The Importance of Planning Ahead..Open Faced Meatball Sandwiches

I officially went back to work yesterday!  While I only work part time, my days are A LOT shorter now.  Things that I got done during the summer in the mornings are now having to wait until late afternoon or night.  It always takes me a few weeks to get used to my new schedule.

Today when I got home I was/am TIRED!  Tired like delirious tired!  Cooking dinner was the LAST thing that I wanted to do.  So I brainstormed about the quickest, easiest dinner possible and I came up with this gem.  Kroger had this frozen french bread in the freezer section on Sunday for $1.30 (I bought 3!) !  I combined that with some homemade meatballs that I made extra a few weeks ago and put in the freezer and an “enhanced” jar of spaghetti sauce and dinner was done!

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What is “enhanced” spaghetti sauce?  Simply put, I saute some onion and garlic in the sauce pan and then add the jarred sauce.  If I have basil in the garden I’ll add that too.  You can add anything you like…bell peppers, mushrooms, oregano, dried Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese…whatever you have on hand.  I added the frozen meatballs to the sauce and slow simmered for about an hour.  The meatballs helped flavor the sauce as well.

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When meatballs are cooked through, cook the french bread according to package.  Top with Meatball and Sauce Mixture with some Parmesan Cheese and dinner is done!

Simple…CHEAP (Fed the 5 of us for like $6 WITH LEFTOVERS FOR TOMORROW!!!) …and PERFECT FOR THOSE NIGHTS WHEN DINNER IS THE LAST THING YOU WANT TO DO!

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Crunchy Mexican Chicken Salad with Creamy Tomatillo Salad Dressing

I found this recipe about 2 years ago and with some tweaking it has become one of our favorite salad recipes.  The dressing is DIVINE!

Corn and Black Bean Mix- Heat through canned Black Beans and Corn.

Creamy Tomatillo Salad Dressing:

  • 1 Packet Hidden Valley Ranch Mix
  • 1 C Mayo
  • 1 C Buttermilk or 1 C Whole Milk with 2 T of Vinegar (Homemade Buttermilk)
  • 2 -3 Tomatillos
  • 1 bunch of Cilantro
  • 1-3 Cloves of Garlic
  • Juice of 1 Lime

Put all ingredients together in a blender and blend!  EASY!

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Mexican Chicken

  • 3-4 Chicken Breasts
  • Olive Oil
  • Cumin
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Chicken Broth (2-3 Cups)
  • Can of Diced Tomatoes

I really don’t have a recipe for this!  I’m not a huge recipe follower.  I basically cook to taste.  But for this dinner, I seasoned with chicken breasts with salt and pepper and cooked through in an olive oil lined skillet.  After the outside of the chicken was browned, I took them out of the pan and sliced them.  I then returned them to the pan and added the Diced Tomatoes, Chicken Broth and Cumin.  I also added a little of the cilantro from the dressing that I had left over.

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I let it simmer for about an hour.  I let most of the liquid cook out.  Taste occasionally and add salt and pepper accordingly. It will look like this after about an hour.

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Layer on your plate with tortilla chips, lettuce, corn and black bean mixture, chicken, and cheese and top with dressing!

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Henley at 2…Amy Beckley Photography

Henley, Mom and Dad met me at the MS Ag Museum Saturday for her 2 Year Session.  I’ve been photographing Henley since she was a newborn so it’s always great to see how much she’s grown.  It was a beautiful but HOT day and Henley was a typical two-year old, running everywhere and exploring the museum grounds.  We had to sing “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” several times but I did get a her still for a few shots!  It’s hard to be 2!

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This is my FAVE!!

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And the best part of the session is that Henley will be a BIG SISTER in February!  Congrats to Mom, Dad and Henley!

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