Summer break is almost here and Zelda is going to be home basically 24/7 and that only means one thing – my kitchen is going to about 10x busier. I’m excited about it, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t just a bit nervous. I know I’ve been pumping out these dinner posts, but you have to understand – I NEVER cooked before this. Like, I would be so proud of myself for making my mom’s chicken enchilada recipe maybe twice a year.
Needless to say, this is all extremely new to me, but I really am getting comfortable and confident in the kitchen. Last week I shared a few recipes with you guys that I came up with myself and this week I found myself changing things up and swapping in different ingredients because I actually know what the hell I’m doing now! I’ve made crazy progress, so if you’ve never been a big hit in the kitchen, just know it’s never too late to learn!
I have some very delicious things to share with you this week that got a lot of attention on social (especially the Doritos Chicken Casserole Bake). All of them will be perfect to put in your weekly rotation for summer meals – you’re going to love them that much!
First up is the Orzo Summer Salad. Wow, I love this salad! I used this recipe as my inspiration but revamped it a bit and it is bomb!! You guys will seriously not believe the flavor of this one. It’s the perfect summer salad to eat over and over again. I plan on making it on Sunday evenings a lot and then having it on hand throughout the week.
I also want to mention a quick tip I picked up from the original author of this recipe, A Big Mouthful. When making asparagus (for this recipe or any cold salad), cook it for about two to three minutes and then you’re actually going to put it on ice. This helps it keep that yummy crunch until it’s time to eat. I had no idea this was a thing (see, I told you I’m new to this) so I’m thankful for any hacks at this point!
Next up is the Dorito Casserole Bake. I mean, I feel like the name really says it all – you literally take a bag of Doritos and put them on top of this bake. Dorito Casserole is SO good and savory and quick and easy! You can have a veggie with it if you want, but I think Dorito Casserole can really stand on its own. The leftovers heat beautifully, so you’re going to love Dorito Casserole all week long.
Last, I have a dessert for you guys! It’s a Raspberry Icebox Cake. As a disclaimer, I want to share that this recipe makes a massive amount of food. It’d be great to make and then cut in half and bring some to a neighbor or send home with friends or family. Also, it has to go in the freezer, so make sure you have space cleared and ready. You can also swap out the raspberries for strawberries if you prefer! Other than that, I have to say it’s absolutely delicious and great for a potluck or if you need to serve a lot of people.
And a few quick items I used this week that I think are worth the purchase:
Oven to Table Serving Bowl – This is especially great when you’re entertaining so you have something you can do your baking in and then take it directly to the table looking pretty and ready to eat! You can never go wrong with Crate & Barrel for something like this.
Non-Stick Baking Dish – As I cook more and more I’ve learned I like to have a variety of baking dishes in different sizes. This way I always have something clean and ready to go.
Shovel Spatula – I’m so thankful I have this little guy whenever I make big, melty, kinda messy casseroles. It helps keep everything together and eliminates some of the mess when scooping from pan to plate.
Enjoy these ones guys because my mouth is literally watering just writing about them! Please, please tag me if you make one of the recipes I share because I always want to see what you guys are loving!
- 1/2 Pound Orzo
- 1 Bunch Asparagus
- 1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes
- Brummel or Brown Yogurt Butter
- Lemon Pepper Seasoning, To Taste
- 1/4 Cup Feta
- 1 Ear Corn
- 3/4 Cup Strawberries, Sliced
- 1/2 Pound Shrimp
- Olive Oil
- Begin by cooking your orzo according to the directions on the box.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- While the orzo is cooking, combine three or so large spoonfuls of the yogurt butter and the lemon pepper seasoning in a small bowl. Place in the microwave and heat until melted. Stir once melted to ensure everything is blended well.
- Take your peeled shrimp and dip each one in the butter mixture, and then place a foil lined baking sheet, keeping them to one side. Once all your shrimp have been dipped in the butter mixture, pour any extra over the top of the shrimp.
- On the other side of the baking sheet, place your asparagus in a single layer. Season to your taste.
- Place the shrimp and asparagus in the middle rack of the oven, cooking for 12-15 minutes depending on your oven. I like to flip the shrimp at the halfway mark and turn the asparagus.
- Cut your tomatoes, strawberries and shave the kernels off the ear of corn, placing everything together in one large bowl.
- When the orzo is done, strain and add to the large bowl with your veggies/fruit.
- Once your shrimp are cooked through and asparagus tender, take them out of the oven. Place the shrimp on a plate.
- Cut the asparagus and add to the large bowl.
- We used olive oil as our dressing here, so add a few tablespoons so everything is coated nicely.
- Add your feta and stir everything well so the dressing is mixed in.
- That's it! We left the shrimp on the side so those who wanted it could add it on top, and if it's not your thing just leave it off.
- Zelda's Toddler Task: She loves to peel shrimp, I give her two empty bowls with a bowl for thawed shrimp and let her peel the entire batch.
- 2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
- 1 Bag Nacho Cheese Doritos
- 1 Cup Sour Cream
- 1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
- 1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 1 Can Rotel
- 1 Can Corn
- 2 Cups Taco Blend Shredded Cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Line a casserole dish with foil and place chicken inside.
- Cook for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and tender. Shred the chicken and set aside.
- Lower your oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- Re-line your casserole dish with foil.
- Crush the chips and place them on the bottom of your casserole dish and set aside. Save approximately 1/4 cup of the chips for a garnish.
- In a bowl, mix together cooked shredded chicken, sour cream, cream of chicken soup, cream of mushroom soup, Rotel, corn, and 1 cup of shredded cheese. Pour this over your chips in your casserole dish.
- Top with remaining cheese and bake for 25-30 minutes.
- Serve Dorito Casserole Bake to your family!
- Zelda's Toddler Task: Zelda crushed up the bag of Doritos and thought it was hilarious!
- 8oz. Cream Cheese, Softened
- 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 3oz. Package Jell-O Raspberry Powder Mix
- 1 Cup Boiled Water
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 2 Cups Frozen Raspberries
- Two 8oz. Containers Frozen Whipped Topping, Thawed
- 2 1/2 Cups Graham Cracker Crumbs, Divided
- 1 Stick Butter, Melted
- In a medium bowl, combine 2 cups of graham cracker crumbs and the melted butter.
- Once mixed, press into a crust in the bottom of 9 x 13 glass or porcelain dish, then let chill in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes to firm up.
- In a large bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and 1 container of the whipped topping. Stir well to combine. Spread the mixture evenly over the cooled crust.
- Whisk raspberry jell-o powder and boiling water together in a separate large bowl until gelatin has dissolved and stir in lemon juice. Gently fold frozen raspberries into warm gelatin. The cold raspberries will cause gelatin to begin to set. Spread raspberry mixture over cream cheese layer in your pan.
- Top with the remaining container of whipped topping. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but overnight is better.
- Top with the remaining graham cracker crumbs (you may not use it all), and decorate with fresh raspberries before serving.
- Zelda's Toddler Task: Give a kid a bowl and a mixer and they are good to go! I let her mix until she's tired, just make sure you teach them to keep the mixer in the bowl!