WannaBe Chef

Recipes and randomness from Amanda's kitchen.

Dreaming of pasta December 22, 2010

Filed under: Pasta,Side dish — WannaBe Chef @ 7:52 pm

I used to go camping quite a bit with my family when I was younger.  We had a nice little pop-up camper, you know, it wasn’t a tent, but it was just rustic enough to still be considered “roughin’ it.”  We had lots of fun, and of course, there was always tons of food.  My “aunt” Adeline always made this really simple, but really tasty pasta salad.  I think we may have called it the “Kids’ Salad”??  Something like that, well because, it had kid-friendly things in it. 

So yeah, my messed-up, pregnant mind actually woke up the other night thinking about this salad.  I was in some sort of Ranch dressing fog and actually almost woke Wayne up to tell him how much I wanted this salad.  Obviously, I went straight to the store and got the whole four ingredients and made some today.  It was everything I dreamed of (literally)! 

Adeline’s Pickle Pasta Salad


  • Elbow macaroni – the regular white kind
  • Chopped dill pickles
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Ranch dressing – the real, full-fat kind, mhmm that’s right…


  • Cook and drain pasta
  • Mix with pickles, cheese and Ranch
  • Chill for a couple hours
  • You may need to add more Ranch before serving since the pasta absorbs a lot of it

Adeline, I know you’re out there!  Please correct me if I missed anything here, but this is how I remember it 🙂


Second favorite spud soup December 21, 2010

Filed under: Potato,Soup — WannaBe Chef @ 7:24 pm

Look, another recipe!!  This one is a definite keeper, but then again, I haven’t met a potato soup that I didn’t like.  I’d have to say my favorite is still this Spicy Hot Potato Soup, but this one comes in at a very close second.  The recipe says it’s from Panera, but I’ve never had this soup at Panera.  I could be wrong of course.

Please excuse the horrible picture.  Wayne’s friend came over for lunch, and he would probably think I was nuts if he saw me taking pics of a bowl of soup, so I took one real quick of the whole pot when he was in the bathroom!       

Panera’s Cream Cheese Potato Soup
Click HERE for recipe

The only things I did differently:

  • Sauteed 2 large, chopped carrots and the onions first, then added the broth and potatoes
  • Probably used more than 4 cups of potatoes
  • Used less of all the seasonings (and black pepper instead of white), then just seasoned my own bowl if I thought it needed more
  • Make sure you cut the cream cheese into small chunks because they take awhile to melt into the soup. 

I highly recommend this soup for a cold winter day!  It was deeelicious.


5 days?! Really? December 20, 2010

Filed under: Beef — WannaBe Chef @ 10:00 am

Yeah, so it’s officially December 20th, what the heck?  Only five days till Christmas, and only three days till we make the long drive back to MI again.  Of course it’s supposed to snow here today and Thursday, so please send some safe-driving-weather-vibes our way!  Anywho, I have an actual recipe for you today… if you want to call it a recipe.  This is a dinner we ate last week, and in true pregnant lady fashion, it’s a one dish mish-mash-of-a-casserole-type-thing. 

Beef BBQ Biscuits
Recipe from HERE but I changed some of the quantities and didn’t mess with the muffin tins…


  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 Tbsp dried onion flakes
  • approx 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
  • handful fresh, sliced mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar (use more or less depending on sweetness of your BBQ sauce)
  • 12 oz tube ready-to-bake refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (I only used 8 of the 10 biscuits)
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, approx 1/2 – 3/4 cup


  1. Cook the ground beef, onions, and mushrooms in a skillet.  Stir in the BBQ sauce and set aside.
  2. Spray a 9×9″ baking dish with cooking spray.  Slightly flatten the biscuits and press them into the pan.  They don’t have to be perfect, and there will be some overlapping and gaps in between.
  3. Pour the meat mixture evenly over the biscuits.  Top with cheese.
  4. Bake at 400 until biscuits are cooked through and have risen.  I didn’t time it, but I’d say maybe 15 minutes?   

Since I have no recipes for you… December 15, 2010

Filed under: Mexican-inspired,Pizza,Rice — WannaBe Chef @ 11:29 am

I’m just going to show you what I’ve been eating.. again. 

Fried rice (Sauteed onions and carrots, cooked day-old brown rice, frozen peas, 2 whole eggs, seasonings, soy sauce, teryaki sauce).

Turkey enchiladas… can you tell I’m really into sour cream lately? 

Pita pizza with roasted asparagus. 

Expect an actual recipe, coming to a post near you!


Truly random December 12, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — WannaBe Chef @ 12:14 pm

Just wanted to share some recent eats.  I haven’t been very adventurous with trying new recipes for obvious reasons, so I’ve been making a lot of tried-and-true, sometimes strange, very easy dinners.

This would be spaghetti noodles, jarred Light alfredo sauce, sauteed mushrooms, broccoli, topped with parm.

Chicken stir-fry with rice, chicken egg roll, and sweet & sour sauce.

Roasted carrots, and half of a baked potato with obscene amounts of sour cream.

Avocado + tomato + balsamic + EVOO + salt + pepper = delicious

Last, but not least, tater tot casserole!  Can’t go wrong with that 😉


A BLAT for the brat! December 8, 2010

Filed under: Sandwiches,Turkey — WannaBe Chef @ 7:10 pm

Hahaha, of course my child isn’t a brat, but I couldn’t resist making that the title.  So, I think I’m starting to get into the craving stage because somewhere throughout the day, I heard the words “BLT with avocado” and it was all I could think about.  Off to the store I went, and a couple hours later, I had this magnificent work of art…

I think that this was probably the best thing I’ve eaten this entire pregnancy so far.  It was just… heavenly.  I have no other words.   

For 3 sandwiches


  • 9 slices turkey bacon, cooked in skillet
  • 3 large tomato slices, thinly sliced
  • 9 thin slices of avocado (about half an avocado worth)
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Miracle Whip Light
  • 6 slices lightly-toasted, wheat bread


  1. To assemble 1 sandwich – spread mayo on both slices of bread.  Top one half with lettuce then one tomato slice.
  2. Place 3 slices of avocado and 3 pieces of bacon on the other slice.
  3. Slap the 2 sides together and chow down!

Why my blog may continue to suck… December 7, 2010

Filed under: Chicken — WannaBe Chef @ 8:27 pm

Hello, sweeties!  First of all, thanks to all of you who sent your congrats about the mini WannaBe!  We are very excited…. and nervous! 

As you may have guessed, I was quite sick… for about 6 weeks straight.  You foodies may understand my complete and utter shock at my totally non-existent appetite.  I have never not had an appetite, and I can’t remember going through a day without thinking about food.  However, the mere thought of food was way too much to handle, so you can imagine the problem I might have with thinking of recipes, shopping for the ingredients, cooking it, and then blogging it!  Anyway, I’ve been feeling better for about two weeks now and I’m starting to at least eat more now… granted, it’s not very close to the healthy stuff I usually eat.  Yeah, that’s right, I haven’t had a salad in at least 7 or 8 weeks.  Anywho, I could go on and on, but I’ll spare you any more details! 

So you may be wondering why my blog may continue to suck?  Well, the main reason is that my computer died.  If you’ve ever suffered from sudden computer death, you know what I mean when I say it’s like a death in the family.  My life is on my computer.  With that said, it’s only half as bad as I make it sound because it turns out that only my monitor died.  So right now, my half-dead laptop is hooked up to Wayne’s desktop monitor, which means I still have access to “my life” for an unknown amount of time… which means I can still sort-of blog.      

So, enough talking… here’s a tasty concoction that I whipped up last night for dinner.  Be prepared to see a lot more carb-heavy, comfort foods on the blog… since those are the only things that Baby WannaBe’s mother can tolerate!

Pregnant Lady Chicken Bake


  • Leftover rotisserie chicken, shredded – about 2 cups or so
  • 1 jar chicken gravy
  • Frozen mixed veggies, about half a bag
  • Garlic powder
  • Black pepper
  • Shredded cheddar, a handful
  • 1 small tube (7 oz) refrigerated biscuits


  1. In a skillet, combine the chicken, veggies, gravy and seasonings.  Cook until mixture is heated through. 
  2. Pour mixture into a baking dish, top with cheese, then raw biscuits.
  3. Bake at 350 until bubbly and biscuits are browned and cooked through.  It doesn’t take too long, of course I didn’t time it :-p