WannaBe Chef

Recipes and randomness from Amanda's kitchen.

Cheesy Pizza Pasta January 31, 2011

Filed under: Pasta,Pizza — WannaBe Chef @ 7:34 pm

Sometimes I just don’t have it in me to come up with a title…. or even much to say, for that matter!  So, let’s just get to the point, shall we? 

Looks pretty good, eh?  Well, here’s the >>>>RECIPE<<<<  I made a few changes, as usual:  Subbed lean ground beef for the Italian sausage, used half an onion, used 8 oz package of mushrooms, used waaay less pepperoni (only half package / 3 oz), and probably used more cheese than the recipe called for. 

This makes a TON of food, so we’re either going to be eating it every day for a week or hoping it freezes well! 


Fa-hee-taz January 30, 2011

Filed under: Chicken — WannaBe Chef @ 7:52 pm

Happy Sunday, loves.  Just another low-key weekend around here.  We did manage to make our first couple “baby purchases” – the crib and glider!  After much research, we bit the bullet, and both items should be here within the next week or so.  We also signed up for “Birth and Parenting Classes” which should be quite interesting and helpful.  Other than that, it’s been a typical Friday-dinner-out, lazy-Saturday, Sunday-grocery-getting weekend.  For dinner tonight, I made chicken fajitas.  I’ll be honest – whenever I’ve made fajitas in the past, I just bought the powdered “fajita mix” and followed the instructions on the back.  However, when I saw this recipe on Annie’s Eats, I knew I had to try it. 

Stovetop Chicken Fajitas – Recipe from Annie’s Eats

I followed the recipe exactly, except I may have used a little less chicken than it called for, and subbed a container of sliced mushrooms for one of the red peppers.  The chicken on its own was very tender and flavorful, but once it was combined with the other stuff in the fajita, I thought the flavor got lost a little.  It was definitely delicious, but the flavor was just a little more subtle than I expected.  I would still highly recommend this recipe, and I’m sure I’ll make it again.


Stupid camera January 27, 2011

Filed under: Products — WannaBe Chef @ 11:31 am

I really hate technology.  Yesterday, my camera decides to say “card locked!” and not let me do anything.  And yes, the little tab on the memory card was in the “unlocked” position.  UGH!!  So after digging out the camera’s manual and finding the only advice to be “make sure the tab is in the unlocked position,” I just spent at least two hours on the photo program on my computer, Google, and various message boards trying to figure it out.  I was this close to “formatting” the card (a.k.a. erasing everything on the card) when I took out the battery and card for the hundredth time and gave it another good blow of air…. and bam, it works now.  After all that, I just needed to blow on it.  You’ve got to be kidding me, camera.

ANYWAY, just had to vent, and the good news is that I can now post more random food for you.  I was very excited to find some new-to-me flavors of Chobani… here’s the delicious mango variety, and yesterday, I also tried the black cherry flavor.   

This was one of my bachelorette dinners… Annie’s Organic mac and cheese with red peppers, tomatoes, salsa and Frank’s mixed in. 

That was all I had for dinner that night because I couldn’t (and still can’t) stop eating these freaking caramels.  I made the mistake of buying a bag because they were on clearance, and they are literally the best things everrrr.  Must… stop!!


Just stuff January 25, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — WannaBe Chef @ 10:16 am

Hello, friends.  Once again, I’m holding down the fort by myself since Wayne is on another work trip.  Therefore, all I have for you is a bunch of random things I found on my camera.  We’ll start with just a glimpse of my fruit obsession.  I’ve been eating clemetines, berries, grapes, and pears like it’s my job.  I actually had a dream about orange sherbet with raspberries, so I had to have some…

I’m also liking yogurt again.  This bowl was sooo good… vanilla Chobani greek yogurt with blackberries and honey.

Here’s a pretty omelet I made over the weekend.  I must say, it’s probably the best omelet I’ve ever made.  Inside was potatoes, broccoli, onions, cheese, and salsa. 

Last night’s dinner was very… thrown together.  One one foil-lined baking sheet, I threw on some marinated extra-firm tofu and sweet potatoes.  I seasoned them up and roasted them for awhile.  Random and delicious. 


Dinner Sammie January 19, 2011

Filed under: Sandwiches,Turkey — WannaBe Chef @ 7:19 pm

Good evening, loves.  I’ve got another dinner for you, yippee!  First I just wanted to share a little bit of what’s been going on with Baby WannaBe.  I’m feeling good, and my appetite has kinda been through the roof lately.  I think I’m actually showing now, and I have to say, it’s pretty strange.  I can definitely still hide it, and it’s not noticeable to strangers, but the bump is definitely there.  Eeek!  Plus, I’ve been feeling movements for the past two weeks now, which is also quite odd.  Anywho, just wanted to share!  Maybe I’ll share a picture sometime in the future 😉


Onto dinner.  I found this recipe in one of my Cooking Light magazines and decided to give it a go.  These subs weren’t anything spectacular, they were just OK.  If I were to make them again, I would increase the seasonings in the meatballs – especially the salt.  All I could taste was the paprika.  I also took the liberty of adding some Sriracha to the slaw mix, which helped immensely in the flavor department. 

Turkey Meatball Reuben Subs
Recipe from Cooking Light magazine, December 2010

For the meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground red pepper

For the slaw:

  • 1 1/3 cups packaged coleslaw
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat Thousand Island dressing
  • 1/2 tsp paprika


  • 4 sub or hoagie buns
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese


  1. Combine meatball ingredients in a bowl.  Shape into 16 meatballs.  Use a cookie scoop to make it go faster.  Place onto a baking sheet that’s been covered in foil, then sprayed with cooking spray.  Broil for 8-10 minutes, turning once.
  2. Hollow out bread and reserve for another use.  Combine coleslaw ingredients.  Arrange 4 meatballs and 1 cheese slice inside each bun.  Place back under the broiler until cheese is melted.  Divide the slaw among the sandwiches.  I also put some sliced pickles on, too! 

Stuffed January 18, 2011

Filed under: Chicken — WannaBe Chef @ 8:33 pm

I’ve got another stuffed vegetable dinner for you, but first, let me show you how lovely the weather is here in MN…

We're planning to go to the beach on Monday.

On to dinner…

Chicken and White Bean Stuffed Peppers
Inspired by this recipe

Of course, I didn’t really follow the recipe, but instead used it as a guideline and basic list of ingredients.  I only stuffed two whole peppers (a green one for Wayne and a red one for me because I don’t like the green ones), so obviously I reduced the amounts of everything.  I also used basil instead of parsley, and red onion instead of white because that’s what I had in the fridge.  These stuffed peppers turned out nice and tender and full of flavor.  They were especially tasty with some salsa rice on the side (brown rice + salsa).    


For Waynie January 17, 2011

Filed under: Asian-inspired,Soup — WannaBe Chef @ 11:07 am

Apparently Wayne goes to a certain Chinese place for lunch quite frequently with a coworker.  He has asked me more than a few times if I knew how to make hot and sour soup.  I had heard of it, but had never seen it or eaten it.  I thought he would just forget about it, but he was persistent.  He wanted some hot and sour soup!  So, I googled a recipe and bought my first ever can of bamboo shoots haha. 

It definitely has a random list of ingredients, but trust me, it works.  Maybe I’m the only one who’s never had this stuff at a restaurant, but I’m definitely a believer now.  It had the perfect balance of hot and sour, and I loved all the different textures between the chewy chicken, soft tofu, and crunchy green onions. 

Easy Hot and Sour Soup
Recipe from HERE


4 cups chicken stock or broth
3 Tbsp soy sauce (I recommend low-sodium soy sauce)
1/4 cup cooked shredded chicken or pork (I used more than a measley 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup mushrooms, diced
1/2 Tbsp garlic chili sauce (I used Sriracha – start with 1 tsp and add more to taste) 
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup canned bamboo shoots, julienned
3 oz block of tofu, cut into 1/4 inch dice (I used extra firm tofu and pressed the excess liquid out beforehand by cutting the block into slices and pressing it between a clean towel)
2 Tbsp cornstarch and 2 Tbsp cold water
1 egg, beaten
2 green onion stalks, diced (including tops)
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil


1. Bring chicken broth to a simmer in a 2-quart saucepan.

2. Add soy sauce, shredded meat, mushrooms and garlic red chili paste.

3. Simmer for five minutes.

4. Add white pepper, white vinegar, bamboo shoots, tofu.

5. Simmer for five minutes.

6. Combine two tablespoons of cornstarch with two tablespoons of cold water in a cup. Stir until mixture is smooth. Add cornstarch mixture to soup and stir well.

7. Simmer for five minutes until soup is thickened.

8. Beat egg in a cup until yolk and white are combined. Pour beaten egg slowly, in a fine stream into soup. Stir soup several times.

9. Wait 30 seconds.

10. Add green onions and sesame oil to soup. Stir well. Remove from heat.

11. Serve hot. 


Whatever floats your boat January 13, 2011

Filed under: Meatless,Potato,Vegetable — WannaBe Chef @ 8:11 pm

Today is my second day of being a bachelorette due to Wayne being on a business trip.  Dinners are ofter much more simple and usually veggie based when I’m by myself.  Last night’s dinner was no exception.  I wasn’t all that excited for it, but I should have known better since it was a Rachael Ray recipe, and she usually doesn’t disappoint.  These humble little zucchini boats might not seem like much, but they were perfectly tender and packed with flavor.  I only made two small zucchinis, but I wish I would have made the whole recipe. 

Cheesy Zucchini Boats
Recipe from Rachael Ray

I didn’t measure anything and used the recipe more as a guide.  I also didn’t cook the zucchini as long as the recipe said because my zucchinis were quite small.  Otherwise, I didn’t make any changes. 

At the last minute, I decided to cut up a potato that I baked the other day.  I cut it into french fry shapes, coated them in olive oil and seasonings, and baked them until golden.  WOWWWW, can you say best oven fries ever?  I will definitely be using pre-baked potatoes for fries from now on.  Don’t let the picture fool you… I ate the whole potato’s worth of fries.   

Luckily, I saved two of my zucchini boats for dinner tonight.  I decided to cut them into chunks and combine them with macaroni, fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, mozzarella “pearls” (found at Wal-mart of all places), and parm.  It turned out really well for being doctored-up leftovers… nice and warm and hearty 🙂 


Soup-zza January 12, 2011

Filed under: Soup — WannaBe Chef @ 11:08 am

Look, it’s another weird twist on pizza!  Perhaps I have a subconscious craving for the real thing and that’s why I keep making these pizza-esque dinners.  Anywho, you all know how much I love soup, and this one did not disappoint.  It wasn’t only delicious, but it was probably the quickest pot of soup I’ve ever whipped up. 

BBQ Chicken Pizza Soup
Recipe from Picky Palate

The only thing I did differently was use just one can of chicken because one can seemed like plenty to me, and it’s just the two of us, so I didn’t want to have a massive pot of soup leftover.  It was the perfect amount for Wayne to have a large bowl and for me to nibble on *cough* three smaller bowls.  Also, since most real pizzas have cheese on them, I added some cheddar on top of the soup.  I think black beans would be another good addition if you wanted a really hearty soup.  If you like BBQ chicken pizza, I recommend giving this pizza-in-a-bowl a try!


Meat-zzaaaa January 10, 2011

Filed under: Beef,Pizza — WannaBe Chef @ 9:37 pm

I’ve had this recipe saved for forever, but I’ve had a major aversion to beef since being pregnant, so it took me awhile to get the guts to make it.  I still wasn’t all that excited about it, but I was pleasantly surprised after I tasted it.  I mean, the idea of combining meatloaf and pizza is pretty smart, after all. 

Meatloaf Pizza
Recipe from HERE – I tweeked it a little


For the meatloaf “crust:”

  • 1 pound lean gound beef
  • 1/3 cup quick oats
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs (I used Panko)
  • 1 egg
  • salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic powder
  • a few Tbsp of pizza sauce

For the toppings, I used:

  • Pizza sauce
  • Fresh mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Green olives
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Green peppers
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • More italian seasoning


  1. Combine meatloaf ingredients in a bowl.  Line a pizza pan or baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.  Press the meat into a thin layer on top of the foil to make your “crust.”
  2. Spread meat “crust” with sauce and pizza toppings.
  3. Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes.

This was quite good, but next time I would up the seasonings in the meatloaf layer because it was a tad bland.  I served my “pizza” with garlic bread (gotta have some carbs!) and it turned out to be a tasty meal.  My one tip is to make sure you use the foil, or else you will have this cemented onto your pan!