Families With Grace

Helping Christian moms create homes filled with grace, love & faith

Party potatoes recipe

An easy cheesy hash brown casserole recipe your family will love!

Affiliate links are used in this post; if you make a qualifying purchase via my link, I receive a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products and services I use and love. It helps support my blog, so thank you for your support! Read my full disclosure here.

I love potatoes. I can’t think of a way to prepare a potato that I wouldn’t eat from fried to boiled to mashed to baked! But this party potatoes recipe is hands-down my most favorite potato recipe of all time. While this recipe is almost the same as the one my mom has made for years, it has a couple of slight differences to make it even creamier and oh-so-delicious!

Another bonus of this party potatoes recipe is it uses frozen hashbrowns, just like my slow cooker potato soup. You get to enjoy the potato-y goodness without having to scrub, peel or cut potatoes. And that makes this recipe even easier to come together. You basically mix together the ingredients and then bake them. Easy-peasy!

I will eat these potatoes fresh from the oven and reheat them for leftovers. I’d guess that you could freeze and reheat them later, but they never make it that long around my house.

When it comes to a cheesy hashbrown casserole like these party potatoes are, I think there’s never a wrong time to make them. I’ve made them for Thanksgiving and for cookouts. In my opinion, they go with just about anything and everything! (I told you I love them!)

Let’s get this party potatoes recipe started!

Like any oven recipe, start with preheating your oven to 350-degrees (F). Next, find the biggest bowl you have. I use a giant glass bowl I got at IKEA a few years ago, but any extra-large bowl will work. Pour in the whole 30-ounce bag of frozen shredded hash brown potatoes.

Plop two cans of either cream of potato or cream of chicken soup on top of the hash browns. I have made it with both types of soup and love it both ways. It really is up to you on that one. Maybe go with whatever you have on hand, is easiest to find or is cheapest. Either kind of soup works well in this party potatoes recipe.

Next, add in 2 cups of sour cream. I just plop it right on top of the hash browns and soup. (One of my favorite kitchen tools to make mealtime prep easier is this kind of measuring cup with a push-up bottom. It makes measuring out ingredients like sour cream so much easier!)

While other party potatoes recipes put the shredded cheese on top, this one mixes some right in with the hash browns for cheesy-ness all throughout. Add in 1-3/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.

And then, finally, add in 1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese. Shredded Parmesan cheese might work, but the grated works best for giving it more cheesiness flavor but without getting stringy. Combine all of the ingredients together in the bowl.

Get ready to bake!

Once the hash browns, soup, sour cream and cheeses are well combined, pour the mixture into a 3-quart baking dish that has been coated with non-stick cooking spray. Pat the mixture with a spoon so that it is even throughout the pan.

Sprinkle the hash brown potato mixture with 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese — or whatever amount looks good to you. Honestly, I don’t measure out this part. I just keep sprinkling cheddar cheese until it’s well-coated, but I am totally a cheese lover!

Bake the party potatoes in your preheated 350-degree oven for 40-45 minutes until the cheese is melted. If you want, turn your broiler on low for 2 minutes to get the top slightly browned and bubbly. And then enjoy the delectable cheesy goodness!

Party Potatoes Recipe

With just a couple of easy steps, this cheesy party potatoes recipe is great for a side dish any time and ideal for carry-in dinners!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 1 30-oz. package frozen, shredded hash brown potatoes
  • 2 10-3/4 oz. cans condensed cream of potato or cream of chicken soup, undiluted
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 350-degrees (F) and spray a 3-quart baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set it aside.
  • In a very large bowl, combine the hash brown potatoes, soup, sour cream, 1-3/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese and grated Parmesan. Mix well.
  • Pat the hash brown mixture evenly into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining shredded cheddar cheese (or however much your family would like!).
  • Bake, uncovered, for 40 to 45 minutes until the cheese is completely melted and bubbly. If desired, turn your broiler on low for 2 minutes to get the top even more browned.
  • Let it stand a few minutes before serving. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.
Keyword carry-in, cheesy potatoes, Christmas, cookout, hashbrown casserole, pitch-in, potato casserole, Thanksgiving

Biscuit muffin recipe

An easy biscuit recipe with only 3 ingredients!

Affiliate links are used in this post; if you make a qualifying purchase via my link, I receive a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products and services I use and love. It helps support my blog, so thank you for your support! Read my full disclosure here.

Considering I’ve shared recipes for pumpkin bread, protein-packed banana bread, bacon ranch cheese bread and the perfect yeast rolls, it’s pretty obvious I love bread. So when my daughter came home from spending time with my in-laws raving about a new biscuit muffin recipe, I knew I would be on board!

I had trouble believing that three ingredients could turn into biscuits, but they did. Even better is they are ingredients we have at home. And since they take about 20 minutes from start to finish, they are great for weeknight dinners. This biscuit muffin recipe is definitely entering into our recipe rotation!

Making the dough

This recipe calls for self-rising flour. If you usually like all-purpose flour like I do, you can easily make it self-rising by adding 1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt for each cup of flour. My daughter made it with self-rising flour with her Nana. With me she made it with all-purpose that we turned into self-rising. The biscuits turned out well both times. If you have all-purpose flour only, then your recipe will change to 5 ingredients with the salt and baking powder. But still not so bad, right?!

Get your oven preheating to 375-degrees, and then start by putting 2 cups of self-rising (or “doctored” all-purpose) flour into a large mixing bowl.

Next, pour in 1 cup of milk.

Finally, add 3 heaping tablespoons of mayonnaise. My daughter made these quite “heaping” when we made them. So good!

And then you want to make sure you stir the dough ingredients for this biscuit muffin recipe well together to combine them. Depending on the humidity or lack thereof, your dough may seem a bit dry. You can add up 1/4 cup additional milk if needed. You want the dough to be thick and a bit sticky, like this:

Baking the biscuit muffins

You’re ready to bake! Distribute your biscuit dough evenly into a muffin pan. Although my Rachael Ray muffin pan is non-stick, I still do a light spritz of non-stick cooking spray into the pan before adding the dough. We filled our muffin cups about 3/4 full, but they probably ought to be 2/3 full. I think this biscuit muffin recipe could certainly make 12 biscuit muffins; however, we ended up with only nine.

Bake the biscuit muffins at 375-degrees for 14 to 16 minutes until they are starting to get golden around the edges. They will still be pretty white like biscuits rather than golden like yeast rolls.

If you want, melt about 3 tablespoons of butter just before removing the biscuit muffins from the oven and brush butter over the tops. So delicious!

You can serve them however you’d like. Use them as a side along your meal.

Or make them into their own entree. The night we made them, I turned a couple into breakfast sandwiches for myself. One had precooked bacon with grape jelly and the other had a scrambled egg made in the microwave.

Serve them up warm or at room temperature. Put leftovers into a zip-top bag and store for up to 3 to 5 days.

Biscuit muffins

With just three ingredients, this biscuit muffin recipe is such an easy biscuit recipe you'll make it regularly!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Course Bread, Side Dish
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups self-rising flour (Or add 3 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt to all-purpose flour)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons butter optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 375-degrees.
  • Place the flour in a large mixing bowl.
  • Pour in 1 cup of milk and then add 3 heaping tablespoons of mayonnaise.
  • Whisk together well. If the mixture is too dry, add up to 1/4 cup of additional milk until the dough is thick and sticky.
  • Distribute the dough into a muffin pan that has been coated with non-stick cooking spray. Fill the cups 2/3 full to get 12 biscuit muffins or 3/4 full to get 9 biscuit muffins.
  • Bake at 375-degree for 14 to 16 minutes until the edges are just slightly browned. Because they are biscuits, they will be more white than golden like yeast rolls.
  • If desired, melt 3 tablespoons of butter and immediately spread over the biscuits. Serve them warm or at room temperature.
Keyword 3 ingredients, biscuit muffins, biscuits, bread, easy recipe, weeknight biscuit

Sugar cream squares recipe

A 5-ingredient, family-favorite sugar cream squares recipe

As a lifelong Hoosier, I’m quite familiar with sugar cream pie. It’s certainly popular here. But I don’t enjoy many pies and, honestly, I don’t really like sugar cream pie. (I know. My Hoosier “card” may be revoked for saying so!) However, growing up, my aunt often made this sugar cream squares recipe. And those I love.

When we went to St. Louis last year, I was excited to try its gooey cake. When I did, I found that it tasted a lot like this sugar cream squares recipe, but it wasn’t quite the same. Ever since then, I’ve had a hankering for these delectable squares, so I had to pull out the old family recipe and make some for us.

I’ve eaten this recipe many times, but I hadn’t yet made it myself. I was surprised to find it only takes five ingredients and is so incredibly easy. Sometimes when we have something nostalgic, it almost takes away the magic of it when we make it ourselves (or maybe that’s just me!). But this was just as good. It tastes like childhood in a creamy, sugary, sweet way. My family devoured it.

One other item of note is that this recipe uses cream cheese. I’m a longtime proponent of not using cream cheese in most dessert recipes. I feel like it almost always belongs solely in the savory foods category. But, I’m totally on board with it in this sugar cream squares recipe. Probably mixing in all the powdered sugar helps!

Affiliate links are used in this post; if you make a qualifying purchase via my link, I receive a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.

The first layer

First, get your oven preheating to 350-degrees and then start with making the crust or bottom layer. Melt one stick of butter or margarine. I do this in the microwave, usually at about 60 or 70% power. Then stir in 1 yellow cake mix and one egg. It will come together as a thick mixture/dough like this:

Next, put your crust mixture in the bottom of a 9×12 cake pan. My Rachael Ray cake pan is great for not sticking, but if you’re unsure, spray yours with a bit of non-stick cooking spray.

Spread the mixture as evenly as possible over the bottom of the pan to form the crust in this sugar cream squares recipe.

Set the pan aside and make the second layer next.

The second layer

Next up in this sugar cream squares recipe is the second or top layer. Soften your cream cheese if it isn’t already, and place it in a large mixing bowl. I made the top layer in my stand mixer to save my arm some work, but you could definitely do this by hand as well. Add 3-1/2 cups of powdered sugar to the bowl with the softened cream cheese.

Stir or beat them together well until they are combined.

Once they are combined well, add in two eggs and keep mixing until the eggs are totally incorporated. The mixture will should have the consistency of cake batter or a runny pudding.

Pour the cream cheese mixture over the top of the crust layer and spread it evenly in your pan.

Time to bake

Put the sugar cream squares into your preheated oven at 350-degrees and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until it’s golden brown. I baked mine for 38 minutes and until it looked like this:

Let the sugar cream squares cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before cutting them. The great thing about this sugar cream squares recipe is that they are delicious warm and delicious at room temperature. Either way, I know your family will love them as much as mine does!

(Keep scrolling past the printed recipe to find a video of the recipe!)

Sugar cream squares

With only five ingredients, this sugar cream squares recipe is as easy to make as it is delicious to eat. It'll become a family favorite!
Prep Time 3 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 1 stick butter (or margarine) melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 15.25-oz. yellow cake mix
  • 8 oz. cream cheese softened
  • 3-1/2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 350-degrees.
  • Melt the butter and mix it with the yellow cake mix and one egg. The mixture will be thick.
  • Spread the mixture evenly in the bottom of a 9×12 cake pan. If the pan is not non-stick, then apply some non-stick cooking spray to the bottom of the pan first.
  • In a large mixing bowl, soften the cream cheese. Add 3-1/2 cups of powdered sugar and mix it thoroughly by hand or with a mixer.
  • Add two eggs into the cream cheese mixture and continue mixing until it is well combined.
  • Pour the cream cheese mixture over the top of the cake mixture already in the pan. Spread it evenly over the top.
  • Bake at 350-degrees for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown on top. Cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting. Serve either warm or at room temperature.
Keyword 5 ingredient dessert, easy dessert, family recipe, Hoosier pie, sugar cream, sugar cream pie, sugar cream squares

Slow cooker potato chili recipe

A simple summer dinner idea!

Affiliate links are used in this post; if you make a qualifying purchase via my link, I receive a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products and services I use and love. It helps support my blog, so thank you for your support! Read my full disclosure here.

I’ve got another simple summer dinner idea for you this week: slow cooker potato chili. It’s an easy recipe that has you using your stove before the day gets hot. Your slow cooker does the rest of the work.

I love making food in my slow cooker because I can do it early in the day and then basically forget about it. The last time I made this potato chili, for example, we had a play date at the park and came home hungry right at dinner time. It was perfect to come into our house with dinner ready for us. And this slow cooker potato chili recipe is a nice mix of meat and potatoes with just a hint of spice that is delish on a hot summer day (or a cold winter day!). Honestly, it’s a year-round weeknight family dinner you’ll love!

Prepping the ingredients

Start with getting your ground beef cooking. For us, I used 1/2 pound of ground beef. You can use up to 1-1/2 pounds if your family loves meat or you’re feeding a lot of people. My family isn’t big on eating meat, so using 1/2-pound to serve the four of us this potato chili was perfect. You want to crumble, brown and then drain your ground beef. (You could also use ground turkey or ground pork for this. I actually tossed in a small amount of mild Italian sausage with my ground beef that I had left from another recipe.)

Cooking the meat is the only active cooking you’ll do for this potato chili recipe. If you have cooked and crumbled ground beef in your freezer (like I often do), then you don’t even have to do this step!

While the meat is cooking, you want to prep your salsa and your potatoes. I use mild salsa for my family because the majority of us are not into spicy food, but you could certainly use medium or even hot salsa if you family likes spicy. A quirk of some of my family members is also that they don’t like things chunky. So when we have salsa at home for any reason, I puree it in my food processor. Using it in this recipe, I do the same thing, but you can totally skip this step if you don’t mind some chunks in your potato chili.

For the potatoes, you want to dice them up. I cut them relatively small, but they could have been even a bit smaller. You can use Yukon gold potatoes, but I love these petite gold potatoes. Even better, they come pre-washed, so all I have to do is cut them! In a pinch, you could also use southern-styled frozen hash browns just like in this easy slow cooker potato soup.

Putting it together in the slow cooker

The very first thing I do before making anything in my slow cooker is to line the slow cooker. It makes clean-up a million times easier! Making this potato chili recipe is no different.

If you don’t use slow cooker liners, give your slow cooker a bit of a light covering of non-stick cooking spray. Then pile all of your ingredients, except the cheese and sour cream, into the slow cooker. I add meat first.

Then add in the 1.5 pounds of potatoes.

Next, pour in 16 ounces of salsa (pureed or not).

After that, add in 1 can of condense cream of potato soup.

Finally, add 1 tablespoon of chili seasoning.

Give everything a good stir so it’s combined, put the lid on your slow cooker and set the temperature to low.

Cooking and serving the potato chili

Let your potato chili hang out on low in your slow cooker for about 8 hours until the potatoes are tender. I stir it every couple of hours because I work from home and can do so. Here is what it looks like about halfway through the day:

Finally, when it is all finished, it looks like this:

Spoon the potato chili out into bowls and serve it warm. It’s so yummy! My daughter and I like to add black beans to ours. So I open a can of them, strain them and then we add them in to our individual bowls. (The potato chili is so hot, that we don’t even need to heat the beans.) You can use any beans your family likes. If you want to add them into the slow cooker to cook all day, that also works. It just isn’t an option for my family.

We have also added frozen corn in with the potato chili and love the flavor it brings. You can put the frozen corn into the slow cooker from the beginning or steam it in the microwave and then add it in to individual bowls. So good!

And then my own philosophy is that cheese and sour cream make any chili better. That’s true for this potato chili as well, so I top mine with shredded cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

My family likes to eat this potato chili with corn chips that we can scoop the chili with, but you can also try it with tortilla chips or crackers if you prefer. Either way, it’s a hearty, filling dinner that won’t heat up your kitchen on hot summer evenings!

Slow cooker potato chili

An easy slow cooker potato chili perfect for weeknight family dinners
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 pound ground beef, pork or turkey can use up to 1/1-2 pound depending on your family's preferences or to feed more
  • 1-1/2 pound gold potatoes, cubed
  • 1 16 oz. jar salsa
  • 1 10.5 oz. can condensed cream of potato soup
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 15.25-oz. can black beans optional
  • 1 12-oz. bag frozen corn optional
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese optional
  • 1/2 cup sour cream optional

Instructions
 

  • Cook ground meat in a large skillet until browned and crumbly. Drain the meat and put it into a 5- to 7-quart slow cooker that is lined with a slow cooker liner or lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  • If desired, puree the salsa in a food processor to avoid chunks. If not, move on to the next step.
  • Add the diced potatoes, salsa, cream of potato soup and chili powder. If desired, add 1 15.25-oz can of strained black beans and/or 1 12-oz. bag of frozen corn. (You can also add the black beans and corn to individual bowls after the potato chili cooks. The beans can go in at room temperature, but heat the frozen corn before adding it.
  • Cook in the slow cooker on low temperature for 8 hours, until the potatoes are tender.
  • Serve with optional shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream on top.
Keyword chili, crock pot, ground beef, ground beef recipe, meat and potatoes, potato chili, slow cooker

Check out these other simple summer dinner ideas:

Easy baked sopapillas using flour tortillas

A simple summer dinner dessert idea!

Continuing on with the simple summer dinner ideas, I must include a simple summer dessert idea: easy baked sopapillas! I have a sweet tooth all year long. But I don’t want to spend forever in the kitchen or hours with my oven on during hot weather. I love desserts that are easy and delicious — perfect for hot summer days.

One of my favorite summer desserts is this whipped pudding pie recipe my family loves. But lately we’ve also been loving these easy baked sopapillas using flour tortillas. My daughter, actually, is the person who usually makes them for us. They are a perfect ending to a summer meal, especially something Mexican like this stuffed peppers skillet recipe.

Another bonus to these baked sopapillas is that they use ingredients I always have on hand, so I don’t have to plan ahead for them. Win-win!

Getting started

Preheat your oven to 400-degrees. Line two baking sheets with non-stick aluminum foil or parchment paper. This makes for easier clean-up. If you don’t have either, then be sure to spray the baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray or grease it with butter.

Next, melt 3 tablespoons of butter. I usually do this in a small bowl in the microwave.

Place four flour tortillas on your prepared baking sheets. I use taco-sized flour tortillas for these baked sopapillas and can usually fit two per baking sheet.

Brush each tortilla with melted butter to cover the top well.

Sprinkle each with about 1 tablespoon of cinnamon sugar. I usually have premade cinnamon sugar to make life easier around here because we like it on so many things. But it’s super easy to make yourself if you don’t have it. Just mix 1/2 cup sugar with 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon.

Baking the sopapillas

Put the baking sheets in the preheated oven and bake for about 8 minutes until golden brown and crispy. If you are using two baking sheets, switch them on the racks about halfway through for even more even baking. The baked sopapillas may bubble up a bit, which is completely fine!

Serve the baked sopapillas warm. Top them with whipped cream, cherries, chocolate syrup, vanilla ice cream and/or honey if desired. Usually we keep it simple with whipped cream and cherries. My son, however, loves them most just plain. No matter how you serve them up, these baked sopapillas are delicious!

Easy baked sopapillas using flour tortillas

Stacey A. Shannon
A super easy cinnamon tortilla dessert
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 4 flour tortillas taco size
  • 3 tablespoons butter melted
  • 4 tablespoons cinnamon sugar (or mix 1/2 cup sugar with 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon)
  • whipped cream optional
  • cherries optional
  • chocolate sauce optional
  • honey optional
  • vanilla ice cream optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400-degrees.
  • Place 4 tortillas on a baking sheet(s) lined with non-stick aluminum foil or parchment paper. (Or at least sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.)
  • Brush each tortilla with butter.
  • Sprinkle the tortillas with the cinnamon sugar, about 1 tablespoon per tortilla. If needed, use your clean fingers or a spoon to make sure the cinnamon sugar is spread over the tortilla.
  • Put the tortillas in the oven for 8 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
  • Serve topped with whipped cream, cherries, chocolate sauce, vanilla ice cream and/or honey, if desired. Enjoy!
Keyword baked sopapillas, dessert, easy dessert, sopapillas, sopapillas with flour tortillas, weeknight dessert

Check out these other simple summer dinner ideas:

Hot ham and cheese subs with honey mustard

A simple summer dinner idea

I love summer dinner ideas that are pretty healthy while also being quick and easy. So I’m running a series for a few simpler summer dinner ideas over the next few Tasty Tuesdays. I’d love to hear from you and any suggestions you have for what you make for your family during the hot days of summer!

As we’re continuing our simple summer dinner ideas, I had to share this hot ham and cheese sub recipe. It does use the oven, which isn’t ideal for the hottest summer days, but it doesn’t need the oven long. Best of all, this simple summer dinner idea is quick and easy, which is perfect for busy (or lazy) summer days! It’s so simple, I often make one or two for lunches!

These hot ham and cheese subs with honey mustard are a lot like the pizza subs I make for my family. In fact, some of my family members who are more particular eaters don’t eat ham, so I usually make them pepperoni pizza subs whenever I made these hot ham and cheese subs. It’s easy enough to customize them for whatever your family likes most.

Getting started

Start off with preheating your oven to 400-degrees (F). Prep your baking sheet for your subs. I am a huge fan of non-stick aluminum foil to make for easy clean-up. Parchment paper also works as does spraying your baking sheet with a bit of non-stick cooking spray. Then, Split your sub buns in half.

Put the open, plain sub buns into your preheated oven for three to five minutes. You want them to start to toast a bit but not get brown. Basically, you’re firming them up. They should look like this:

Putting the sandwiches together

Once your sub buns are ever so lightly toasted, you’re ready to start building your sandwiches. First, spread mayonnaise on both sides of the bun. I squeeze mine on, but I think it’s about 1 teaspoon per side.

Next, put the honey mustard right on top of the mayonnaise. Again, I estimate about 1 teaspoon per side, but I kind of just dollop it on out of the bottle. It looks like this:

Then you want to smear together the mayo and honey mustard. The two sauces mixed together are what take these hot ham and cheese subs up a notch!

Next up is stacking on the ham. Put 3 to 5 slices of deli honey ham on each side of the bun. The amount of ham you use really depends on how thick your ham is sliced and your own preferences.

Then you’ve got to add on cheese. I love Swiss cheese with ham, but cheddar or American also work. To be easier, I use slices, but shredded cheese would also work. And I split one slice per sub, so each half gets a half slice of cheese. But you can do it as you prefer.

Baking time

That’s all the prep needed. Your hot ham and cheese subs are ready to go into the oven. Bake them at 400-degrees (F) for 10 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and some of the edges of the ham are crispy. (If you are really in a hurry, bake them for about 6 minutes and then switch to broil on low for about 2 minutes. Only broiling leads to a soggy bun and burnt edges on top.)

These hot ham and cheese subs are best served right away. I usually put mine together as a sandwich and cut it in half to make eating easier. You can leave them open face if you prefer.

I suggest pairing the hot ham and cheese subs with an easy side to keep dinner easy for your family this summer — or any time! We often go with chips. A tossed salad or potato salad would also go well with these subs as would fresh vegggies and dip. Enjoy!

Hot ham and cheese subs with honey mustard

Ingredients
  

  • 6 mini sub buns
  • Deli honey ham about 12 oz.
  • 6-12 slices Swiss cheddar or American cheese
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise divided
  • 1/4 cup honey mustard divided

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 400-degrees (F).
  • Split the sub buns in half so they are open. Place the buns on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray or lined with non-stick aluminum foil or parchment paper.
  • Put the buns in the preheated oven for 3 to 5 minutes until they are very lightly toasted and just barely starting to brown around the edges.
  • Spread about 1 teaspoon of mayonnaise on each side of the open faced buns.
  • Add about 1 teaspoon of honey mustard on top of the mayonnaise and smear together with a knife or spoon.
  • Place 3 to 5 slices of deli honey ham on top of each half of the buns, on top of the mayonnaise honey mustard mixture.
  • Add a half slice of cheese per half of side of each sub. (Or you a whole slice per side if you prefer for a total of two slices of cheese per sub.)
  • Put bake in the oven at 400 degrees (F) for about 10 minutes until the cheese starts to bubble, the edges of the ham are crispy and the buns are golden.
  • Put the buns together to make into sandwiches and serve immediately.

Check out these other simple summer dinner ideas:

Simple summer dinner ideas: DIY Salad Bar

A series of easy, quick and healthy summer dinner ideas you’ll love

Summertime dinners often need to be quick and easy. Some days are busy with activities and others are just busy spending time as a family or even being a bit lazy! I love summer dinner ideas that are pretty healthy while also being quick and easy. We have central air conditioning, but I still like some dinner ideas for summer that don’t require use of the oven or stove.

So I’m running a series for a few simpler summer dinner ideas over the next few Tasty Tuesdays. I’d love to hear from you and any suggestions you have for what you make for your family during the hot days of summer!

With that in mind, I’m excited to share the first simple summer dinner idea my family enjoys: a DIY salad bar. One of the things I love most is that I can prepare ingredients ahead of time and then just pull them out at dinner for easy, quick serving.

DIY Salad Bar

For a DIY salad bar, put all the salad fixings out on your kitchen counter and let each family member build their own tasty salad. It’s pretty straightforward, and you can totally customize it with what you family likes. I like to get some special salad treats for us that we don’t always have like sunflower seed kernels or a salad topper mix. My husband also loves the crunch of chow mein noodles on his salad, so I include those as well. (And leftover chow mein noodles can be turned into yummy butterscotch haystacks!)

Our salad bar toppings often include the following:

  • Lettuce
  • Shredded cheese
  • Boiled egg
  • Diced onion
  • Diced bell pepper
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Shredded or chopped carrots
  • Diced cucumbers
  • Turkey or ham
  • Pepperoni
  • Croutons
  • Bacon bits
  • Chow mein noodles
  • Sunflower kernels
  • Various salad dressings

My salad bar toppings are often diced because that’s how I prefer them, but obviously you can do them however you like! As you can see from the photo below, I put out the ingredients and let each person fend for themselves. We are not at all fancy with this. In fact, sometimes if I’ve just cleaned the lettuce, it’s laid out on paper towels across the counter to air dry a bit!

You can make your life easier and buy pre-cleaned lettuce or salad mix if you want. I usually get a head of iceberg lettuce, which is what my family likes most, and then plan other meals around the same time that use lettuce like tacos or BLT pizza.

Salad bar sides

I do usually serve up something on the side when we do a salad bar at home. Check out these ideas to go along with your salad bar:

  • Crescent rolls
  • Garlic bread
  • Texas toast
  • Crackers (oyster, saltine, butter, etc.)
  • Fresh fruit
  • Homemade bread (This happens less often around my house!)

Basically, my favorite salad bar side is something I can use to scoop out the residual salad dressing that’s left in my bowl when I’m finished eating! I love a good salad dressing. My all-time favorite is poppyseed salad dressing. It’s so sweet and yummy!

Serving up salad for picky eaters

I’ve mentioned quite a few times that I have some particular eaters in my family. For example, when I make delicious pecan crusted chicken for dinner, my particular eaters would rather have frozen pizza or peanut butter sandwiches. Neither of them like chicken.

So for DIY salad bar nights, I get a little creative. My husband is a fan of salads and salad bars, so that only leaves my son as a picky eater. His biggest complaint is lettuce. He just doesn’t like lettuce. Instead I make him a deconstructed salad with some of his favorites like pepperoni, cheese and croutons. Usually I stick some baby carrots on his plate as well, but we were out of them for the most recent DIY salad bar night we had. And then he’s happy with whatever is on the side. This time it was crescent rolls.

Simple sweets

And then if you’re going with simple summer dinner ideas, you need a simple sweet as well. For DIY salad bar nights, it seems wrong to eat something heavy or rich. Plus hot weather calls for lighter foods, I think. So if I make a sweet for us, it’s usually either oat and honey granola or peanut butter honey nut cereal clusters. I’m a little partial to peanut butter honey nut cereal clusters for simple summer dinners because they only use the microwave and not the oven.

What are your family’s favorite simple summer dinner ideas?

Check out these other simple summer dinner ideas:

Pecan-crusted chicken recipe

A surprisingly easy weeknight chicken recipe your family will love!

When it comes to meat, chicken is my all-time favorite. I really like bacon, but chicken is what I can eat pretty much any time. I think that’s because it’s so versatile. During our recent home meal kit delivery service trial, I found quite a few chicken dishes I fell in love with. One of them was a pecan-crusted chicken recipe. But, the recipe and ingredients were harder to come by not using the meal kit, so I played around with it and figured out my own version that’s just as tasty!

Besides the chicken, you just need a few ingredients to pull of this super easy and delicious weeknight chicken dinner. This is the kind of dinner that makes me feel like I’m eating out.

When I make this recipe, I use two chicken breasts to serve just my daughter and me. My husband and son don’t like chicken, so they have something else. However, I’ve written this recipe to make four chicken breasts or servings to feed a family of four. You can adjust it up or down as needed for your own family.

Prepping for the chicken

Get your oven preheating at 450-degrees with the rack in the center. Then, since it’s pecan-crusted chicken, you may need to prep pecans. If you’ve bought pecan pieces, you don’t have to do anything. I got pecan halves most recently (I store them in the freezer to keep them fresh), so I had to break them up. You can use a knife, your fingers or even a food processor to break them into smaller pieces. You need 2/3-cup of roughly chopped pecans for four chicken breasts.

Once your pecans are ready, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in your microwave and then stir in the pecans, 1/2 cup Panko (I used seasoned Panko, but either works), salt and pepper. If you want a strong flavor, you can also stir in 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Montreal steak seasoning. While the mixture should be moistened, it should remain with a crumbly texture, like so:

Putting the chicken together

Once your pecan mixture is ready, it’s time to move on to the chicken. If your chicken is frozen, make sure it’s thawed. For even cooking times, I usually pound my chicken inside a paper towel or plastic wrap with my hand or rolling pin, because I have yet to get a meat mallet! Either way, I try to get the breasts to a similar thickness.

Pat your chicken dry with paper towels and place it on a baking sheet liberally coated with non-stick cooking spray or covered with parchment paper or non-stick aluminum foil. I went the non-stick aluminum foil route for easy clean-up of this pecan-crusted chicken recipe.

Season your chicken breasts with either 1 teaspoon total of Montreal steak seasoning or just use salt and pepper. When I made it the first time on my own, I used the Montreal steak seasoning because I had it for another recipe and figured I’d give it a try. It is a strong flavor, though, so spreading 1 teaspoon among four chicken breasts is more than enough.

Next is one of my favorite flavors to go with chicken: honey mustard! I use premade honey mustard salad dressing, because we eat it around my house anyway.

If you don’t have honey mustard, you can make your own with 4 tablespoons mayonnaise, 4 teaspoons honey and 4 teaspoons Dijon or yellow mustard. Either way, you want to top each chicken breast with honey mustard. I used about 1 teaspoon of honey mustard per chicken breast, swirled it on top and then used a spoon to spread it.

These photos are from when I over-seasoned the chicken with Montreal steak seasoning. Your chicken should not be this covered with seasoning!

Finally, you add the pecan crust to the chicken. Use a spoon to pile the pecan mixture on the top of each chicken breast and cover it well. Press down a bit to make sure it sticks. You only need to put the pecans on the top.

That’s it. Stick your pecan-crusted chicken into the preheated 450-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes until the crust is brown and the inside middle of the chicken is at least 165-degrees.

Make it a dinner

While the pecan-crusted chicken bakes, I usually prep our sides to go along with it. One of our favorite pairings is oven-roasted broccoli and mashed potatoes. I have learned that scratch mashed potatoes aren’t nearly as difficult to make as I once thought, but to make weeknights easier, I usually make boxed or pouch mashed potatoes. It makes for a delicious plate of food!

Pecan-crusted chicken

Ingredients
  

  • 4 chicken breasts about 5 ounces each
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup Panko I used Panko seasoned
  • 1 teaspoon Montreal steak seasoning or salt and pepper
  • 4 teaspoons honey mustard salad dressing or mix 4 tablespoons mayonnaise, 4 teaspoons honey and 4 teaspoons Dijon or yellow mustard together

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 450-degrees (F) with the rack placed in the center.
  • If you are using pecan pieces, skip to the next step. Otherwise, use a knife, your fingers or a food processor to break your pecans into pieces. They don't have to be small, but they do need to be at least roughly chopped.
  • Melt the 2 tablespoons of butter in the microwave.
  • Stir the pecans, Panko and some salt and pepper into the butter. If you want an extra kick, sprinkle in some of the Montreal steak seasoning as well. It should form a moist, yet crumbly mixture. Set it aside.
  • Use your hand or a meat mallet to pound your chicken to the approximately same thickness. (A rolling pin also works. I suggest putting the chicken in paper towels or plastic wrap to do this.)
  • Pat the chicken dry with paper towels then place each chicken breast on a baking sheet liberally sprayed with non-stick cooking spray or lined with either parchment paper or non-stick aluminum foil. (I go the non-stick aluminum foil route for easy clean-up.)
  • Season the top of the chicken with the Montreal steak seasoning by spreading the 1 teaspoon among the four chicken breasts. Or season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  • Put about 1 teaspoon of honey mustard on top of each chicken breast; use a spoon to spread it over the top of the chicken.
  • Mound the pecan mixture on top of each chicken breast and press down gently so the mixture sticks. You only need to coat the top side.
  • Place the chicken in the preheated oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the crust is browned and the inside center of the chicken is at least 165-degrees (F).

Taco pizza recipe

An incredibly easy and delicious taco pizza recipe you’re family will love!

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Two of the most popular foods my entire family likes are tacos and pizza. So when I came up with the idea for this taco pizza recipe, I was pretty sure it would be a hit. While it isn’t a replacement for either tacos or pizza, it’s definitely a great way to shake up dinner.

I love recipes that are easy and delicious. This taco pizza recipe is both. While we ate it as the main course for dinner one weeknight, you could also serve it as an appetizer or bring it along to a potluck. It’s also be a great snack for watching sports if that’s your family’s thing.

Originally I was trying to come up with another way to use a crescent roll crust like my BLT pizza recipe does. My daughter loves BLT pizza, but my husband wanted something different. And so this taco pizza recipe was born. And, as you might guess, it all starts with a crescent roll crust!

The crust

I suppose you could use regular pizza dough for this recipe, but the crescent roll crust gives it a buttery, flaky goodness that just can’t be beat! For our family of four, I used two cans of crescent rolls spread out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (easy clean up!). I smushed the seams together decently enough. It really doesn’t have to be perfect!

Once it’s prepped, then you bake it in your preheated oven according to the temperature your crescent rolls say. I have found the crust usually bakes 3 to 5 minutes longer than it takes for the rolls to bake. Check your crust after the suggested time has passed and work from there. You want the crust to be a nice, golden color like this:

The meat

While your crust is baking, cook your meat. I used about one pound of ground chuck for my family. You could use more or less depending on what you family likes. You could also make this with chicken if you’d rather! I used some cooked and frozen crumbled hamburger that I had in my freezer this time to make prep even easier. I thawed it in the microwave and then popped it into one of my beloved Rachael Ray non-stick skillets.

Once the meat was warm, I added taco seasoning and water. I used Old El Paso taco seasoning with 1/4 cup of it and 2/3 cup of water. I let it simmer for the flavors to come together well. Basically, season your meat however you would for tacos. Let it simmer while you prep the other ingredients and wait for the crust to bake.

The “sauce”

Every pizza needs a sauce and this taco pizza recipe is no different! I decided to go with a sour cream sauce, much like what my taco cornbread bake uses. To make fewer dishes, I mixed 1-1/2 cups of sour cream, 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup of diced onion in my 2-cup measuring cup.

When the crescent roll crust was finished baking, I pulled it out of the oven and smeared the sour cream sauce all over the top of it. Then I put it back in the oven (at the same temperature the crust baked at) for 3 minutes to let the cheese start getting melty.

Putting the taco pizza together

Your taco pizza is ready to assemble once you’re finished baking it with sour cream. First, spoon your meat evenly over the top of the sour cream.

Next, crumble up nacho cheese flavored chips. I used classic nacho cheese Doritos. You could use cool ranch or spicy flavors as well — whatever your family prefers. I had two individual bags of nacho cheese Doritos, so I squeezed them in the bags before opening them. Easy peasy! If you have a larger bag, just put the chips into a zip top bag and use your hand to break them up.

Once your chips are broken up, spread them evenly over the top of your taco pizza.

Optional garnishes

The pizza is ready to cut and serve as is. There are some garnishes you might like to add, though. I kept out some extra diced onion that my husband and daughter added on top of theirs. My daughter and I also drizzled a bit of Western salad dressing on top of our slices. Honestly, this kicked the flavor from good to great, so I highly recommend it! Adding some shredded lettuce and tomato on top would also be delicious.

Taco pizza recipe

Ingredients
  

  • 2 8- oz. cans crescent rolls
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/4 cup or 1 1-oz. packet taco seasoning
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1-1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup nacho cheese chips crushed
  • French salad dressing optional
  • Shredded lettuce optional
  • Diced tomato optional
  • Extra diced onion optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to the suggested temperature on your crescent rolls.
  • Open the crescent rolls and spread them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Pinch the seams together to form one large rectangle. Bake in the oven for 2 to 3 minutes longer than suggested until the crescent roll crust is a golden brown.
  • Meanwhile, crumble and cook the ground beef in a skillet.
  • Add in the taco seasoning and water; let the meat simmer.
  • Stir together the sour cream, cheddar cheese and diced onion.
  • When the crescent roll crust is finished baking, spread the sour cream mixture evenly over its top and place it back in the oven at the same temperature for 3 minutes.
  • Remove it from the oven and evenly spoon the meat over the top of the sour cream mixture.
  • Evenly spread the crushed nacho cheese chips over the top of the meat.
  • Garnish with French salad dressing, shredded lettuce, diced tomato and/or extra onion as desired. (NOTE: I highly recommend the French salad dressing for this!)

Microwave scrambled egg recipes

5 Easy egg recipes you can make in your microwave!

Since the pandemic, my daughter and I have been experimenting with microwave egg recipes. We both have our own versions we prefer and we have some that are basic as well. Years ago, I knew you could cook an egg in the microwave and then I forgot. But now it’s something I do regularly.

It’s so easy and takes only a couple of minutes that it makes for a good breakfast, lunch or dinner. Eggs can be cooked so many ways that you really can do almost anything with them. Aside from eating them how I prepare them with a side of toast, I also love egg sandwiches. I use one or two plain scrambled eggs on bread (toasted or plain) with some mayo. Delish!

Basic microwave scrambled eggs

The most basic of all microwave egg recipes is the scrambled eggs. It’s straightforward and a great place to start before you start experimenting with other flavors. (Find a printable version of this recipe below, because almost all the other microwave egg recipes use these same steps.)

For scrambled microwave eggs, you need two bowls to start with. Make sure that one is microwave safe. You’ll also need non-stick cooking spray, cooking oil or a small bit butter and, of course, eggs! You can use a whisk or a fork. I’m a fork fan, but my daughter loves the whisk.

Next, spray your microwave-safe bowl with non-stick cooking spray, spread a small amount of cooking oil in the bowl or rub butter on its inside surface. I use non-stick cooking spray and am generous with it so I don’t get any egg sticking to my bowl.

In your clean bowl, crack one or two eggs. (You can do more at a time, but you’ll need a larger bowl and more microwave time.) Discard the shells and start stirring to get the egg yolk broken up and incorporated. If you like to add a splash of milk into your eggs, you can do so. Just know that you might have to cook it a tad longer.

Once your egg is thoroughly mixed up, pour it into the prepared microwave-safe bowl. Place it in your microwave and cook on high for 50 seconds for 1 egg or 1 minute, 5 seconds for 2 eggs. Be aware that when you cook eggs like this in the microwave, they will rise outside the bowl. It looks kind of crazy and even scary, but it works!

Remove your eggs from the microwave, being careful if the bowl is hot. Immediately transfer onto a serving plate. Give them a couple of minutes to cool, so you don’t burn your mouth, and enjoy!

Microwave cheesy scrambled eggs

Microwave cheesy scrambled eggs are the one I make most often and is frequently my lunch alongside a couple slices of toast. I love eggs for the protein that really does fill me up! The other thing I like about this is I can easily add the cheese on top if I want or leave it plain. The cheese melts on its own if you put it on right out of the microwave, which is nice.

For cheesy eggs, I make the scrambled eggs exactly as described in the basic microwave scrambled eggs direction, but after I put the eggs on my plate, I sprinkle with a small amount of cheese. Since the eggs are so hot out of the microwave, the cheese melts on its own. So incredibly yummy!

Microwave Italian flavored scrambled eggs

My daughter likes to experiment with a variety of flavors. So it wasn’t a shock that she decided to play around with the microwave egg recipe. She has been on a big garlic kick, so she added some garlic and a dash of Italian seasoning into her eggs as she whisked them up, before pouring them into the microwave-safe bowl. She then continued on with the basic microwave scrambled eggs.

Microwave buttery scrambled eggs

If you cook your basic scrambled eggs with some butter lining the bowl, you’ll get some butter flavor. But to kick it up a notch, try adding some butter popcorn seasoning. We have butter seasoning for popcorn. Just a sprinkle of it into the egg before or after it’s cooked adds some yummy flavor!

Microwave mini omelette scrambled eggs

Of all the microwave egg recipes, I like this one probably the most. I see it as a treat. I love omelettes. Though I make the cheesy scrambled eggs most often, the added flavor of bacon or sausage in this version is decadent!

I like using pre-cooked bacon or sausage because it’s way easier. If I’m pulling sausage from the fridge, I stir it into the egg mixture cold and then cook it. Because I like my bacon crispy, I cook it first in the microwave and then stir it into the egg mixture to heat in the microwave.

I also stir cheese into the mixture as well before cooking and, sometimes, I still top it with some shredded cheese as well for extra cheesy goodness!

Basic scrambled microwave eggs recipe

Ingredients
  

  • 1-2 eggs
  • Non-stick cooking spray

Instructions
 

  • Get out two bowls, one of which is microwave-safe.
  • Crack your 1 or 2 eggs into the bowl that doesn't have to be microwave-safe.
  • Stir vigorously with a fork or wire whisk until scrambled.
  • Spray the microwave-safe bowl with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Pour the egg into the prepared microwave-safe bowl.
  • Place it in your microwave and cook on high for 50 seconds for 1 egg or 1 minute, 5 seconds for 2 eggs. (Be aware that when you cook eggs like this in the microwave, they will rise outside the bowl unless you use a large bowl. It looks kind of crazy and even scary, but it works!)
  • Remove your eggs from the microwave, being careful if the bowl is hot. Immediately transfer onto a serving plate. Give them a couple of minutes to cool, so you don't burn your mouth, and enjoy!

Looking for more easy, microwave foods? Check out these: