Sunday, December 20, 2015

Bacon and Brussels Sprout Salad

Andy's sister has made this for me a couple times and I finally got the recipe. Whenever I make it, I eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

You will need a mandolin. Don't even try thinly slicing the sprouts yourself. They have to be shaved. I found this one for $10 on Amazon. The next day I saw it at Target for $20.

Recipe from HERE.

Bacon and Brussels Sprout Salad
Serves: 8-10
For the dressing:
  • juice of one lemon
  • juice of one orange
  • 2-3 tablespoons apple cider (not vinegar, just regular apple cider! for sweetness!)
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt and pepper to taste
For the salad:
  • 4 dozen brussels sprouts
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled or chopped
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (Asiago or Gruyere are also good)
  1. Combine the lemon juice, orange juice, apple cider, and shallots in a small bowl. Add the olive oil in a steady stream and whisk for a minute or two, until it becomes creamy-looking.
  2. Slice the brussels sprouts with a mandoline, taking care of your fingers! and slicing them as thin as possible. This works best when you hold the stem, slice from the top, and stop with a little bit left at the bottom, discarding the remaining bottom stem part since it's not very leafy anyway. The thinner the shreds, the better the salad! Toss the shreds and loosen them with your fingers to they separate and fluff a little bit.
  3. Pulse the almonds in a food processor until finely chopped.
  4. Toss the brussels sprouts, almonds, bacon, cheese, and dressing together. Serve immediately or within a few hours of tossing.

Slow Cooker Jalapeno Popper White Bean Chili

This will be a regular in our house. It's a slight variation from Kelli's white chili, which I love.
It doesn't necessarily have to be a slow cooker recipe, either. If you have a rotisserie chicken, use canned beans, and saute the veggies for a little bit, it could be a 30 minute meal.

Slow Cooker Jalapeno Popper White Bean Chili
Yield: Serves 6-8

Recipe HERE. See her notes for some additional directions.
  • 1 cup chopped yellow or white onion
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • 1/2 cup red or yellow bell pepper, small diced
  • 1 pound chicken breasts, trimmed of fat (about 2 chicken breasts)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth  (I kept this the same, but was worried it would be too much liquid since I didn't use dry beans. It ended up being perfect for me, though).
  • 12 ounces dry white beans, rinsed and picked through to remove any stones or bad beans (I just used 2 cans of white beans, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 ounces light cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels (i used 1 can, drained)
  • 6-8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled or chopped
  1. Add all the ingredients except the cream cheese, corn and bacon to a 5-quart slow cooker. Cook on low for 7-9 hours (I did 4-6 hoursish since my beans were already cooked).
  2. Remove the chicken and chop into pieces or shred into bite-sized pieces. See the note above about thickening part of the soup. Make your decision. Then return the chicken to the slow cooker.
  3. Stir in the cubed cream cheese and the corn. Cover the slow cooker to let the cream cheese soften and the corn heat through, about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Stir to combine. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with the crumbled bacon.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Old Fashioned Butter Mints

This is a fun easy candy to make with kids when you're not ready to make dipped chocolates like Kim or toffee like mom. 

1/4 cup butter
1/8 t salt
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 t peppermint extract (I wanted more peppermint flavor, so I will add more in the future)
3 1/4 cup powdered sugar
food coloring if you want

Directions: Whip butter in mixer for a minute. Add sweetened condensed milk and peppermint. Mix til combined. 

Add powdered sugar

If dough seems wet, add a little more sugar until dough combines and balls up in your mixer. 

Roll out snakes and cut into little bites. Store in airtight container in fridge. 

Unless you are making these to give away to friends, don't double the recipe. I did and it is too much. :)

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Wing Night

buy the big bag of popcorn chicken from Costco.

Sauce 1: Sweet and Spicy
1/3 cup Franks Hot Sauce
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 T water
heat on the stove until saucy

Sauce 2: Garlic Parmesean
1 cube of butter
sauté 1ish clove of minced garlic (or garlic powder)
add 1/2 cup of parmesean
heat on the stove until saucy

Sauce 3: Ranch Dressing

serve with carrot and celery sticks

Friday, December 4, 2015

lasagna soup

I really liked this one.  Jeff wished it was thicker.  Next time I might chop up some spinach and zucchini to add.  Flavor was yummy thanks to the sausage.  1 recipe didn't leave enough for leftovers, so I will 1.5 it next time.

From Skinny Taste

cooking spray
14 oz sweet Italian chicken sausage, casing removed (I just used sweet italian pork sausage)
1/2 onion, chopped
2 crushed cloves garlic
4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, divided
3 cups low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth*
2 1/2 cups water
2 cups quick marinara sauce (I used the one I always get at costco...can't remember the name right now.)
2 bay leaves
fresh cracked black pepper
6 oz broken lasagna noodles, whole wheat or gluten free*

For topping:
6 tbsp part skim shredded mozzarella cheese*
1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup fresh basil chiffonade

Heat a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, spray with oil and add the sausage; cook until browned, breaking it up as it cooks with a wooden spoon about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the chopped onion and crushed garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add the parsley, broth, water, marinara sauce, bay leaves and fresh black pepper and bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes.

In a medium bowl combine the ricotta, parmesan, and 2 tbsp parsley and mix.

Add the broken pasta and cook uncovered according to package directions. Divide between 6 bowls and top each with 2 tbsp ricotta cheese mixture, mozzarella, fresh cracked pepper and fresh basil on top. Makes about 8 cups.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Crispy Cheese Tias

So, this might not be that exciting to anyone else but us, but we love these things. My sister introduced me to them and they taste deep-fried, but without all the oil mess. 

First, put some cheese down in a little pile in a pan. Make sure you spray it first or that it's non stick. Wait for it to melt a little. 

 Put a corn tortilla on top and wait for it to get crispy.

 Flip it over. It kind of sucks up the cheesy oil here. I didn't say this was super healthy or anything. 

Fill with something more appetizing that this. Haha. We were scrounging after our trip this week so we just did black beans an sour cream, tomatoes and lettuce. You could add anything. I think potato tacos would be really good in it. 

There you go. Fancy. 

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

I am a sucker for anything baked--especially cake. This stuff is really good. I got a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook in high school and have made it ever since. Definitely a favorite. I love it every time I make it.

1 cup margarine or butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 8-ounce carton of sour cream
1/2 t. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. baking soda

1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional, I like walnuts or pecans)
3 T brown sugar
2 T sugar
2 t. cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350. grease a 9x13 pan; set aside.

2. Cream together the butter and the 2 cups of sugar with a mixer on medium. Add eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Beat one more minute.

3. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and soda. Add the flour mixture to the sour cream mixture. Beat with the mixer on low for 2-3 minutes or until combined.

4. To make topping: in another small bowl stir together nuts, brown sugar and granulated sugar and cinnamon.

5. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle half of the topping over the batter in the pan. Spoon the remaining better into the pan, spreading it slightly over the first layer of topping. Sprinkle the remaining toping over all.

6. Bake the coffee cake in the over about 35 min or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool slightly before eating.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Chicago style hot dogs (or brats)

This is my new favorite way to eat a hotdog or bratwurst.  It's so yummy.

Recipe here.

1 tablespoon grainy mustard
2 teaspoons white-wine vinegar
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/4 sweet onion (such as Vidalia), thinly sliced
1 Kirby cucumber, cut into thin strips
1 tomato, halved, seeded, and thinly sliced
1/2 cup celery leaves
2 tablespoons chopped sport pepper or peperoncini
4 pickle spears

In a medium bowl, whisk together grainy mustard and white-wine vinegar; season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Add sweet onion, cucumber, tomato, celery leaves, and sport pepper; toss to combine.

Serve on hotdog or brats with a pickle spear.

Monday, August 31, 2015


I had this at an Italian restaurant here the other weekend and made it at home for dinner.

1. Slice baguette or french bread, spread butter on each slice, and broil in oven til golden brown.
2. Take a fresh garlic clove (nettie, you could skip this. and the restaurant had roasted garlic on it, but i ain't got time for that) and rub or scrape on crusty/toasty bread. This will give a light garlic flavor ... not too overpowering.
3. Spread a layer of goat cheese on bread.
4. Top with roasted red peppers and fresh basil.

Balsamic Reduction

This is a lame post, but I loved it.

I've been so into goat cheese lately. Especially beets and goat cheese. If beets are on the menu at a restaurant, I ALWAYS order them. Anyway, as I was eating my daily dose of B&GC (we'll call it) the other day, I was thinking a balsamic vinaigrette would be yummy on it. But I didn't want to make a dressing. So then I thought of making a syrupy reduction --- it's way easier than boiling on the stove.

1.Put however much vinegar you want in to a mug (about 1/2 cup) with a couple pinches of sugar.
2. Heat/boil in microwave until it begins to thicken, just a few minutes. Then let cool (it will thicken as it cools).
3.Smother this yummy goodness all over everything, especially beets!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Thai Crunch Salad

We had this for dinner last night. It was really good. Nice and light for summer. If I were to do it again, I would make all the components beforehand so it was ready to go during dinner time. I think you can make most of it early. Or, you can do like I did and just cook the chicken while you're prepping the veg.

My kids ate the peanuts, chicken, and edamame (magic beans at our house). I served it with dinner rolls and cantaloupe to fill them up.

Chopped Thai Crunch Salad with Sweet and Spicy Dressing
The salad ingredients are very adaptable. We've made this before and omitted the red cabbage entirely, adding a bit more napa cabbage - you can definitely play around with all of the fresh salad ingredients. 
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (from about 1 lime)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs

  • Vinaigrette:
  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons sweet Thai chili sauce (I didn't have this so I just added a dash of Siracha)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper (pinch of each)

  • Peanut Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Thai sweet chili sauce (I didn't have this so I just added a dash of Siracha)
  • 2 tablespoons very hot water, plus more as needed

  • Salad:
  • 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups chopped napa cabbage
  • 1 cup chopped red cabbage (I just used more garden cabbage instead)
  • 1 cup diced cucumber, peeled or not
  • 1 cup edamame
  • 1 cup small diced carrots
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 4 green onions, white and green parts finely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • Peanuts for topping (optional)
  1. For the chicken, whisk together the oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, salt and pepper. Place the chicken in a ziploc bag or shallow dish and cover with the marinade. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or up to 24 hours (the longer it marinates, the better the flavor). Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill 6-7 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and let cool. Chop into bite-sized pieces.
  2. For the vinaigrette, combine all the ingredients in a liquid measure or small mason jar and whisk (or shake) until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to use. The dressing can be made up to a week in advance.
  3. For the peanut dressing, whisk together (or again, shake in a mason jar), all the ingredients until well combined. Add additional hot water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dressing is smooth and thin enough to drizzle. 
  4. In a large bowl, toss together all of the salad ingredients with the cooled and chopped chicken. Pour the vinaigrette over the top and toss until the ingredients are coated with the dressing. 
  5. Serve the salad with the peanut dressing on the side to drizzle on top. We topped it with roasted peanuts and more Siracha.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Grilled Chicken and Veggie Skewers

We had these last night and I loved them.  Fast sunday dinner always tastes soooo good.

I did all the tomatoes on one skewer and all the zucchini on one skewer and all the mushrooms on one skewer...and so forth, so that it would cook evenly.  Plus I don't love to mix my chicken with veggies on skewers.

Grilled Chicken and Veggie Skewers
Recipe by Our Best Bites
1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into small, bite-sized pieces
1 each yellow and green zucchini squash, cut in half (if large) and sliced
8 oz. small whole mushrooms, stems removed
1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper (or combo of 2 or more), chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 small red onion, carefully cut into bite-sized chunks (try to keep as much of the pieces in tact as possible, but don’t stress it if they start to fall apart)
Sweet cherry tomatoes

1 recipe of Zesty Italian Dressing (below) or 1 bottle of Berenstein’s Italian Dressing
Prepare Zesty Italian Dressing:
1/4 c. white vinegar
1/4 c. lemon juice
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. seasoning salt
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (this really doesn’t add much heat; it’s better with it!)
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 cloves garlic
1 c. canola oil
1/3 c. Parmesan cheese (either fresh or from a can)
3/4 tsp. Italian seasoning (add more if needed)

In a blender, combine vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, mustard, salt, seasoning salt, black pepper, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Blend. While blender is running, slowly add oil in a steady stream. Turn off blender and add Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese. Pulse blender 2-3 times to combine herbs and cheese. Remove 1/2 c. of dressing for basting during grilling and set aside.
Place cut-up chicken in a shallow dish and pour a little less than half of the remaining dressing over the chicken. Place in refrigerator for 2-3 hours or until ready to use.
Place chopped veggies in a dish (a 9×13 pan works great) and pour remaining dressing (except for reserved 1/2 c.) over the veggies. Toss gently to combine. Set aside.
If using bamboo skewers, soak in water for about 30 minutes.
When chicken is done marinating, skewer veggies and chicken (you’ll have far more veggies than chicken, so keep that in mind when assembling your skewers; I use about 3 pieces of chicken per skewer, but as many vegetables as I can get on there).
Preheat grill and then cook skewers for about 10-12 minutes over medium heat until chicken is cooked through and veggies are tender-crisp, turning at least once.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sweet and Spicy Pork and Pineapple Tacos

Another super easy recipe.  These weren't Jeff's favorite, but I really loved them.  First for the flavor, but second for how easy they are to prepare.

I made them on an afternoon we had soccer and swim and would be out of the house almost the entire afternoon.  I prepped the meat and spices and pineapple, so when we got home I just had to cook them.  It was really quick and easy.  The pork is really killer in this recipe, it's so tender.   I didn't add any toppings to them and I think they were perfect.  I considered pico, but I think the tomato would be weird with the pineapple.

  • Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (more to taste, if wanted)
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 2-3 cups diced pineapple (see note above)
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • Corn or flour tortillas for serving

  1. Heat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the pork pieces and add them to the hot skillet, browning on each side until golden (the pork doesn't need to cook all the way through in this step, just get a nice color on all the pieces). 
  2. Stir in the garlic, cumin, chili powder and cayenne and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the juice and pineapple and simmer the mixture until the pork is cooked through, 7-9 minutes. 
  3. Stir in the cilantro. Serve with corn or flour tortillas.

Grilled HOney Mustard Rosemary Chicken

This was delicious.  Perfect for grilling and memorial day and summer.

Perfect for sunday.  I marinade it while we are at church, serve with a green salad and roasted veggies.  Makes for an easy after Sunday dinner, especially if you are on top of things and prepare veggies and set the timer on your oven to start before you get home.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped (my neighbor has a rosemary plant, so I just sneak over and snip some sprigs, but it would probably be good with dried.)
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • Lemon wedges for serving

  1. Whisk together the olive oil, mustard, honey, garlic, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Place the chicken in a gallon-size ziploc bag and pour in the marinade. The mixture will be pretty thick; that's ok. Press out excess air, seal the bag and then gently mash the bag with your hands until the marinade mixture evenly coats the chicken. 
  2. Refrigerate for at least one hour or up to 24 hours. 
  3. Preheat an outdoor grill to about 350 degrees and cook the chicken for 6-7 minutes per side or until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes. 
  4. Drizzle fresh lemon juice over the chicken and serve (or serve the lemon wedges alongside).  (I forgot to do this and we still liked it.)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Best Peanut Butter Cookies Ever

I don't love PB cookies. I love these. Rob says they are the best Peanut Butter cookies he's ever had. Loved them. I followed the weight measurements with a digital scale and they were perfect.

From Mel.

The Best Peanut Butter Cookies
I haven't tested the recipe using natural peanut butter - I've only used traditional creamy peanut butter (like Jif or Skippy). The trick to this recipe is instead of pressing the cookies flat before baking, give them a light press after they are done baking. It makes all the difference in the world for soft, dense peanut butter cookies.
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (2 sticks, 16 tablespoons) butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter (see note)
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar (10 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl with a handheld electric mixer or in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and peanut butter until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. 
  4. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and mix until combined. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until creamy. 
  5. Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. 
  6. Scoop the dough and roll into 1- or 2-inch balls. Place on parchment- or silpat-lined (or lightly greased) large, rimmed baking sheets, placing them a couple inches apart.
  7. Bake for 10-11 minutes until puffed. Don't overbake.
  8. Remove from the oven and immediately press each cookie to flatten slightly with the bottom of a flat drinking glass. Don't flatten the cookies to smithereens, just press the puffed part down until the cookies are an even thickness. 
  9. Scoop onto a cooling rack to cool completely. These cookies freeze great (and actually taste amazing straight from the freezer).

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette Grilled Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos.  I love them.  If they are on a menu at a Mexican Restaurant, I always get them, these are pretty darn good, and probably my favorite homemade to date.

Recipe found here.

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette:  (This is a Cafe Rio Copy cat (not the creamy dressing))
1/4 c. fresh lime juice (about 2-3 juicy limes)
1/4 c. white wine vinegar or rice vinegar
4-5 cloves garlic (I used one clove and didn't blend it.  I just cut it into fourths and added it to the dressing, so you get a really mild garlic flavor.  I really don't like strong raw garlic flavor)
1/2 tsp. Kosher or sea salt
2 tsp. sugar
1 c. canola oil
1/2 c. roughly chopped cilantro, stems removed

In the jar of your blender, combine lime juice, vinegar, garlic, salt, and sugar. Blend until ingredients are completely combined. With the blender running, add the oil in a steady stream. Add cilantro and blend until the cilantro has broken down but still maintains some of its texture. Serve with greens, on any type of Mexican salad, or use as a marinade.

For the tacos, I marinated 4 Tilapia Filets for 20minutes in the vinaigrette.  Grilled (on a piece of tin foil so it wouldn't fall through the grates when flipped)  for about 5 minutes.  

Shred cabbage (purple or green) and toss with more of the marinade.  Fish tacos are incomplete without cabbage.  Serve on Corn tortilla.

Additional toppings you might like:
pico de gallo (whatever you like)
cotija cheese

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Skillet Taco Pasta Shells {30-Minute Meal}

I kind of loved this. It's not fancy, but I made it because I had all the ingredients in my house already and I was in a comfort food kind of mood. It made for a super quick lunch. And it kind of reminded me of a delicious, non-processed version of Hamburger helper. I think kids would love it. From Mel.

Skillet Taco Pasta Shells
  • 1 pound ground turkey or beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder or 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes (I used a pint I bottled, and they were so good)
  • 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup salsa verde (green salsa or green enchilada sauce) A dusty can from my pantry...
  • 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained I used black beans instead
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 1/2 cups medium pasta shells (like these) I did a bit less here. Probably 2 1/4 because I like more sauce
  • 1 1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Fresh cilantro for sprinkling
  • Sour cream, olives and salsa for serving (optional)
  • I heated up some frozen corn and threw it in at the end instead of having it on the side. I liked it.
  1. In a large, 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook the ground turkey or beef, salt, pepper, onion (or onion powder), and garlic (or garlic powder), stirring every once in a while to break the meat into small pieces. Once the meat is cooked through, drain any excess grease and scrape the meat mixture to a paper towel-lined plate. 
  2. To the skillet add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, salsa verde, pinto beans, chili powder, oregano, pasta shells, chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar. 
  3. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring often to make sure the pasta isn't sticking, until the pasta is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 15-20 minutes. 
  4. Stir in the cooked ground meat and top with the shredded cheese. Cover the skillet for 1-2 minutes to let the cheese melt. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro. The pasta will thicken as it rests. 
  5. Serve with sour cream, olives, and salsa, if desired.