I’m back this week with more of my “What’s for Dinner” series and wow do I have some mouthwatering recipes to share. Making them was so fun with Zelda, and hey, anything for some good food, right?

I truly hope you guys are loving this series because I am so loving being in the kitchen. It’s really a new thing for me and I’m shocked at how much I’m enjoying it. I feel like I’m finding my own little groove and am starting to be able to come up with my own recipes, which is so exciting.

Also, if I’m being completely honest, cooking as I have been is making me feel like a better mother. I don’t mean that in an offensive way at all if you’re a busy mom and you don’t have time to cook – I GET IT. Trust me. It’s just been really satisfying for me personally to be able to whip up homemade snacks and meals for Zelda. It’s like there’s this whole new dimension to our relationship now and I really value it.

Needless to say, this whole cooking thing is really working for our family, which makes my heart extremely, extremely happy.

Anyway, on to the food! The meals I’m going to share today garnered TONS of responses from you guys on social media, especially the Bacon Cheeseburger Slider Bake from Taste of Home, which is where I’ll start. This dish is the definition of mouthwatering. It was a huge success for us and I think it will be for you too!

Next up are the hand-cut air fried french fries I’ve been making a lot. This one is an original recipe by yours truly, and I have to say, it’s pretty impressive. Actually, it’s not really like this whole complicated recipe, but that’s the best part, right? Right! I’m obsessed and am loving our air fryer!

For our third meal, I have a shrimp scampi recipe for you (another original from moi). Zelda has been on the shrimp kick of all shrimp kicks lately so I’m trying to capitalize on that. With this recipe, you can have the perfect shrimp hot out of the oven in about 20 minutes. Yes, you read that right.

Last, but definitely not least, I have Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs by Joy In Every Season. This is the kind of recipe you always want to have on hand for those nights when you have no idea what to make but everyone is hungry. It won’t disappoint!

And really quick before I break down the shopping list and recipes, here are a few kitchen items I think are definitely worth the purchase:

Staub Ceramic Baking Dish – I’ve mentioned these every week I’ve written about recipes I think and that’s because they’re just the best. I use them almost every day at this point and they’re always on sale! So if they’re not when you click on the link, wait because I guarantee you they will be.

Lodge Cast Iron Pan Set or Lodge Cast Iron Fry Pan  –  If you’re a fan of cast iron, I highly recommend buying the set. If you want to test the waters before going all in, definitely check out the fry pan. I love cast iron because you can go from the stove to the oven in a second, which just makes things easier.

Cast Iron Care Kit – If you do purchase a cast iron pan, definitely get this care kit to clean it properly.

This was a big one filled with lots of info, but the recipes are so, SO good you guys! I don’t know if I could even pick a favorite out of the four. Let me know if you have any questions and please tag me on Instagram if you make any of my recipes! Bon appetit!

Bacon Cheeseburger Slider Bake
  • Yield: 24
  • 2 Packages of Hawaiian Sweet Rolls (24 rolls)
  • 4 Cups Cheddar Cheese, Divided (Save yourself the trouble and buy shredded!)
  • 2 Pounds Ground Beef
  • 1 Cup Chopped Yellow Onion
  • 14.5oz. Can Diced Tomatoes with Garlic & Onion, Drained
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Pepper
  • 24 Bacon Strips, Cooked & Crumbled (We only used one package of bacon, I did one pan with bacon and one without.)

For the Glaze

  • 1 Cup Butter, Cubed
  • 1/4 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
  • 4 Teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons Sesame Seeds
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Without separating rolls, cut each package of rolls horizontally in half; arrange bottom halves in 2 greased 13x9 inch baking pans.
  3. Sprinkle each pan of rolls with 1 cup cheese. Bake until cheese is melted, 3-5 minutes.
  4. In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until beef is no longer pink and onion is tender, breaking up beef into crumbles, 6-8 minutes; drain.
  5. Stir in tomatoes, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until combined, 1-2 minutes.
  6. Spoon beef mixture evenly over rolls; sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  7. Top with bacon. (Optional)
  8. Replace tops.
  9. For glaze, in a microwave-safe bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and mustard. Microwave, covered, on high until butter is melted, stirring occasionally.
  10. Pour over rolls; sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  11. Bake, uncovered, until golden brown and heated through, 20-25 minutes.

Zelda’s Toddler Task: She helps spoon the mixture of the rolls and paints the buns in butter and helps sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Author: Taste of Home

Adapt Link: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/bacon-cheeseburger-slider-bake/

Hand-Cut Air Fryer French Fries
  • Serves: 6
  • 6 Yukon Gold Potatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  1. Peel the potatoes and soak in an ice bath for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Preheat air fryer to 360 degrees.
  3. Hand-cut your fries to their desired thickness, the thinner the cut the quicker they will cook.
  4. Pat down your fries with a paper towel, you want them to be as dry as possible to the touch. DO NOT PUT wet fries in the air fryer or they will come out soggy.
  5. Add 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil to the fries and toss, they should have a light coating.
  6. Add the coated fries to the air fryer for approx 15-20 minutes depending on their thickness. I recommend half way through to pause the air-fryer and toss the fries around in the basket.
  7. BAM! Fresh Fries in less than 30 minutes and NO mess!

Zelda’s Toddler Task: She helps pat the fries dry.

Author: Corri McFadden

Shrimp Scampi
  • 1-2 Pounds Red Wild Caught Shrimp
  • 3 Sticks Butter
  • Herb Seasoning, To Taste
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Peel your shrimp.
  3. Melt the butter in the microwave. Once melted, stir in the garlic herb seasoning.
  4. Line a cookie sheet with foil.
  5. Lather each shrimp in the butter mixture, then place the seasoned shrimp on the foil.
  6. Bake the shrimp for 8-10 minutes, depending on your oven.
  7. For the last minute of cook time I like to switch the oven to a light broil to lightly crisp the shrimp. Seriously, only do this for a 30-45 seconds!
  8. Enjoy!

Zelda’s Toddler Task: She loves to peel the shrimp, I give her this task in its entirety.

Author: Corri McFadden

Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs
  • 1/2 Dozen Homemade Meatballs
  • 24oz. Jar Marinera Sauce
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, Crushed
  • 1 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3/4 Package Spaghetti Noodles
  • 2 Cups Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan, Grated
  1. A few weeks ago I bought a cast iron skillet, and this recipe was the first chance I had to use it! Break out yours, then sauté the onion in olive oil over low/medium heat. Throw in the garlic and keep sautéing until the onions are soft.
  2. Cook your meatballs. This is a very important step, and one that I overlooked! So make sure you cook your meatballs all the way through before proceeding.
  3. In the skillet with the onions, garlic and your now cooked meatballs, add the marinara sauce and seasoning.
  4. Let simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. While your sauce mixture is simmering, cook your spaghetti noodles. Leave them just slightly undercooked.
  6. Remove your meatballs from the sauce mixture ( I used tongs). Set off to the side.
  7. Add the noodles to your sauce mixture, along with 1/2 cup of pasta water. Stir together until all your noodles are coated with the sauce.
  8. Place the meatballs on top of the noodles, then sprinkle your cheese on top.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes. Your cheese should be all melted!

Zelda’s Toddler Task: She has the final and most important task, topping off the dish with cheese!

Author: Joy in Every Season

Adapt Link: https://www.joyineveryseason.com/main-dishes/baked-spaghetti-meatballs/