Nuna and Toodles Casserole

Nuna and Toodles Casserole

As proven time and again with classics like Meatloaf, the old standards are still worth returning to.

I don’t know about you, but one of the staples of my child-hood dinners, at least in the capacity of what my dad could make us when we had weekends with him, was a Tuna and Noodles Casserole. Or as we playfully called it, “Nuna and Toodles”.

tuna and noodles caserole 1

It was of course a pretty different dish than what I made with supplies on hand, but I was still able to evoke the memory of dinner with daddy and that taste of home.

tuna and noodles caserole 2

Nuna and Toodles Casserole
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Serves: 6 servings
  • 8 ounces egg noodles, boiled per packaging direction
  • 2 cans tuna
  • 1 medium onion, diced, lightly sauteed
  • 2 cups broccoli, chopped, cook (recommend frozen)
  • 8 ounce can cream of mushroom soup
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoons cayenne powder
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • ¾ cup breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl combine melted butter and breadcrumbs with a fork.
  3. In the pot you cooked the noodles in, a large bowl, or even in your baking dish, combine all the remaining ingredients until fully mixed.
  4. Spread evenly into a large glass baking dish and place in oven for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove and spread the breadcrumb crumble evenly on top and return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes until golden on top.
  6. Serve warm and enjoy!




Summer Squash Garlic and Chicken Pasta

Summer Squash Garlic and Chicken Pasta

This Sunday I got the most excellent call from my brother-in-law to let me know that he had a few summer squash from his garden for me.

They were big and beautiful and ready for eating. I grated up one to put in a zucchini raisin bread, and the rest I diced up with some sauteed chicken and a 40 clove garlic sauce from Trader Joe’s to pour over some multicolored bow-tie pasta.

summe squash garlic chicken pasta 1

The flavor was so light and fresh and just screamed “summer”.

Summer Squash Garlic and Chicken Pasta
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Serves: 6 servings
  1. Boil the pasta as the package directs.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, saute the chicken in the olive oil over medium high heat for until mostly cooked through.
  3. Add squash to the pan and cook for a few minutes until they start to soften.
  4. Add the garlic simmer sauce and simmer over medium low for five minutes.
  5. Spoon the garlic chicken squash mixture over a bowl of pasta.
  6. Enjoy!
Instead of the Trader Joe's sauce, you can simply butter and season the pasta and mix with non-sauced chicken and veggies.



Creamy Potato Salad

Creamy Potato Salad

As I sit here typing this, the smell of weekend grilling and barbecue is wafting in through the open windows.

Its truly tantalizing.

I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite summer barbecue side dishes is a really good potato salad.

creamy potato salad 1

I like mine really creamy with a little bit of a bite, and a mellow after taste.

creamy potato salad 2

Creamy Potato Salad
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Serves: 10 servings
  • 10 golden potatos
  • 6 hard boiled eggs, sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons honey Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cyan powder
  1. Dice the potatoes into small cubes and boil until fork tender. Drain and cool.
  2. Once the potatoes are cool, place into a large bowl with the remaining ingredients and mix until will combined.
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
  4. Serve immediately or cool in the fridge for at least two hours for best results.


Slow-Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken

Slow-Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken

When life (Riley) gave us lemons a couple of weeks ago it was like the world was our oyster, so many options, so many things we could make.

We made a G-d Damn Lemon Tart, I squeezed a bunch for some fresh and tart lemonade, and for some reason, the idea of a really lemon-ey chicken sounded really good to me.

As usual, I was right! The chicken was tart and flavorful and moist and a great addition to our plates.

Slow-Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken
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Recipe type: Slow-Cooker
Serves: 6 servings
  • 3 lemons
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 6 frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  1. Slice all the lemons into rings, and place enough to cover the bottom of your slow cooker.
  2. Place your chicken on top of the lemon slices, and then cover with the remaining lemon.
  3. Roughly chop the garlic and throw into the crock pot, sprinkle the pepper over it all.
  4. Set the slow cooker on low and cook for 7 hours.
  5. Serve with a side of veggies and a carb of your choice.

We served this over some garlic alfredo pasta with sauteed green beans and the Onion Tart.

onion tart 3

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Ever since this last autumn Adam and Brandie have been saving the butternut squashes that they’ve received in their veggie box deliveries with the intent that we would make something together with them.

Philippa Rice animated GIF

It wasn’t until this Friday though, when we were faced with having to use SIX butternut squash, that we did anything at all.

I had been desperately craving butternut squash ravioli, but really didn’t want to make the pasta, so Cat suggested a lasagna.

butternut squash lasagna1

It was genius!

And with our amazingly delicious lasagna Adam and Brandie made a butternut squash risotto, and I made a butternut squash soup.

butternut squash lasagna

It was perfection, and at the end of the day, there were no more squash.

Butternut Squash Lasagna
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Serves: 8 servings
  • 2 large butternut squash (about 3lbs) peeled and diced into ½ inch cubes
  • 2 shallots
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¾ cup water
  • 8 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 18 ounces of oven ready lasagna noodles
  1. Dice your shallots of garlic and place in a large pan over medium high head with the butter and diced butternut squash to saute for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the water to the pan, cover, and turn the heat up to high, stirring occasionally.
  3. Steam for about another 10 minutes until the water is soaked up and the squash are cooked through and tender.
  4. Turn off the heat and either using an immersion blending or a hand blender or even a potato masher, puree the squash mixture.
  5. Stir in the ricotta and spices.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a 9x13 glass baking dish.
  7. Take a quarter cup of the squash mixture and spread it evenly over the bottom of the glass dish and then layer pieces of the lasagna noodles evenly until the bottom is covered.
  8. Spread about ¾ cup of squash mixture over the noodles then evenly distribute half a cup of mozzarella and a tablespoon of Parmesan. Place another even layer of noodles to cover the cheese.
  9. Repeat with squash, mozzarella, Parmesan and noodles, until you're out of ingredients or out of room.
  10. End your last layer with cheese (using just a little extra if you have it).
  11. Cover the dish tightly with tin foil whose underside has been greased, and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
  12. Remove the tin foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes until the cheese is golden brown on top.
  13. Once removed from the oven, let sit for 15 minutes then cut into squares and serve.


Sausage, Bean, and Tomato Stew


There’s that glorious period of about a week after a major grocery run where I am pretty sure of what the daily menu will look like. I have a good handle on what we have in the house and a decent idea of what is or is not expired. It’s always a mix of cool new recipes I’m wanting to try, and the routine family favorites.


After those sevenish days it gets tricky. I *could* go to the store, but ugh. Then we start running out of easy meal options and the fresh veggies dwindle. I rough it for as long as I can, maybe picking up some milk here, some bread there, eventually stretching that big grocery run for two weeks.

And then… it’s the dregs. The grocery dregs.


This is where planning dinner becomes a major challenge and I get stubborn about not wanting to do another big grocery run.

Turning to the great Google god for help, I pick three or four major ingredients I have on hand that I think *might* work harmoniously for a meal for the four grown adults in my household. Usually it’s onions, [some kind of meat], [pasta/rice/legume], [frozen or canned veggie]. Sometimes I’ll throw in a wild card like “coconut milk” or “shelled walnuts.”

Thankfully, as I’ve become better and better at spotting good recipes online, these Google adventures turn out pretty well. I usually blend several of the recipes that pop up (taking from the best of the comments sections).

This time it was “onions,” “sage sausage,” “white beans,” and “crushed tomatoes.”

I ended up hitting pay dirt – the resulting stew is hearty, filling, and really delicious. I was completely out of bread and wanted something doughy to dip in the stew, so I paired it with my first-ever attempt at focaccia bread (carmelized (charred?) onion).


Sausage, Bean, and Tomato Stew
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Recipe type: Stew
Cuisine: Italian-esque
Serves: 6 servings
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 4 sausage links
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons squeeze bottle garlic
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cubes chicken bouillon
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasonings
  • ⅛th teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 10 oz. box of frozen spinach
  • 2 15 oz. cans white beans (cannellini are good)
  • Salt to taste
  1. Add olive oil and sausage links into a large pot over medium-low heat.
  2. Once golden and firm, remove from heat and slice into rounds.
  3. Return to pot, add onion and garlic, and turn heat up to medium.
  4. Stir occasionally until onions are soft.
  5. Toss in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken bouillon, Italian seasonings, red pepper flakes, black pepper, water, and spinach.
  6. As the ingredients in the pot are heating up, rinse the white beans in a colander and drain.
  7. Add drained beans to pot and stir occasionally until bubbling and hot.
  8. If too thin, let reduce over medium-low heat. If too thick, add water ¼ cup at a time until desired thickness is reached.
  9. Salt to taste.
  10. Serve on its own, or pair with some kind of yummy bread. 🙂

What do you make when you’re low on ingredients?

Crescent Ring Sandwiches

Crescent Ring Sandwiches

Mark doesn’t often request a particular food, but when he does we see what we can do.

He saw this intriguing Italian Hero Crescent Rings on Reddit and we decided to take it a little father.

italian ring

Not only did we make the Italian Hero with a few tweaks, we also made a roast beef and cheddar that was insanely good.

italian ring 2


These were super quick and easy to make with a lot of flavor.

italian ring baked

It’s a great take on classic sandwiches for dinner or lunch.

italian ring baked 2


Italian Crescent Ring Sandwiche
  • 2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury™ refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
  • ½ cup well drained roasted red bell peppers (from a jar)
  • 8 slices provolone cheese, halved
  • ⅓ lb deli sliced hot salami
  • ¼ lb deli sliced ham
  • ¼ lb deli sliced capocollo
  • ½ cup well drained hot pepper rings (from a jar)
  1. Heat oven to 375°F (350°F for dark or nonstick cooking sheet).
  2. Unroll both cans of dough; separate into 8 rectangles. On ungreased 12-inch pizza pan, arrange rectangles in ring so short sides of rectangles form a circle in center. (Dough will overlap; half of each rectangle will hang over edge of pan. Dough ring should look like a sun.)
  3. Spread roasted red bell peppers toward center of ring on bottom halves of rectangles. Top with half of the cheese. Layer salami, ham and capocollo slices over cheese. Arrange pepper rings over top. Cover with remaining half of cheese.
  4. Bring each dough rectangle hanging over side of pan up over stacked filling, tucking dough under bottom layer of dough to secure it. Repeat around sandwich until entire filling is enclosed (some filling might show a little). Sprinkle with black pepper.
  5. Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until dough is golden brown and thoroughly baked. Cool 5 to 10 minutes before cutting into serving slices.
We used three different kinds of salami, pepperoni, and nixed the ham.
For the beef and cheddar sandwich, we soaked about ¾ of a pound of roast beef in an au jus overnight, and then drained it well before putting it on the sandwich. We then topped that with a very meltable cheese dip.