What’s for Dinner- Chili Mac & Cheese

Two comfort food brought together in a quick & delicious meal.

I love one pot meals easy for those lazy days with an easy clean up. This one is perfect because a lot of these ingredients,  I have on hand already.


Chili Mac & Cheese


I came across this recipe on Damn Delicious . Make sure to check out her other recipes. They all look so good.

Chili Mac & Cheese

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 8 ounces ground beef
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup canned white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 10 ounces elbows pasta
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

My swaps:

Ground chicken, 15oz fire roasted tomatoes & 15oz Bush’s best white chili beans(rinsed). I think the Bush’s beans also gave it more flavor since its in a mild chili sauce. I also skipped the parsley.

-You just put olive oil in a pan. Sautee onion & garlic. Add your choice of ground meat.

-Stir in broth, seasoning, beans, tomatoes, pasta. Bring to boil & cover.

-Turn off, remove from heat. Add cheese on top.

This is great for dinner, lunch, & tastes even better the next day. I think I might add mushrooms next time.

What is your favorite one pot meal?


Hearty Taco Soup with chicken sausage

One of my favorite meals is taco soup.
Its hearty, filling, yummy, easy to make, cooks quickly, and it’s budget friendly.

I usually have it meatless but sometimes add diced chicken or a can of chicken.
Well within the past month I received a coupon during my checkout at Shoprite for $1.25 off fully cooked chicken sausage. I never noticed it before , probably because its where the precooked, fully cooked, sliced deli meats are. I mostly just buy chicken or ground chicken/turkey so don’t really venture too much into the other meat sections.

Well I checked it out and it was on sale. So with the coupon it was on $1.73 ( originally $3.49)

Johnsonville Chicken Sausage

I was already planning on making taco soup and thought the 3 cheese Italian style with cheese, red bells peppers, & garlic would be good in the soup. The other flavors available are: Cajun , Chipotle Monterey Jack Cheese, Apple & the 3 cheese Italian style.

What you need for the soup:
Taco Soup Ingredients

Chicken broth
Diced tomatoes
black beans, rinsed & drained
kidney beans or pinto beans, rinsed & drained
corn , drained
Taco seasoning
Avocado, diced
*Johnsonville Chicken Sausage ( keep it meatless or add any meat you’d like, already cooked)

Why is this my favorite? You just open the cans, drain & rinse the beans. The just pour it in a pot and cook until heated through. You can use as much or little broth as you want. I usually pour right above the beans & corn. You can also use vegetable broth or even water. Mix in taco seasoning and cook on medium heat.

I chopped up the chicken sausage into slices.
Johnsonville 3 cheese italian style chicken sausage

Added them to the pot. Waited until it started to boil. Turned off.

Diced up avocado.

Put soup in bowl, add diced avocado.
I sometimes add broken tortilla chip pieces for a crunch.

Carra's Taco Soup


The chicken sausage made the soup a little more hearty & filling, as well as added a little extra flavor.
I would buy Johnsonville Chicken Sausage again, next I want to try the apple chicken sausage tastes. I would also use the 3 cheese Italian style in pasta dishes. Yum!

Do you make taco soup? What is your go to Winter meal?

Chicken Caesar tortellini salad 

This is one of my favorite dishes because its still light but filling. Plus its so easy to make with only 4 ingredients.


Rotisserie Chicken – so simple no need to cook or season it. Then the next day I make soup!
Romaine lettuce
Fresh cheese filled tortellini – has better taste
Caesar Dressing

Cook tortellini, cut up lettuce, & then dice chicken. Put ingredients in a bowl & pour in Caesar dressing to coat. Put in a bowl and enjoy! 🙂


What are your favorite quick meals with a few ingredients?

Chicken, avocado & bacon quesadilla


4 tortillas
1 lb chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup scallions; diced
bacon; cooked & crumbled
1 avocado, diced
mild cheddar cheese, shredded
salt & pepper

Cook bacon either in oven , microwave, pan- dice into pieces – Save some of the drippings

Add 2 tsp of bacon drippings into pan on medium heat

Add scallions and saute until soft

Add chicken , season with some salt and pepper. Cook until chicken is golden & cooked through.

In another skillet/pan put a small amount of butter.

Once it starts to bubble, add tortilla.

On half of the tortilla – Sprinkle some cheese, chicken & scallion mixture & avocado

Sprinkle a little bit more cheese on top- fold over wait 1-2 minutes until golden brown

Flip over 1-2 minutes on other side

Serve with salsa.

Italian dinner night with Johnsonville #MeatballMasters


Crowdtap sent me a bag of Johnsonville classic Italian style meatballs plus a coupon for another bag. I didn’t know Johnsonville made meatballs.I was curious to see how they tasted. I normally don’t eat frozen meatballs only eat the ones my mom or family makes. I sometimes make them but not that much.

There are 3 varieties :
Classic Italian Style
Three cheese Italian style
There are 28 meatballs in each bags

When the bag arrived I had some left over pasta from the night before in my fridge. So I sliced & sauteed some zucchini and heated up the meatballs and put everything together. I sprinkled some parmesan cheese on top.


As you can see the meatballs are really good size. They didn’t break apart, were moist, not greasy, and were very flavorful. I was pretty impressed for them being frozen meatballs.


The next time I made a meal I spiralized zucchini for pasta, added sauce, meatballs, & sprinkled with parmesan cheese.

On the Johnsonville website they have recipes you can make with the meatballs for some dinner inspiration. Our you can come up with your own like I did for breakfast.

For breakfast ( no picture) was too hungry haha.
Sauteed peppers & mushrooms . Sliced up meatballs and cooked together.
Made scrambled eggs and mixed it together veggies and meatballs. Was really good.

Have you heard , tried, or seen these these Johnsonville meatballs?

Final thoughts:

I was really impressed with the quality, size, and taste of these meatballs. They were very flavorful. Still don’t add up to my mom’s but still good. I don’t think I would buy them again though just because I really don’t eat pork , but if Johnsonville ever makes them with turkey or chicken sausage I would be all over that. Though I think my roommate will be buying these because he loved them. Johnsonville meatballs are perfect when you don’t have time to cook meatballs from scratch or even if you are cooking for a bigger crowd and want to save some time. They are versatile whether you want them for breakfast, lunch , or dinner .

Check back later this week for another recipe I will be making with Johnsonville meatballs.

I’m a member of the Johnsonville VIPs and have received product from Johnsonville to review.

Black bean and brown rice burgers

Black Bean & Brown Rice burgers

Easy, cheap, fast, yummy!

Another pinterest find I found and tried- it’s a winner!

All you need is brown rice, black beans, onion, olive oil, & zucchini.

I also added some garlic, pepper, chili powder

Put on a some spinach & squeezed some lime when it was done.


Using my new grilling pan from Vocalpoint & Farberware 🙂


Cook about 1/2 cup of brown rice according to directions. Set aside and let cool off

Dice up an onion and half of a zucchini, put in pot until soft/ brown

Then add 2 cups of black beans 5-7 minutes

Take 2/3 of the mixture and put it in a blender ( this helps make the patties stay together)

Put back in bowl, mix in rice and allow to cool

Put oil in pan, form patties and cook  about 5 minutes on each side

Place on a bed of spinach or lettuce and enjoy.

I had an avocado to put on top but was so hungry I forgot about it.

bk-1 bk-9

Grilling pan from Farberware ( & Vocalpoint) was so easy to clean up, one wipe and it was clean. I was also expecting some sticking because of the blended beans but nothing.You will read more about me using this grilling pan 🙂

Easy beef stir fry/fajita bowl


I came across this Fast Fajita Salad recipe on pinterest.

I didn’t really feel like a salad so ended up using rice.

Ingredients I used:

About 1lb of steak ( I bought it already in strips)


3-4 garlic cloves- minced

chili powder

salt& pepper

1/2 large onion

medium bell pepper

olive oil

1 can black beans ( drained)


chicken stock


1- Place beef strips , lime ( juice if half) , 2-3 cloves of garlic, 1-2 teaspoons of chili powder, splash of olive oil and let it sit and marinate.

2: Cook rice with chicken broth instead of water (to give more flavor)

3: Cut up bell pepper, onion and 1 clove of garlic

4: Heat up olive oil in pan. Add pepper, onion, garlic for 6-10 minutes ( half way through- add beans)

5: Remove veggies from pan

6: I let the pot sit for a minute to get hot again, then add beef and marinade . Cook for about 3 minutes ( depending how thick you cut your slices of beef/how you like yours cooked)

7: Add Onion, pepper, bean mixture to beef

8: place rice in bowl and top with beef mixture

9: enjoy 🙂

I was going to add avocado but everyone at the store were too hard.

Next time I will add another color of pepper.