Creamy chicken and spinach lasagna

Creamy chicken and spinach lasagna
Creamy chicken and spinach lasagna

Michael made this recipe for dinner on Thursday, and we both thought it was delicious. The white sauce is rich and creamy, and the mushrooms and spinach add some heartiness (and healthiness) to the recipe. We also think it would be delicious to use baby kale in place of the spinach.

It does take some time to make this recipe, including baking time, but our inspiration recipe gives directions for making the casserole ahead of time and freezing it. We haven’t tried that yet — because we don’t have the freezer space right now — but think it would be a great option to plan ahead for a busy night.

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Italian beef sandwiches

Italian beef
Italian beef sandwich

If you’re looking for an authentic Chicago-style Italian beef sandwich, this probably isn’t it (you might want to check out this article for some tips). But if you’re looking for a very tasty Chicago-inspired Italian beef sandwich, this is definitely it.

The combination of beef, swiss cheese, onions, au jus, and giardiniera is savory, delicious, and flavorful. We smoked an eye of round roast on the grill, but you could also buy thinly sliced roast beef from the deli as an easy option. I also highly recommend purchasing a Chicago-style giardiniera (such as Marconi), instead of the Italian style (which won’t have the right flavor). Another tasty option is to cook sliced bell peppers and mushrooms along with the onions to make a sort of Philly-style sandwich.

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Grilled teriyaki burgers

Grilled teriyaki burgers
Grilled teriyaki burgers

Now that we have a deck and a grill, we’ve been doing a lot of grilling and smoking meats. These teriyaki burgers are one of our favorites when we’re looking for a quick, delicious dinner.

I like to buy large packages of ground beef when they’re on sale and make a bunch of burgers for the freezer. Then, it’s easy to thaw and grill however many we need for dinner. At a minimum, we recommend topping the burger with cheese, mayo, and butter lettuce — but grilled pineapple slices, grilled onions, or onion buns are also tasty additions.

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Tangy cabbage and broccoli coleslaw

Tangy cabbage and broccoli coleslaw
Tangy cabbage and broccoli coleslaw

This refreshing, vinegar-based coleslaw is my new favorite summer side dish. Michael found this recipe a couple months ago when we were looking for something to go with Jamaican jerk chicken. I made a couple small tweaks to the recipe, and we like it so much that I’ve made it at least once a week since.

I like to make this recipe with a mix of shredded cabbage and broccoli slaw, but you could use just one or the other, as long as you still use 6 cups total. Either way, you’ll want to refrigerate the slaw for at least one hour (or overnight) before serving. It’s delicious alongside any grilled meat or picnic meal. Enjoy!

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Summertime peach cobbler

Summertime peach cobbler
Summertime peach cobbler

I don’t post — or make — very many dessert recipes, but this peach cobbler recipe is definitely worth sharing. In fact, it’s pretty much the only dessert I’ve made this summer. I suppose I could make something else, but this recipe is just so good that I don’t want to. So, if you’re looking for a knock-your-socks-off dessert, look no further.

There are two caveats: The first is that the cobbler is best eaten the same day you make it. The second is that you may not be able to stop eating it. And may I recommend topping it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream?

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Deep dish pan pizza with sausage and tomatoes

Deep dish pizza
Deep dish pan pizza with sausage and tomatoes

Over the past several weeks, Michael and I have been working on improving our homemade pizza — and this deep dish pan pizza was our first project. After several iterations, we’ve come up with a go-to method and picked out our favorite ingredients. Like Papa John’s says: “Better ingredients, better pizza.”

One of the keys to getting a delicious, crispy crust is to use non-stick, 9-inch cake pans to bake the pizza. Also, we’ve found that buttering the pan and using butter in the pizza dough both give the crust a great flavor.

We chose sausage and diced tomatoes as our toppings, based on our favorite pizza from The Italian Pie Shoppe in St. Paul, and it was delicious. If you do want to change the toppings, however, I would recommend sticking with a 1 meat-1 veggie combination so you don’t overwhelm the pizza.

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Enchilada noodle casserole

Enchilada noodle casserole
Enchilada noodle casserole

This delicious casserole is the easy version of enchiladas — all the flavor with minimal work. Instead of making individual enchiladas, you simply pour the filling and sauce mixture over uncooked egg noodles and bake for 25 minutes. It’s that easy! Like most casseroles, this would be great to bring to a potluck.

I prefer to use medium Rotel and enchilada sauce, but you can use mild or hot instead to get the level of spiciness you prefer. You could also substitute diced rotisserie chicken for the ground turkey; either would be delicious. We hope you give this recipe a try!

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Southwestern-style chicken and bean enchiladas

Southwestern-style chicken and bean enchiladas
Southwestern-style chicken and bean enchiladas (served with lettuce and guacamole)

I don’t usually have a lot of time to cook during the week, so I rely on quick and easy meals (like this chef salad). But on the weekend, I enjoy making — and eating — more “homey” meals. These enchiladas are a great choice, and they make delicious leftovers.

I like to use a variety of veggies along with the chicken in my filling, so it’s colorful and healthy. Also, I make my enchilada sauce from a Carlita brand seasoning packet, but you could substitute 2 cups of your favorite enchilada sauce. The pepperjack cheese adds a hint of spice, but you could amp it up with diced jalapeno peppers, if you like. Either way, they’re delicious!

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Baked catfish po boy sliders with spicy remoulade sauce

Baked catfish po boy sliders with spicy remoulade sauce
Baked catfish po boy sliders with spicy remoulade sauce (served with coleslaw)

For the past several weekends, I’ve been trying new recipes while we’ve been watching the NFL playoffs. This baked catfish recipe isn’t new to me, but I haven’t made it in several years. I made some changes to it yesterday and ended up with these delicious po boy sliders.

Catfish is traditionally used in po boy sandwiches, but I opted to use cod this time because it was on sale at the grocery store — either works great. I also made a quick remoulade sauce, which adds great flavor to the sliders. If you don’t like horseradish, you could add Dijon mustard to the sauce instead, although it won’t be the same.

I stayed with the Southern theme, and made oven-roasted garlic and rosemary sweet potatoes as a side. We also had coleslaw. It was a delicious meal — and the leftovers are waiting for us tomorrow night!

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Chef salad

Chef salad
Chef salad

If you look at our meal plans for the last several months, this tasty chef salad is the dinner you’ll find most often. We’ve gotten into the habit of having salad for dinner at least twice a week — and this is my go-to salad.

If you’re looking for quick meals during the week, you can prep the veggies and hard-boil the eggs on the weekend. Then, all you have to do is combine all the ingredients and you’re ready to eat! Another easy option is to use leftover rotisserie chicken in place of the deli ham. Either way, it’s delicious.

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