Chicken Pesto Ring

Y’all know I love a good ring made with crescent rolls! Y’all seem to love them too and this one will be no different! I mean one of the things I’m most known for is the infamous Taco Ring lol. So I decided to take the Chicken Pesto Ranch recipe we enjoy so much and added to a ring and it was the bomb.com (do people still say that? well I just did). I came about this when I made pepperoni rolls and because my kids are greedy I decided to make a chicken version as well. Sometimes their greed pays off lol. Let’s make this ring!

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 chicken breasts or chicken tenderloins
  • Jarred pesto
  • 1/2 cup to Half and half or heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cans of crescent rolls
  • 1-2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup of grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Dry ranch dressing mix
  • Seasoning- I used Montreal Chicken, garlic powder, garlic salt
  • 1-2 tbsp of lemon juice
  • Bacon bits (optional)
  • 2 tbsp of butter

Directions:

Preheat oven on 375. Season chicken with seasoning, ranch dressing mix, and you can also add a tbsp of pesto. Cook chicken on stove or grill or in the oven until cooked thru. Set aside to cool. Don’t chop until cooled or you will dry it out. Now let’s make a sauce. Melt butter in saucepan on medium high heat, then add half and half or heavy whipping cream. Add garlic salt, 2 tbsp of pesto and bring to a simmer. Whisk in Parmesan cheese until melted. Turn off sauce and it will thicken when it cools. Chop chicken in bite size pieces. Lay out crescent rolls in star pattern in sheet pan. Add thin layer of sauce. Add layer of chicken then bacon bits of using and then cheese. Fold over crescent rolls points. Bake in oven for 15 to 20 minutes until crescent rolls are baked fully.

I paired this with Caprese salad and it was soo good. Easy to make too so it’s perfect for a Saturday meal or lunch. Make sure to tag me if you make this @severalpeoplesmama on IG!

Love Ricki

Shrimp Scampi

This is one of my quick go to meals because I know it is something my whole family loves. We love seafood especially shrimp and the pasta makes the dish filling. I also love this recipe because it doesn’t use a cream sauce which is sometimes to heavy for us particularly in the Spring and Summer seasons. Just a tip if you are making this mean use larger shrimp and use raw shrimp it helps tremendous with the flavor rather than the already cooked shrimp!

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 lbs of peeled and deveined large shrimp – can be frozen but make sure you thaw them out in cold water
  • 2 sticks of butter (yes there is lots of butter)
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • 4-5 cloves of minced garlic (can use the jarred but fresh does taste better as this is a light dish and every flavor counts)
  • Seasonings – Italian seasoning, garlic salt, garlic powder, pepper, dried basil or fresh (fresh is better)
  • 1 -2 lemons or ¼ cup of lemon juice
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 package of angel hair pasta

Directions:

Prepare pasta according to package. I add oil and salt to water so pasta doesn’t stick. Also reserve about a cup of the pasta water after cooking. Season shrimp with seasonings except fresh basil if using. Melt olive oil and butter on medium heat in saucepan. Add fresh garlic to the pan and then shrimp a few seconds after. Toss shrimp in butter and garlic and add juice from one lemon. Continue to sauté shrimp until cooked. Taste sauce to see if more seasoning is needed. Add pasta and toss with shrimp. If more liquid is needed add pasta water slowly until satisfied. Top with fresh basil and grated parmesan cheese.

Pair this with a salad and a good garlic bread to soak up the sauce and you have a really delicious meal!

I hope you try this and if so make sure to tag me on Instagram @severalpeoplesmama. I will be back with some new recipes I’ve been trying soon!

Love Ricki

Faux Margaritas and Mexican Pizza

It’s going UP ON A TUESDAY!!! Since we can celebrate as we normally do I decided to host a Cinco de Mayo VIRTUAL Fiesta and I’ve invited everyone I know to join and cook along with me on Tuesday at 7 pm CST on my Instagram live (@severalpeoplesmama) In order for everyone to be on the same page I have posted a menu and grocery list on my Instagram page and below. I’ve linked my White Queso recipe here and the rest is below. I am excited to see y’all tomorrow night!

Recipes:

Faux Margaritas- you can make these Margaritas according to your preference. If you like a sweeter margarita add more lime sherbet. If you like a tangier one, add less and more ice. This recipe is adapted from Scissors and Spatulas.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of ice
  • 1 quart of lime sherbet- use less for a tangier version
  • 1 can of frozen lime concentrate or frozen margarita mix. This can be found in the frozen juice section of your grocery store.
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1-2 cups of ice
  • 2-4 shots of tequila (optional)
  • 1 lime cut in slices for garnish

Directions:

Add ingredients to a blender and blend! This makes a pitcher of margaritas to enjoy. Leave out the tequila for the kids and just add a shot to yours as a topper. See family friendly lol!

Mexican Pizza:

  • 2- 2 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 packet of ranch dressing mix
  • 2 packet taco seasoning
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • Garlic and onion powder

Side note: Since we are making nachos I included larger quantities of the ingredients above so you can cook enough meat for the pizza and nachos. You will use half for the Mexican pizza

  • 1 can (15 oz) refried beans
  • 1 can (10 oz) enchilada sauce
  • 1/4 cup diced tomatoes or pico de Gallo
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 8 flour tortillas, taco size
  • 1 Tbls vegetable oil or cooking spray
  • Green onions, black olives, sour cream, salsa and guacamole for toppings

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet brown ground beef, breaking up into small pieces. Once cooked, add taco seasoning, ranch seasoning, garlic and onion powder and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed. Taste to see if you need salt. This ground beef mixture should be thick just like Taco Bell’s.

In a large skillet or griddle pour half of the oil or spray with oil spray generously into the pan. Heat over medium high heat. Add tortillas and cook for 4-5 minutes, flipping frequently, until crisp. Repeat with remaining tortillas and add more oil or spray if needed.

Spread about 1/4 cup of beans evenly over the bottom of each tortilla. Top with taco meat. Place another tortilla over the top of the meat. Spread about 2 Tbls of enchilada sauce evenly over the tortilla. Sprinkle the cheese in an even layer over the top. You can add green onions, tomatoes or pico and black olives now or you can add directly after the pizzas are out of the oven while cheese is still hot. Place each pizza on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and everything is hot. Slice and serve. Feel free to add toppings of choice.

Hope to see y’all Tuesday night on IG love at 7 pm and if not you can still have a fiesta whenever at your home by trying these recipes.

Shrimp Stuffed Shells with Easy Garlic Bread

This recipe right here!!! If you know us you know we absolutely LOVE seafood and almost any recipe that uses it is a winner in our book. This dinner did not disappoint! We used shrimp but you could add crab meat or crawfish or switch it out completely and use chicken. And the garlic bread is so easy to prep and make and tastes so much better than store bought. We truly enjoyed this meal and we hope you try it and enjoy it as well. Let’s cook!

Ingredients (For Shells)

  • 1 box of jumbo shells
  • 1/2 to 1 lb of shrimp (you can use precooked but I prefer raw so the shrimp are not overcooked)
  • 4 tbsp of butter, divided
  • 2-3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 3 tbsp of minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 bag of fresh spinach (can use frozen just pre cook in microwave and make sure to squeeze out as much liquid as you can)
  • 1 block of cream cheese (softened)
  • 1-2 cups of shredded cheese, Italian mix
  • 1-2 cups of shredded cheese, Mozzarella
  • 1-2 cups of Parmesan cheese (you can use grated but I prefer the fresh for this recipe. You can find it in the refrigerated section of your grocery store)
  • 2 cups of half and half or heavy whipping cream or combo of both
  • 1/2 cup of white wine (optional or you can use chicken broth or water and a bouillon cube)
  • 1 cup of sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • Seasonings: I used garlic salt & powder, onion powder, ranch dressing mix, Cajun seasoning and Italian seasoning

Directions:

Cook shells was directed. I add oil and salt to my water. Drain and set aside to cool. Reserve a cup of pasta water. Spray with cooking spray so your shells won’t stick together. Melt 1-2 tbsp of butter with the olive oil in a skillet on medium. Add onions and 2 tbsp of garlic and sauté. Add mushrooms if using. Cook til soft. Add spinach and sauté til wilted. Finally add shrimp. I did preseason my shrimp with garlic powder and Cajun seasoning. Cook shrimp til almost thru. Do not overcook. Drain shrimp and veggie mixture and add to a bowl with softened cream cheese. Keep the liquid and place back in the pan after draining as this is the base for our sauce. Combine shrimp mixture with cream cheese and add Italian mix cheese and Parmesan cheese if using. Lightly season mixture with garlic powder, ranch dressing mix and onion powder.

Now let’s make the sauce. With liquid in pan turn on high heat. Add white wine and let alcohol cook off which should be 3-5 minutes. Turn heat to medium high and add another tablespoon butter and the remaining tbsp of minced garlic. Stir til melted. Whisk in half and half or heavy whipping cream. Once it starts simmering add Parmesan cheese by whisking in slowly and add seasonings. Turn heat to medium low and let simmer for about 3-5 minutes. Don’t walk away because you don’t want to burn your sauce. Make sure to taste sauce to see if you need additional seasoning. Turn off and cover. While sauce is sitting it will thicken. If you need to thin it out add pasta water while on low heat. Add 1/4 cup of sauce to bottom of 9×13 baking dish. Go ahead and stuff your shells with the shrimp mixture and add to dish. Once dish is full cover the shells with sauce. Spread layer of Italian cheese mix and Mozzarella on top. I also sprinkled Parmesan cheese and a shake of Italian seasoning. Bake on 350 for about 20-25 minutes until cheese is melted thru. I also placed my dish under the broiler for 2-3 minutes because I love those brown bits of cheese. Enjoy with Easy Garlic Bread and a side salad.

Easy Garlic Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick of softened butter (not melted) just let it sit out on the counter that morning
  • 1 tbsp of minced garlic
  • 1 tsp of garlic salt
  • 1 tsp of Italian seasoning
  • Fresh basil (optional)
  • 1 squeeze of fresh lemon (optional)
  • 1 loaf of French or Italian bread cut in half lengthwise
  • Italian cheese (optional)

Directions:

Turn on broiler. Mix butter and seasonings & lemon juice together. Spread on bread. I add cheese to one half of the loaf and leave the other half with just the butter. Put under broiler for 2-3 minutes. Watch closely and don’t walk away or you will burn the bread (ask me how I know lol). Serve with your favorite pasta dish.

I can’t tell y’all again how delicious this meal was! We will be adding this to our dinner rotation. I added video from when I made this in my highlights on my IG page so go there if you need a little help and I am always available in the DMs! Also tag me if you make this!

Love Ricki

Easy Cheesesteak Egg Rolls with Provolone Cheese Sauce

At the suggestion of one of my InstaFramily sisters I decided to convert my Easy Cheesesteak Sliders into Egg Rolls and I also created a Cheese Sauce to dip the rolls into. This recipe was easy and filling and would be great appetizers or meal with fries added. Let’s get cooking by making our cheese sauce first!

Provolone Cheese Sauce:

Ingredients:

  • Provolone cheese (I used the cheese slices which I chopped up into squares)
  • 1/4 cup of chopped onions and green bell peppers
  • 1 tbsp of minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup half and half or heavy whipping cream
  • 1-2 tbsp of flour
  • 1tbsp of olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp of butter

Directions:

Add butter and oil to saucepan until melted on medium heat. Add the onions and bell peppers and sauté until softened and add garlic. Sauté for 1-2 additional minutes. Add flour. You may need to add additional butter or oil before add ingredients the flour if your sauce pan is dry. Turn heat down to medium low. Cook flour for 2-3 minutes. You want to make sure you cook out the flour taste. Add half and half or heavy whipping cream slowly while whisking until all is incorporated and a sauce forms. Add cheese and whisk in slowly. It’s done! These cheese sauce is great for dipping the egg rolls in or make cheesesteak nachos!

Cheesesteak eggs rolls:

  • 1 package of Beef Shaved Steak (the one I used was 14 oz and more than enough for 4 people)
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper sliced (feel free to use more if you like)
  • 3 tablespoons of butter (you will use 1 to cook the veggies and the other 2 to melt over your rolls)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2-3 slices of Provolone cheese sliced into strips
  • 1 cup of Italian style cheese mix
  • To season my meat I used approximately 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp of Seasoning salt (Tony’s), onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, & about 1-2 tsp of Steak sauce (use sparingly because it could get salty real quick!)
  • Egg roll wrappers
  • Oil filled pot for deep frying or you can use a deep fryer

Directions:

In a medium sized sauce pan I added the olive oil and tablespoons of butter and let it melt on medium low. I turned it up to medium high and then added the onions and peppers and sautéed them for about 2-3 minutes then I put the heat on low and let them simmer. I turned the pan back up to medium high and added my beef directly to the pan along with my seasonings and steak sauce. After the beef was cooked thru I turned the heat off and let the mixture cool.

I put my pot of oil on medium high to prepare for frying. You can also bake these in the oven or use an air fryer. Once the mixture had cooled some I added about a tablespoon or so of the beef mixture to a egg roll wrapper and topped with a provolone cheese strip and folded according to instructions on back of package. Once grease was hot I added my egg rolls and fried for 1-2 minutes on each side. This step takes no time so do not step away from the kitchen! Once fried a golden brown I drained in a paper towel and added a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese (optional).

These were awesome and we enjoyed eating there them all up! If you try them please tag me on Instagram @severalpeoplesmama

Love Ricki

Spaghetti Mac – Cook with Me

Hi y’all! I am sharing my recipe for Spaghetti Mac which is an easy alternative to plain old spaghetti and something ALL my kids enjoy. This recipe will give you an easy meal that can stretch your budget! I have also included my cook with me video so visit my YouTube channel to see how I made it!

Ingredients:

    1-2 lbs of ground beef or turkey. You do not need a lot of
    meat for this dish so this is a great way to stretch your
    budget!
    1 jar of prepared spaghetti sauce or marinara (use more if that’s your preference)
    ½ cup of onions ( I used frozen)
    Seasonings – Tony’s creole seasoning, garlic and herb or
    Italian seasoning, garlic powder and onion powder and
    ranch dressing mix but you can use whatever you like!
    1 package of elbow macaroni·
    8 ounces of processed cheese product (Velveeta) cut into
    1 inch cubes
    1-2 cups of shredded cheese. I used Colby Jack but
    Mozzarella or any other cheese would be good as well.

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Boil pasta in a pot of water per directions. I add oil and salt to my pasta so it won’t stick but that is optional. Brown ground meat in a pan with onions. Drain fat and then add seasonings and sauce. Simmer on low. Drain cooked pasta and add to casserole dish or 9×13 pan (spray pan first to prevent sticking). Add half of cubed of cheese and stir throughout the pasta. Add sauce and stir to combine. Add shredded cheese on top and rest of cubed cheese. Place in oven for 15-20 minutes in order for cheese to melt. Once finished baking, let sit for 10-15 minutes so the casserole can set. Serve with a salad or fav green vegetable!

Check out my YouTube video here:

How to stretch food and get full

We are all at home whether by ourselves or with our family and the number one thing you will probably think about is what are we(I) gonna eat. And if you have kids, you will hear I’m hungry ALL DAY LONG! To combat being a short order cook, you need to make meals that will STRETCH! We want our family to be full while stretchier our budgets. So I’m here to help. With that dreaded C virus going around we may not be able to find ingredients (like meat) readily available so we have to be able to cook filling meals with little protein. Here’s a list of recipes or meal ideas that can keep you & yours full and content at least for a few days.

Pasta – Pasta is cheap and easy to make and very filling. You can add less protein or none at all and just pack it full of veggies (frozen or canned if you can’t find fresh).

Recipes with pasta:

Marry Me Chicken – Use less chicken and cut it up into cubes. Make the spinach lemon pasta and make it with penne or bow tie instead of orzo and add the chicken and sauce. Add mushrooms and spinach to “beef” it up.

Taco Pasta- Use Rotini pasta, ground beef (or not), cheese and beans & corn and a can of rotel or take the Mexican stuffed shells recipe and instead of stuffing individual shells take the filling and enchilada sauce and add to small shells. Top with cheese and serve.

Spaghetti- A big pot of spaghetti always works. Use ground beef or Italian sausage or even breakfast pork sausage (cheap and good) and sauce and pasta and you’re done. Also try spaghetti mac using macaroni pasta and Velveeta cheese and baked in the oven.

Shrimp Scampi- Use chicken instead if you don’t have shrimp and use spaghetti or fettuccine noodles to bulk it up. Add a can of peas or spinach or even zucchini.

Skillet pasta- make some bow tie pasta. Sauté some sausage, zucchini, tomatoes and whatever else and some half and half and Parmesan cheese, add pasta and mix.

Ramen- Yup that cheap stuff can be billed up by adding a bunch of stir fry veggies, less protein and a dash of soy sauce and seasonings.

Another staple that can stretch a meal and a budget is rice. The recipes below can be bulked up by adding more rice and less protein.

Cheesy Chicken Burrito Skillet– Cut the amount of chicken in half and add another can of beans, you can even use pinto instead of black beans.

Goulash– I usually serve this over rice so why not double the okra and sauce and cut back on the shrimp/chicken or just add sausage. Combine with rice and serve.

Fried Rice– add more veggies and leave out the meat. Make a huge batch and some crab wontons or egg rolls on the side.

Broccoli, rice and cheese casserole- I plan on sharing a recipe for my version soon. But you can easily add bacon bits or few chunks of chicken and go overboard on the broccoli and rice and have a full meal.

I love soups or chili anytime of the year & if your kids are hungry enough they will too.

Cream cheese chicken chili – cut the chicken in half and add more beans.

Baked potatoe soup– to lighten this up serve it in a cup with a huge salad of choice.

Taco soup- as you guessed cut the meat down by adding beans or omit the meat all together. Make a huge batch and serve over nachos and as the filling for burritos and chimichangas on two additional nights.

Chicken soup- cut the chicken add more veggies and noodles and bake some bread of biscuits or even cornbread. You can also add some grilled cheese sandwiches.

Another way to get someone full is add bread. Or make bread the main part of the meal.

This maybe more kid friendly because my body can’t take all those carbs but this will fill up your family. These are also great lunch options.

Taco or Cheeseburger ring-serve with your favorite taco or cheeseburger fixins’

Stuffed breads- I’ll be sharing a recipe soon for Bread stuffed pizza and we can use plain marinara sauce for a dip and serve with a salad.

Top your favorite casserole/dish with a bread- like a pot pie. You can make a chili and add a layer of cornbread on top and bake in the oven.

Or make a chicken soup filled with veggies and add biscuits (from the can is absolutely fine) in top.

These are just some ideas and hoped they get your creative juices flowing and have you thinking of your everyday meals in a different way. We may have to use our imagination to create meals but sometimes that leads to the favorites! I will be sharing a post later this week on snack ideas for our little snackers.

Let me know in the comments some other meals you can think of that are filling and make great leftovers!

Love Ricki

Fancy Beans

Sometimes we need a different side and these are it! This recipe is adapted from the blog Scissors and Spatulas. These beans are sweet and tangy and so good. They are perfect for the upcoming weather change to spring and summer with your favorite grilled meat and a side of BBQ sauce! Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 slices of bacon chopped
  • 1/2 small onion chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1 can of pork and beans
  • 1 can of green beans
  • 1 can of light kidney beans
  • 1 can of butter beans
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of brown sugar (adjust your how sweet you want it)
  • 1/2 cup of white vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons of mustard
  • 1-2 tablespoons of BBQ sauce (optional)

Directions:

Cook chopped bacon pieces in non stick pot or spray pot with oil spray. Add onions and garlic and cook til translucent. Pour out excess fat leaving about 1 tablespoon. Add brown sugar, vinegar and mustard. Drain all cans of beans ECXEPT pork and beans. Add beans to liquid mixture. I also add garlic and onion powder and a little salt and pepper but it’s optional. Taste and add brown sugar or vinegar depending on how sweet and/or tangy you like them. Let beans simmer in liquid for 10-15 min. Add Bbq sauce if desired.

Hope you try this and tag me on IG @severalpeoplesmama if you do!

Love Ricki

Chicken Parmesan my way!

Winner, winner chicken dinner!!! And this meal was definitely a winner! We enjoyed this take on Chicken Parmesan and I actually made it low carb by not using breadcrumbs and using grated Parmesan cheese instead. If you use a low carb marinara sauce and serve over zoodles you have a keto friendly version. Let’s get to cooking!

Ingredients:

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts- butterflied (split in half) and pounded thin
  • Jar of marinara sauce
  • 2 cups of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 eggs beat in a shallow dish
  • Seasonings – I used season salt (Tony’s), garlic and onion powder, Italian seasoning and Italian dressing seasoning mix. I add seasoning to my raw chicken and the beaten eggs.
  • 1-2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil

Directions:

Butterfly (cut in half lengthwise) and pound out 3 chicken breasts fairly thin (you should end up with 6 thin breasts total. Season chicken and set aside. You will now set up your breading station. Beat 2-3 eggs in a shallow dish with seasoning. In another dish add 1-1/2 cups of grated Parmesan cheese. Take the seasoned chicken and put in egg mixture and then cheese immediately following. Add to pan with olive oil on medium heat. Pan fry chicken on both sides until golden brown (about 3-5 minutes)and then add to baking dish. Chicken will finish cooking in the oven. Top chicken with marinara sauce, then cheese and Italian seasoning. Bake in oven on 350 for 20-25 minutes. Top over pasta and serve with salad or veggie.

This meal was delicious. I did add mine to the broiler for about 2 minutes because I like my cheese a little brown lol. This will be an alternative to spaghetti or spaghetti Mac for my family. If you try it make sure to tag me on IG @severalpeoplesmama! It really makes me so happy when y’all do!

Love Ricki

Cheesy Chicken Burrito Skillet

Hey y’all! Yesterday I was challenging myself to come up with a meal using what I already had on hand. And I have plenty of chicken!!! In particular boneless skinless chicken breasts. I think I need to share a week’s worth of budget friendly chicken recipes lol. Anyways after checking my pantry and surfing the internet I came up with this recipe that can be made in one pan and in about 30 minutes! The kids enjoyed it and it’s something that can easily be added to a tortilla or on top of nachos.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (you can use boneless skinless thighs) cut in about 1 inch chunks
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (can also use rotel for a little spice)
  • 2 cups of water (or chicken broth)
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube (not needed if using chicken broth)
  • 1 cup of rice
  • 1 package of taco seasoning and 1/2 pack of ranch seasoning
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese (I use Mexican blend)
  • 2 tablespoons of oil

Directions:

Add oil of choice to pan or skillet and heat on medium high. Add chicken breasts and seasoning and cook til brown about 5-7 minutes. The chicken does not have to be cooked all the way thru as we will be cooking later. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. Set heat on medium and add rice. Sauté for about a minute and make sure not to burn. Add beans, diced tomatoes, water and bouillon cube or broth if using. Stir to combine and turn heat back to medium high until it begins boiling. Add chicken back in, set heat to low or simmer and cover. Let steam about 10-15 minutes until rice is cooked thru. Top with cheese and serve with your regular taco toppings.

As always tag me @severalpeoplesmama if you make this!

A lot more recipes to come because my teenagers had decided to change his diet and is no longer eating red meat or pork. I’m kinda proud BUT that means I need to get creative so follow along to see what I come up with by subscribing by email and making sure you’re following me on all my social media!

Love Ricki