All in Dinner

I call this "Um Yes - Taco Salad Thingie"

OK, so you guys know that I have been seriously craving Mexican food during my pregnancy. Tacos, burritos, chimichangas, nachos,  you name it. Mostly tacos though. I've been eating them so much that even though I am still craving them, I have been looking for ways to mix it up a little. So here is what I did with the leftover taco meat from this week for tonight's dinner. I call it "Um yes - taco salad thingie" - it is DEEEELICIOUS. Maybe the next time you make tacos you could double the batch so that you have some leftovers to make this. Do it.

Savory Parmesan Chicken and Spaghetti

When I want chicken and pasta I definitely crave something in a white sauce as a opposed to a red and something that is truly chicken parmelicious as opposed to the kind doused in red sauce and mozzarella carrying the name "chicken parm" - still good, but not as good. This recipe tastes a lot richer than it actually is (especially if you use lower fat milk - see below) because it relies on parmesan cheese and garlic to give a lot of the flavor and neither is terrible for you (the garlic is actually really good for you).

My Tacos without the Packet

We eat tacos a lot. It is one of our favorite dinners. We never use the packet of taco seasoning because if you take a look at the ingredients in that thing you won't recognize most of them. Making tacos is super simple. I've made taco meat so many ways. I've added everything from cayenne pepper to garlic to paprika to oregano but last week, someone had forgotten to replenish our pantry and we were out of pretty much everything. We didn't even have an onion. So I worked with what we had and I swear, these were the best tacos we ever had. Check this out.

Bacon, Chick Pea and Avocado Pasta Salad

Everyone loves a good pasta, macaroni or potato salad. And it is been my experience that every cook's "signature" pasta salad is a little bit of a twist on the classic Italian dressing dish. Good, don't get me wrong! I have my own version of that too. But I wanted to give you guys a few different ideas to wow all of the guests at the next picnic. Give 'em something they weren't expecting yet still quenches that craving for pasta salad.

Best Slow Oven Cooked Ribs

Here's the truth, we actually make our ribs in the oven. Smoked ribs are ahhhh-maaaaazing, but the ones we make in the oven can compete. I swear. The trick is the slow-cooking. The slow-cooking and the charring that they get because of the dry rub.

Grandma Cocciolo's Old-Fashioned Stuffed Peppers

This is my twist on Grandma Cocciolo's stuffed peppers. I remember watching my Grandma cook but the recipes aren't written down. My Italian recipes are twists on what I've learned from my mom, who learned from my Grandma and I remember watching and listening to my Grandma talk about how she would prepare dishes. Even though I was little at the time, believe it or not, I remember.

Sliders. Really Good Ones.

I can't say this enough - these are the best sliders that you will ever eat.  And I will go a step further, I believe these sliders are so delicious that you may prefer them in lieu of a regular burger.  In lieu of pretty much any burger.  I swear.  These are good.  And easy.  They will take you about 20 minutes to prepare and make.

Spicy Chicken with Pineapple, Black Beans and Rice

Cooking Tip: Any time you marinade your chicken or meat and use an acidic ingredient (the most common one would be vinegar), you have to limit how long you allow the marinade to sit on the chicken or meat because the acid will actually start cooking it and will create a toughness that negates the point of using a marinade. Here, the acid comes from the pineapple and also from the yogurt (the yogurt is acidic regardless of it containing pineapple).