WannaBe Chef

Recipes and randomness from Amanda's kitchen.

Time for some thyme November 8, 2011

Filed under: Chicken,Potato,Side dish,Vegetable — WannaBe Chef @ 9:28 am

Sunday was the end of Daylight Savings time, so I thought it would be appropriate to make Lemon Thyme Chicken…. hardy har har.  Or maybe I just had some leftover thyme I wanted to use, and I found a recipe.  I’m really liking fresh thyme.  It’s so flavorful, and the smell of it reminds me of Thanksgiving and cozy comfort food.  I also made two yummy side dishes: hashbrown casserole and roasted asparagus.  It was a pretty darn good Sunday dinner, if I do say so myself!

Lemon Thyme Chicken

I only made two chicken breasts, not four, but I did make the entire amount of sauce.  I just like having lots of sauce 🙂  There was a lot leftover, so cut the whole recipe in half if you desire.  However, I think if you served this with mashed potatoes or noodles, you’d want the extra sauce.  A couple adjustments I made: used ~2 tsp fresh thyme instead of dried, used about 1/2 an onion instead of a whole one.  

Hashbrown Casserole

I’ve made this before, but I’m not sure if I’ve ever blogged it.  Everyone seems to have their own version of this cheesy hashbrown dish, and you can’t really mess it up.  I used this recipe as a guideline.  I only made half of the recipe, and it’s enough for a 9×9″ pan.  I omit the corn flakes, use finely chopped fresh onion instead of dried, add some garlic powder, and probably use more cheese than the recipe calls for (I don’t measure it). 

Roasted Asparagus

  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, spray the foil with cooking spray
  • Trim bottom portion off a bunch of asparagus, rinse under cold water, shake excess water off
  • Line up asparagus on baking sheet
  • Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder
  • Bake at 375-400 until tender and slightly browned/crispy

Easter Treats April 25, 2011

Filed under: Potato,Side dish,Sweets — WannaBe Chef @ 10:02 am

Happy day-after-Easter, friends!  It’s hard to believe this was our second Easter here in MN.  Hopefully we will be back in MI by next Easter.  Anywho, the weather finally decided to cooperate, and it was really nice yesterday.  After a relaxed day of cleaning, Skyping with the family, and having an iced (decaf!) coffee from the only place that was open, I made a nice Easter dinner for two. 

The menu included:

  • Smoked, glazed ham for Wayne (Glaze = my mom’s recipe: brown sugar, mustard, and pineapple juice)
  • Glazed chicken breast w/pineapple for me
  • Cheesy hashbrown casserole  (I halved the recipe, used more cheese, and omitted the cereal topping.)
  • Green beans
  • Deviled eggs
  • Raspberry swirl cheesecake  (I doubled the crust and used raspberry yogurt and jam instead of strawberry.)

Those are my anniversary flowers! 🙂


Skins March 2, 2011

Filed under: Potato — WannaBe Chef @ 2:25 pm

Good afternoon, friends.  This is gonna be short and sweet.  Last night, I made a really yummy dinner… potato skins!  They were heavenly. 

Potato Skins


  • Small potatoes
  • Broccoli, chopped small
  • Turkey bacon, chopped small
  • Onions, chopped small
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder
  • Olive oil


  1. Wash the potatoes and poke them a few times with a knife.  Place on a foil-lined baking sheet, then cover with foil to make a packet.  Bake at 350 for 45 min – 1 hour depending on size of potatoes.
  2. Cut hot potatoes in half, lengthwise, and let cool long enough to handle.
  3. Carefully scoop out potato “insides” and set aside for another day.  I used a metal teaspoon and scooped them out like you would a melon with a melon-baller.  Does that make sense?  haha
  4. Drizzle potato skins with olive oil and seasonings, place back in oven to crisp up a little.  I turned up the heat to 375 at this point.
  5. Meanwhile, saute bacon, onions, broccoli and seasonings until crispy.
  6. Spoon bacon mixture into skins.  Top with cheeses.  Place back in oven or under broiler until cheese is melted and browned.  Serve with special dipping sauce 😉

Special Sauce

Combine sour cream, salsa, and Frank’s hot sauce.  DEEEE-LICIOUS!


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 🙂 


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.


Snooze October 14, 2010

Filed under: Beverage,Meatless,Potato — WannaBe Chef @ 6:34 pm

Hi friends.  I’m a little grouchy today, mostly because of the morons that “work” at the post office.  I just want my package, ok?!  Is it too much to ask for the carrier to put it in the right mailbox?!  Ugh.  Sorry, just had to get that out.  It’s been pretty boring around here, but Wayne is coming back tomorrow at least.  Dinner last night was anything but blogworthy – it was a massive pancake with walnuts, mini chocolate chips, peanut butter and syrup.  Is your mouth watering now?  So, my son has been especially leechy lately…

I also wanted to share this yummy drink I made the other night.  Into the blender, I dumped some pineapple juice, a couple spoonfuls of coconut milk, a little bit of shredded coconut, a pinch of sugar, and a handful of ice.

Tonight’s dinner was less than exciting, but it tasted so good.  A baked sweet potato topped with black beans, cumin, salt, pepper, fresh salsa and sour cream.


Soup repeat September 28, 2010

Filed under: Potato,Soup — WannaBe Chef @ 7:05 pm

Hello all!  We’re officially back in MN now, and of course I had to make a big shopping trip for groceries today.  I’ve been craving soup ever since Fall showed her face, so I decided to make one of my favorites tonight.  It was almost one year ago to the day when I first made this delicious potato soup.

You can go to my old blog post for the recipe.  It was just as good as I remembered, and the leftover cheesy bread from last night made a nice addition 🙂