I sucked it up (not the mayo, God no) and put it in the bowl. Next came the mixing. I knew there was no way around that so I got smart. You’ll laugh (or roll your eyes and think I’m an even bigger dork) but I put my head phones on, turned up my tunes and got to mixing. No squishy noodley sound (as I sit here and shudder as I know that sound!

Now you can eat it right away but it’s best when it chills so into the fridge it went. About an hour or so later it was time for lunch. And just like clock work Mr. Fantabulous came into the kitchen, rubbing his tummy looking to see if I had read his mind and had something prepared. I just smiled, got out the casserole and plated it. Now what was funny was the look he gave me, his plate of food and then me. He said “Ahhhh what’s this??? Did you make macaroni salad??? For real? Wait! Did you gag???”. LOL he knows me so well. I said what it was and why I made it. As we sat down to eat, that first forkful all those wonderful Friday memories came back from my childhood. It literally tasted just like Mom’s. As he ate he said “Oh wow honey, this is really good! How come you never made it before? Oh wait, that’s right you have this issue with mayo and noodles. Yeah, get over it as I want this again… please my darling wife.” LOL

Call it a casserole, call it a salad just don’t call me late for dinner with this!

Mom’s Classic Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

No summer cookout is complete without a tray of stuffed cabbages! Tender cabbage leaves stuffed with rice, seasoned ground meats and a rich tomato sauce make this the perfect summer comfort food. Plus these freeze beautifully!’

This dish, God this dish brings back so many childhood memories that I literally sat here for 30 minutes in a daze just remembering some of them. Like there was the time we were harvesting cabbages from our garden and we each got to pick a single plant that we were in charge of to take care of. Whoever grew the biggest cabbage won. The prize was Mom would cook our favorite dessert to go with her famous stuffed cabbages. That summer I ended up winning. This cabbage was so huge that I couldn’t lift it. I know I have a picture of me trying to hold it on my lap. I’ll dig it out to share the pic once my arm is better.

Then there are the countless memories where our kitchen was soooooooooooooo hot (we didn’t have AC growing up and we only had window fans) and Mom had 3 large canning pots on the stove with boiling water making hundreds of stuffed cabbages. I can still remember that hot cabbage smell and hot/wet air in the kitchen. Dad would use the tongs to pull out the leaves, put them in the colander and my Mom, sister and I would each trim the stems.

When Mom made stuffed cabbages it was never just a pan for dinner or just enough for a single meal. Oh no, not in my house. You made enough for dinner, leftovers, enough for company to take some home and enough for the freezer. Mom’s kitchen and cooking style are you cook in bulk and never, ever waste anything.

Summer means cookouts, gatherings and stuffed cabbages!

One Pot Cheesy Chili Beef Pasta

Make this easy one-pot meal for some serious deliciousness!  It’s cheesy, it’s beefy, it’s the Mac’ Daddy of one pot pasta dishes! Plus with it being only 1 dirty pot that means less time spent washing dishes and more YOU time!

So raise your hands, who out there are a fan of One-Pot meals? Yeah me too. It’s funny as most think this is a new concept, kind of like the latest rage of ‘sheet pan’ dinners. Um sorry but no, I can remember Mom and Grandma doing both of those things while I was wee little. And I’m old people, like crypt keeper old. HA!  This dish, yeah this was my Mom’s buuuuuuuut you know me, I have to Lori-fy it. What that means is remove the ginormous chunks of onions and nasty green peppers (god I hate them!) and give it more rich flavors.

This was something Dad called ‘Slop’. It honestly was a poor man’s meal – just some basic ingredients dumped into a pot, some spices and that was pretty much it. This was something Mom made quite often as it was a cheap meal but fed a lot. It was hearty and delicious. Well once I picked out the cucka chunks of veggies. LOL Mom always served this with her homemade white bread.  God my favorite meal with this was getting tons of sauce in my bowl, topping it with grated cheese and dipping warmed, buttered white bread in it to scoop it out.  Mmmm God I love bread…and carbs <insert thigh jiggle here> LOL

These days I’m finding that a good bit of my cooking is either pressure cooking or one pot/sheet pan meals. I’m in the midst of a HUGE upgrade project at work that has me pulling up to 100 hours a week (thank GOD I’m working from home) which leaves me little time for TKW (thank GOD you guys love me, are patient and understanding) and even less time to cook here. Yes there have been times when I’m like “honey can you just eat PB&J?”. Thankfully Mr. Fantabulous  is understanding and will even help out.

Between doing my day job, doing TKW, working on the house and life, there’s zero time for Lori. But I’m tough and I have an amazing support system. Plus I see the end of the tunnel for the work project and the flooring downstairs is about 60% done so soon I’ll be able to breath a little easier.

So much YUM! in one pot!

Pressure Cooker Boneless Thick-Cut Pork Chops with Oniony Mashed potatoes and Pork Gravy!

Just 20 minutes is all you need to transform simple pork chops, potatoes and onions into a SERIOUSLY DELICIOUS meal!  We’re talking fork tender thick chops, oniony mashed potatoes and a thick, rich pork gravy!

So this dish kinda just ‘happened’. Mr. Fantabulous was at some concert and I had the house all to myself.  I had it all planned out for my bachelorette night in. I’d make myself a great dinner, take a bubble batch, shut off my computer and watch chick flicks while lounging in the recliner eating copious amounts of seriously bad food.  Unfortunately that didn’t happen quite like that. He had already left to go meet up with his buddy and I started to go make dinner.  What I came to find out was when I opened up my fridge that it was bare!  I mean we’re talking no milk BUT my loving husband left me the empty container (seriously who does this?  Write a friggen note!), no meat, no eggs and no cheese. WTH dude!

Now normally I’d be ok with this but this was MY “date” night with myself and I wanted real food. And what made it worse is that I was already in my lounge clothes (aka no bra!) and was mad I had to get re-dressed and put that damn thing back on just to go to the store.  Oh no trust me, I did think twice about just throwing a hoodie on over top of everything and heading to the store in those clothes but with my luck I’d end up as one of those “People of Walmart” memes.  And while it’s funny when it’s other people it’s not so funny when it’s you.

Begrudgingly I got re-dressed and went down the hill to my local butcher shop.  As I was walking through the meat section I spied some seriously awesome looking thick-cut chops.  We’re talking pink with that fat edge just begging to be taken home.  So into my buggy it went along with some pepperoni, Italian bread and other snacky stuff.  And for snacky stuff equals potato chips and fritos.  God I love fritos!  When I got home I figured since I was going to make it a junk food kinda night I might as well keep with the theme and make a bacon & pepperoni French bread pizza however I could not take my eyes off of those chops.

You will seriously be blown away buy how easy and delicious this meal is!

#AD BBQ Crack Chicken Casserole – Tots, Crispy Bacon, Cheeeeese and BBQ Ranch Sauce!

This post is written by me on behalf of Tyson Foods, Inc. All opinions are entirely my own. This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GameTimeHero #CollectiveBias

Seriously this BBQ Crack Chicken Casserole is LEGIT!  This is the PERFECT tailgate/pot luck/office lunch/brunch/because-it’s-Wednesday casserole you’ll ever make!  Folks will be begging for the recipe!


Okay people we need to get real here for a bit.  So right now we’re into the 5th week of Football season which mean it’s time to put on the big girl panties, buckle down and get into the zone.  Growing up in Pittsburgh it’s all about sports.  We’re the City of Champions – we live and breathe football, hockey and baseball.  And for the mass majority of us that don’t play the actual game for bajillions of dollars, we can still be the MVP of the game; that is MVP of the food game!

What’s served during the game is just about as big as the actual game itself.  We take huge pride in our tailgating skills, our backyard cookouts or our home man caves.  This BBQ Crack Chicken Casserole is the dish of all dishes that will make you the MVP of the entire season!
This dish is LEGIT and a total WINNER!

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