WannaBe Chef

Recipes and randomness from Amanda's kitchen.

Polynesian Sausage Supper January 24, 2012

Filed under: Beef — WannaBe Chef @ 11:40 am

Hello, peeps!  I’ve got another quick and easy dinner for you.  I’m not sure why this dish is called what it’s called.  Personally, I would have called it “Sweet and Sour Sausage with Rice” because it’s pretty much identical to THIS Sweet and Sour Chicken.

Polynesian Sausage Supper

I used beef smoked sausage, red onion and red bell pepper.  I did find the whole thing to be a little too “liquidy.”  Next time, I would probably omit the beef broth and add some salt in its place OR use the beef broth and only half of the pineapple juice.


Italian Crescent Casserole January 19, 2012

Filed under: Beef — WannaBe Chef @ 11:38 am

This meal was really easy to make and tasted like a deep dish pizza.  I would have never thought to use crescent rolls like this, but it worked really well.  You could use all different types of filling.  I think it would be good with maybe a chicken pot pie filling, shredded BBQ chicken with cheddar, buffalo chicken with Philly Cooking Creme, or roasted veggies with cheese.

Italian Crescent Casserole

I used lean ground beef, spicy tomato and basil spaghetti sauce, and reduced fat crescents.  I also spiced it up with garlic powder and parmesan cheese.



I got nothin’ December 9, 2011

Filed under: Beef,Sandwiches — WannaBe Chef @ 10:47 am

I am running on about 4 hours of interrupted sleep, thanks to my beautiful, almost-7-month old daughter who still doesn’t sleep.  I can sleep when I’m dead, right??  Well, I just wanted to share one of our dinners with you while she’s taking one of her infamous 20 minute “naps.”  We’re still on Wayne’s menu for the week.  When he came home with these frozen, sliced steaks in a box, I was less than excited.  I was thinking, mmmm, processed, salty, mystery meat sandwiches!  Can’t wait!

But I was pleasantly surprised when I turned the box over.  Ingredients?  Beef.  Sodium?  25 mg.  Kinda high in fat, but it’s steak, what do you expect?

So I sauteed some onions and cooked the steak slices with some Worchestershire, steak seasoning, salt and pepper.  Then I toasted some sub buns under the broiler, piled them high with the steak/onions and some swiss cheese, and returned them to the broiler until nice and bubbly.  Omg, these sandwiches were SO good.  (I promise the sandwich wasn’t as monsterous in real life as it looks here!)


Not even a recipe… October 21, 2011

Filed under: Beef — WannaBe Chef @ 9:49 am

I kinda can’t believe I’m posting this, but yes, this was our dinner last night….

Hot Dog Crescents


  • 1 can reduced-fat crescent rolls
  • 4 bun-size beef hot dogs, halved
  • 4 slices American cheese, halved (optional) I actually liked them better without cheese.


  1. Open the crescent rolls and lay flat.  Place cheese slice and hot dog on top and roll up from large end to small.
  2. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet that’s been sprayed with cooking spray.
  3. Bake at 350 for a few minutes until crescents are golden brown.
  4. Serve with ketchup and mustard.

Behind May 11, 2011

Filed under: Beef,Crockpot,Mexican-inspired,Soup — WannaBe Chef @ 1:33 pm

Yeah, so I haven’t blogged in a minute or so.  I do have a few meals saved up on the camera, so I will share 😉

Another Mexican-Inspired Soup
Very loosely based on THIS RECIPE from Picky Palate

In a soup pot, saute:

  • 1 large chicken breast, diced small
  • about 6 slices lean turkey bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • spoonful of fresh minced garlic

Stir in: 

  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 15 oz. can plain diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz. can Tex-Mex Fire-Roasted tomatoes (or something similar)
  • 1 15 oz. can Mexi-corn
  • about 1/2 cup water or enough to make it more “soupy”

Let simmer for a little bit, covered.  Top with cheese, sour cream, cilantro, crushed tortilla chips or other desired toppings.

Now we move onto boring old spaghetti.  However, I decided to jazz it up with some cheese-stuffed meatballs.  Basically, I took 1 pound lean ground beef, seasoned it up with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and some bread crumbs.  Then I took 2 string cheese sticks and cut them each into 8 pieces, so I had a total of 16 cheese “nuggets.”  Then I made 16 meatballs and wrapped the meat around the cheese nuggets.  I baked them at 350 for about 20 minutes, and voila!  Cheese-stuffed meatballs. 

Crockpot Chicken with Black Beans in Cream Cheese Sauce
Recipe HERE, from CopyKat Recipes

I followed the recipe exactly.  It really does not look pretty at all once you add the cream cheese, but I promise it tastes great.  We had ours over brown rice, but I also discovered that if you shred the chicken, it makes a really good dip for tortilla chips!


No lilies allowed April 30, 2011

Filed under: Beef,Chicken,Mexican-inspired — WannaBe Chef @ 6:34 pm

Hi, kids.  It’s been an eventful past couple days.  No, I didn’t go into labor or anything haha.  Remember my anniversary flowers?  Well, in case you didn’t notice, they contained stargazer lilies which happen to be toxic to cats.  We kept the flowers waaaay up high anytime we weren’t downstairs so Ziggy wouldn’t get into them.  Apparently, they started dying and a couple petals fell off onto the floor.  I’m sure you can see where this story is going.  We noticed Zig’s chin and chest were bright yellow and figured out that he ate some of the fuzzy stamen thingys and and an unknown amount of the petals.  After googling, totally freaking out, and calling the emergency animal clinic…. we had to take him in.  He was acting just fine, but the consequences were just something we couldn’t risk…. can you say kidney failure and death within just a couple days???  Uuugh, so after an overnight at the emergency clinic, a full day at the regular vet, and way too much money to even mention, he’s back home and seems to be just fine.  Not a fun experience for a hormonal pregnant woman who happens to consider her cat her first child. 


Anyway, I do have some easy dinners to share.  I planned a lot of last week’s meals around the fact that I wanted to get our freezer stash started.  Both of these meals were easy, versatile, delicious, and freezer-worthy. 

Taco Cornbread Bake
Adapted from recipe >>>HERE<<<

**Makes two 8×8″ pans 


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 packets taco seasoning (you could probably get away with just one)
  • 1/2 large jar salsa
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese (however much you want!)
  • 2 boxes Jiffy cornbread muffin mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk (you will need 2/3 cup according to muffin directions, but I always add a little more so it doesn’t dry out)


  • In a large skillet, saute the beef until cooked through.  Add about 1/2 cup water, the taco seasoning, beans, corn, and salsa.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. 
  • While meat mixture is simmering, make the cornbread according to the box directions for muffins.
  • Spray an 8×8″ baking dish with cooking spray.  If making two batches, line another 8×8″ baking dish with foil, and spray the foil with cooking spray. 
  • Pour half the meat mixture into each dish.  Top with cheese, then carefully spread half the cornbread batter over each dish.
  • Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes until cornbread is browned and set. 
  • I baked the one for the freezer (the one in foil) for just 10 minutes.  Then I let it cool to room temp and placed the whole pan in the freezer until frozen solid.  Next, I took the frozen “block” out of the dish, wrapped in another layer of foil, and placed in a freezer bag.  When I want to bake it, I can just plop it back into the same baking dish, let it thaw, and bake. 


 Chicken and Rice Burritoes

**Makes 7-8 large burritoes


  • 3 chicken breasts, thawed
  • Jarred jalapenos, 1 chicken boullion cube, garlic salt for poaching liquid (or you could cook the chicken however you wanted)
  • 1 1/2 cups instant brown rice
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 large jar salsa
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 7-8 large whole wheat, low-carb tortillas


  1. Place chicken in a high-sided skillet and cover with water.  Add desired seasonings.  I used jalapenos, some of the jalapeno juice, a chicken boullion cube, and garlic salt.  Cover the pan and boil the chicken until cooked through.  Remove to a cutting board and shred or chop chicken into bite size pieces.  Discard the poaching liquid. 
  2. While the chicken is cooking, make the rice according to the package directions.
  3. Dump the chopped chicken and rice back into the large skillet.  Stir in the salsa and cilantro.  Feel free to add anything else that sounds good – corn, beans, jalapenos, whatever. 
  4. Let the chicken and rice mixture heat through.  Assemble burritoes with chicken/rice mixture and cheese.  Add sour cream or other desired toppings. 
  5. If freezing the leftovers – let the chicken/rice mixture cool.  Assemble burritoes, roll, and wrap in plastic wrap then a layer of foil.  Place burritoes in a freezer bag and shove in freezer for later.  When ready to eat, wrap in paper towel and pop in the microwave.

Simple Stroganoff April 22, 2011

Filed under: Beef,Pasta — WannaBe Chef @ 9:47 am

Happy Friday!  Wayne requested beef stroganoff this week, which is one of his typical requests.  It just so happened that I had this easy recipe saved in my stash, so I decided to give it a try.  It was sooo easy to make, and using hamburger instead of steak saved a lot of time (and money!).  We both loved it. 

Simple Hamburger Stroganoff
Slightly adapted from this recipe


  • 8-10 ounces medium-wide egg noodles (a little over half of the bag)
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 package fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 1 packet dry brown gravy mix
  • 1 pkg (8 oz) light cream cheese
  • 1 cup (8 oz) light sour cream
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup skim milk


  1. Cook the noodles according to package directions, drain and set aside.
  2. Cook the hamburger and mushrooms together in a large skillet until meat is done and liquid has mostly evaporated.
  3. Stir in the cream cheese and gravy mix.  Work in the cream cheese until fully incorporated – it will take a minute or so.
  4. Stir in the sour cream, mushroom soup, and milk.  Mix to combine and bring temp back up to a simmer.
  5. Add the pasta and stir to combine.