Category Archives: Main Courses

Tomato Mozzarella Panini Sandwich

What a beautiful Derby weekend here! We had a great time hanging out with a few friends and neighbors…and watched the ponies at home. I came up with a few fun games to watch in between the races…I will share that soon:) Hope your weekend was restful and fun:) I cannot get over that it is already the first week of May. We only have 2 weeks left of classes…then exam week…then SUMMER BREAK!!! Cannot wait! My post may start to fluctuate a bit…based on what we have going on. Summer is typically for low blog numbers…so I may scale back my post….we shall see….

Did you realize that Panera got rid of the tomato mozzarella sandwich? It was my go to Friday lunch during lent and they just got rid of it. They replaced it with a tomato wrap on their flat bread….which I can tell you does not compare even remotely close to the goodness of the panini. This disappoints me on many levels that are probably not normal. Loved that sandwich. I set out to create something similar at home and I duplicated it pretty well.  (sorry for poor pics…took them quick…)

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You know that I love my Panini maker but if you do not have one you could always use a baking sheet. , just the sandwich your Panini in between two baking sheets and place a heavy brick wrapped in foil on the top. It might come out a wee bit chewier…but works in a pinch. This is the Panini maker we  have….love it!

 

 

This recipe makes for a perfect use of those fine ripen tomatoes. Get some fresh bread , ready made refrigerated pesto or make your own and some fresh mozzarella. You can also slap on some arugula or fresh basil leaves if you’d like. We had this with a salad and it was a perfect meal.

Tomato Mozzarella Panini Sandwich
 
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • bakery fresh bread
  • 2 tomatoes
  • pesto sauce (homemade or store bought)
  • fresh mozzarella sliced
  • arugula
Instructions
  1. Cut the bread in half and spread inside with pesto
  2. Place tomatoes, cheese and arugula
  3. Place in Panini maker for 5-8 minutes
  4. If using the oven, heat to 400, place on baking sheet with parchment. Place another baking sheet on top with heavy object. Heat 10 minutes

 

 

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And hey Panera if you’re listening please bring back my favorite sandwich! The flatbread does not compare!

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Have a great Monday friends:)

xo

Tracie Stoll is a wife, mom and has a passion for creating new things. On her blog Cleverlyinspired.com she is constantly sharing ways to inspire her readers to be clever in their own home. Since 2010 Tracie has been sharing DIY projects, crafting, remodeling and decorating along with some easy tasty recipes…all on a mindful budget. She is a graduate of the University of Dayton where she studied visual art and communications. Tracie has been featured on popular sites such as Country Living, CNN living, Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Gardens, Huffington Post, Apartment Therapy, Seventeen and Design Sponge. She is also a member of the True Value Blog Squad & Martha’s Circle of trusted bloggers.

One Pot Chinese Chicken Recipe

Hey all! It is Derby week here in the bluegrass…and the sun is going to shine the ENTIRE week! Can I get a whoop whoop!!?? I have missed you sunshine:) We don’t have any big plans…other than to watch the races and eat/drink. Our neighborhood will be all a buzz…so we will most likely be spending a lot of time on the front porch:) I wanted to share with you a recipe I tried for the first time last week. It had to be hands down one of the easiest meals I have ever made. It was a huge family hit too! We had a salad with it….but you could probably add in any of your favorite veggies and just skip the salad. Make it this week….it doesn’t disappoint:)

I finally tried a one pot meal. Have you all tried any of those recipes? Martha has a whole cookbook dedicated to one pot meals. This is a definite new meal in our rotation and I hope it is for you too. It does not have a whole lot of heat so it appeals to all the family members. You could even chop all your veggies and put your spices together and chop up your chicken….and when you get home from work just dump it all in the pot. It comes together in about 25 minutes. It was rich and thick and really one of the easiest meals I think I’ve ever put together (have I said that yet?:).  I think next time I make it I will add one more chicken breast cut up maybe some mushrooms and more red pepper slices.

 

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One pot people…no joke….you cannot mess this up…

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Garlic…..and then more garlic:)

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One Pot Chinese Chicken Recipe
 
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into small chunks
  • 16 oz. box of linguini broken in half
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut in thin 3 inch long strips
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut in thin 3 inch long strips
  • 1 bunch green onions, white part sliced and green part cut in 3 inch long strips
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Add the chicken, then the pasta, then the remaining ingredients to a large stockpot and cover. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Stir and reduce the heat to medium-low.
  2. Cook covered for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook until most of the liquid is gone and the chicken is cooked through.
  3. Remove the lid and let the dish rest for 5 minutes before serving.

 

 

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Pop in tomorrow for some features from our Handmade Hangout!

 

Adapted fromthis website.

Tracie Stoll is a wife, mom and has a passion for creating new things. On her blog Cleverlyinspired.com she is constantly sharing ways to inspire her readers to be clever in their own home. Since 2010 Tracie has been sharing DIY projects, crafting, remodeling and decorating along with some easy tasty recipes…all on a mindful budget. She is a graduate of the University of Dayton where she studied visual art and communications. Tracie has been featured on popular sites such as Country Living, CNN living, Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Gardens, Huffington Post, Apartment Therapy, Seventeen and Design Sponge. She is also a member of the True Value Blog Squad & Martha’s Circle of trusted bloggers.

Baked Fajita Recipe

Took Stella to the dog park on Monday. Apparently there is a whole group that meets at our neighborhood dog park at 4:00 everyday. Who knew? Did we miss the invite? Or maybe they just know Stella is a little cray cray.. #wordgetsaround. Stella had thought she won some big prize….romping and wrestling with all these dogs….her complete joy. While I was chit chatting with some of the other dog moms/dads, Stella and her new bff “Maybe” plowed.. literally plowed…. into the side of my knee. I hear a loud “pop” and try to remain standing but I probably looked like a wilted tulip. I tried standing but felt like the grass was moving under me….I better sit…. The man I was talking to…”are you alright? I think I heard a pop..” Oy. I gave it a few minutes and my knee appears to be ok…I can walk at least. But man o man did it hurt that night. I now have a black knee band on my right knee…should I break out some flip flops with socks now? Gurrrr….

Anywho….I am kind of draggin today….but I thought I would pop in to share this yummy easy weeknight meal. We had these last week and I am sure we will have them again soon…enjoy!

I have a love hate/relationship with fajitas. I love them because they remind me of vacations in Mexico with a cold margarita, some fresh salsa, crunchy chips , tableside guacamole….it’s all good stuff. But when creating it at home it can be a challenge….so many things going at one time. Shredding the cheese… cutting the onion …cutting the pepper…. marinating the chicken…. sautéing it up…There aren’t enough hands available when you make fajitas at home. So I was out to simplify this whole process mainly so that I could sip on a margarita a little bit easier:) and also shove a little bit more guacamole in my face.

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These easy baked fajitas can be put together earlier in the day. Shred your cheese and make ready your toppings like sour cream, guacamole and salsa. When it’s time to eat, all you have to do is pop it in the oven for about 25 minutes and you’re ready to eat. I also like to warm up the flour tacos in the oven for about 5 or 10 minutes just so they’re nice and pliable. I just used a packet of taco seasoning for my marinade (but it is easy to make your own too.) I mixed it in a heavy duty plastic bag with about a quarter cup of water… add in my chicken and let that marinate for a little while.

 

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Baked Fajita Recipe
 
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Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 packet taco seasoning or fajita mix
  • 1 large ziploc
  • 3 chicken breast cut into strips
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1 green pepper sliced
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 1 lime
  • flour tortillas
  • sour cream, salsa, guacamole, shredded cheese
Instructions
  1. Marinate chicken pieces in a large ziploc with ¼ C water and seasoning. Set in fridge for a few hours (or all day)
  2. Heat oven 400
  3. Grease an 8 by 8 baking dish
  4. Toss in onion and pepper
  5. Top with marinated chicken. Mix all ingredients with your hands.
  6. Drizzle with oil.
  7. Bake about 25 minutes
  8. Make your own fajitas! Top with fresh lime juice!

 

xo

Tracie

Sharing at Tatertots&jello

Tracie Stoll is a wife, mom and has a passion for creating new things. On her blog Cleverlyinspired.com she is constantly sharing ways to inspire her readers to be clever in their own home. Since 2010 Tracie has been sharing DIY projects, crafting, remodeling and decorating along with some easy tasty recipes…all on a mindful budget. She is a graduate of the University of Dayton where she studied visual art and communications. Tracie has been featured on popular sites such as Country Living, CNN living, Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Gardens, Huffington Post, Apartment Therapy, Seventeen and Design Sponge. She is also a member of the True Value Blog Squad & Martha’s Circle of trusted bloggers.

Kentucky Hot Brown Baked Sandwiches (Derby Party Food)

I am a brand ambassador for the NFRA (National Frozen and Refrigeration Association) & a member of the Cool Food Panel. I have been compensated for my time spent writing this post. All opinions, photos, and thoughts are 100% mine own.

I’ve lived in Louisville since 1995 and I have yet to have a Kentucky hot brown from the Brown hotel where it was originally invented.I need to get on that!!  This traditional Kentucky dish was created back in the late 20’s for some party goers who got the munchies late at night. The chef at the Brown hotel created the hot brown to soothe the hunger pains of the party guests (it was the chef’s version of ham and eggs.)

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It is now related with all things Kentucky including the famous horse race the first Saturday in May…. the

Kentucky Derby. I wanted to put my own spin on this traditional recipe that might make it a little bit

easier to make on a weeknight. I always make use of those handy products from the frozen food and

refrigerated dairy sections to make this meal come together quickly. And, since March just so happens

to be National Frozen Food Month, it’s the perfect time to stock my freezer!

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You can serve up these Kentucky Hot Brown Baked Sandwiches with your favorite Green Giant frozen

veggies and you are good to go! Frozen, prepared puff pastry makes these homemade sandwiches look

like you spent more time on this dish then you actually did :) They are definitely one of my go-to freezer

staples…. I love that you can utilize frozen puff pastry in sweet or savory dishes— they’re infinitely

versatile!

I scaled down on the heavy sauce a little bit too make it pleasing to most family members. Although this could also serve great at a derby party or family get together….it is definitely fancy enough to serve to a crowd:)

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Here is what you will need to make one 9 x 9 pan(which makes about 4 large sandwiches)

Kentucky Hot Brown Baked Sandwiches (Derby Party Food)
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3 pieces rye bread toasted
  • 1.5 C smoked gouda shredded
  • ½ lb deli turkey sliced thin
  • 3 piece of cooked bacon
  • 1 sheet puff pastry thawed
  • grape tomatoes for top
  • Your favorite Green Giant veggie can be thawed/drained and used in the sandwich too (maybe spinach or peppers?) Make it your own!
  • For the sauce:
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T flour
  • 1½ C milk
  • 1 C cheddar shredded
  • ¼ C parmesan
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • dash of hot sauce
  • ½ t white pepper
  • ½ t salt
  • pinch of nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 425. Lay toast in pan.
  2. Top with cheese and turkey, then bacon
  3. Cover with puff pastry and bake 20 minutes until golden.
  4. Make the sauce while the sandwiches are baking.
  5. Melt butter, add in flour and whisk for 2 minutes.
  6. Add in all other ingredients and simmer until thickened.
  7. Plate sandwich. Top with sauce and cut tomatoes.Serve up right away.
  8. (if you are serving to a crowd….just keep the sauce in a small slow cooker and gently keep warm.)

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Again, the freezer section has saved me a ton-o-time and it will help you out too! You never sacrifice

quality or taste and you can make a dish like these Kentucky Hot Brown Baked Sandwiches in a fraction

of the time. Get on to more important things…like watching the horse race :) You can find more recipes

and cooking tips at EasyHomeMeals.com.

Have a fabulous weekend friends!!

 

Sharing at SerenityNow

xo

Tracie Stoll is a wife, mom and has a passion for creating new things. On her blog Cleverlyinspired.com she is constantly sharing ways to inspire her readers to be clever in their own home. Since 2010 Tracie has been sharing DIY projects, crafting, remodeling and decorating along with some easy tasty recipes…all on a mindful budget. She is a graduate of the University of Dayton where she studied visual art and communications. Tracie has been featured on popular sites such as Country Living, CNN living, Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Gardens, Huffington Post, Apartment Therapy, Seventeen and Design Sponge. She is also a member of the True Value Blog Squad & Martha’s Circle of trusted bloggers.

Ham and Cheese Slider Recipe

Happy weekend!!! I am on my way down to the Playhouse this morning to help paint. I will be sharing a few pics on instagram I am sure:) It is very exciting to see it come together. Be sure and take a minute to sign up for My Favorite Things Giveaway!!

My friend Sherrie made these about a year or so ago and they have become staple in our house. If you are from the south ( which is really kind of funny because Sherry’s actually from Wisconsin)..and you have ever been to a baby shower or bridal shower I am positive that you have already have had these. My intent with putting them on my blog is that I make them often and with most recipes that I make often I look them up on my blog…and since I haven’t blogged about this one I keep having to fumble around and look for the paper that has the recipe on it (that was super grammatically correct eh…) So this post purely serves me….but I thought I would share in case you haven’t had these before.

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You would think that the butter solution mixture would make the buns soggy but in actuality it makes them just so tender and yummy!!  I normally cut the entire loaf of buns in half, layer the ham and the cheese and  replace the bun tops pour the butter mixture on and bake.ham and cheese sliders @cleverlyinspired (5)

 

When it’s done baking I take a serrated knife and cut into individual sandwiches.

Ham and Cheese Slider Recipe
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • ¼ C butter melted
  • ¼ C olive oil
  • 1½ Dijon mustard
  • 1½ poppy seeds
  • 1½ t Worcestershire
  • 1 T dried mince onion
  • 1 package sweet Hawaiian Rolls
  • ¾ lb favorite deli ham sliced thin
  • ¾ lb Swiss cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a baking dish (mine was 9 x 9)
  3. In a bowl, mix together butter, oil, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, poppy seeds, and dried onion.
  4. Separate the tops from bottoms of the rolls, and place the bottom pieces into the prepared baking dish. Layer about half the ham onto the rolls. Arrange the Swiss cheese over the ham, and top with remaining ham slices in a layer. Place the tops of the rolls onto the sandwiches. Pour the mustard mixture evenly over the rolls.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until the rolls are lightly browned and the cheese has melted, about 20 minutes. Slice into individual rolls through the ham and cheese layers to serve.

 

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This pretty much comes together in a matter of 5 minutes. Bake them up serve with a salad or soup and dinner is done. We probably have these at least twice a month. You could probably swap out ham with turkey or chicken whatever your family likes. The ham and Swiss cheese combo is comfort food at its best!

The original recipe actually calls for all better but I substituted half butter half olive oil and it has not compromised any of the taste. Saves you a bit of fat….which is always a bonus right?!

 

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Make some up this weekend!!

xo

Tracie Stoll is a wife, mom and has a passion for creating new things. On her blog Cleverlyinspired.com she is constantly sharing ways to inspire her readers to be clever in their own home. Since 2010 Tracie has been sharing DIY projects, crafting, remodeling and decorating along with some easy tasty recipes…all on a mindful budget. She is a graduate of the University of Dayton where she studied visual art and communications. Tracie has been featured on popular sites such as Country Living, CNN living, Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Gardens, Huffington Post, Apartment Therapy, Seventeen and Design Sponge. She is also a member of the True Value Blog Squad & Martha’s Circle of trusted bloggers.
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