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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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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Skillet chicken and mushroom pasta

Skillet chicken and mushroom pasta

I bought the ingredients for this new pasta recipe last weekend, and looked forward to making it all week. Well, I made it for dinner tonight, and it definitely lived up to expectations. It’s an easy skillet meal, but it’s fancy enough that I would certainly serve it for company.

The tarragon in this recipe gives it a slight anise-like flavor, so if you don’t like that, feel free to use another herb like basil or Italian seasoning. I also used campanelle pasta — it has a bell shape that is perfect for capturing the sauce. Finish this meal off with a green veggie like peas or asparagus, and you have a great dinner.

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Homemade turkey bolognese

Homemade turkey bolognese

A box of pasta with a jar of pasta sauce can make an easy pantry meal (see: vodka sauce and meatballs), but sometimes you have a little extra time or want something a little bit fancier. For those situations, I present to you this homemade turkey bolognese. While you do need some time to let the sauce simmer, there’s only about 10 minutes of hands-on time. And as a bonus, this sauce would be great to make on the weekend and freeze for a quick weeknight dinner.

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Heirloom tomato pizza

Heirloom tomato pizza

Michael and I made this pizza for dinner Wednesday night, and decided that it was probably the best pizza we’ve ever made — though it’s definitely not the best picture I’ve ever taken. Regardless, we loved the combination of sweet heirloom tomatoes with fresh basil and carmelized onions. Yum!

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Pepperoni and Hawaiian pizza spiral breads

Pepperoni and Hawaiian pizza spiral breads

Michael and I came up with this recipe last week when we had some extra pizza dough in the fridge but didn’t feel like making a traditional pizza. So we topped the dough with pizza sauce, pepperoni, and cheese, and rolled the dough into a loaf. It was delicious! This week, we recreated our pizza spiral bread, but substituted bbq sauce and Hawaiian pizza toppings for the filling. We think that this version was even more delicious than the first, and would certainly recommend trying either for a quick dinner or snack.

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Tomato onion garlic bread

Tomato onion garlic bread

This simple, homemade garlic bread combines Italian flavor with our delicious pizza dough recipe. It’s the perfect side to a meal of ravioli or spaghetti — and would be great with a salad for a light meal.

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Italian-style pizza dough and flatbread

Italian-style pizza dough and flatbread

Michael and I first shared this easy pizza dough recipe when we had just started blogging, and it’s time for an update. Since first posting it, we’ve made it numerous times, and tweaked the recipe so it’s a winner every time. We usually make the dough with our Kitchenaid stand mixer, so I’ve added those directions to the recipe below.

This Italian-style pizza dough is an easy, delicious, and versatile recipe. We’ve used it to make bbq chicken pizza (pictured above), a chicago-style deep-dish pizza, pizza spiral breads, garlic bread, and even a delicious flatbread for our savory turkey burgers. Give it a try for yourself, and let us know what delicious meals you make!

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Tomato sausage polenta

Tomato sausage polenta

My mom found this recipe in one of her Taste of Home cooking magazines several years ago, and it’s been one of my favorites ever since. It combines a cornbread-like polenta with a simple tomato-sausage sauce, which is topped with cheese and baked to perfection.

As my mom could tell you, I often request this dish when I’m visiting my parents’ house. Last week, I decided to try my own hand at making this delicious polenta. And, believe me, it was DELICIOUS. Don’t be intimidated by the long ingredient list — it does take around an hour to make, but it’s still an easy weeknight recipe.

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