Simple Recipes

Tasty & Simple Chili Mac & Cheese

Now, there are just some recipes that as you cook, you become more hungry. It’s the smell as the recipe cooks. I know my nephew, Dylan, and I were hungry, but as we cooked this Chili Mac & Cheese, our mouths were watering! We had people coming over after we taped the video, and all I can say is – we didn’t have any left to take a photo of! We ate every last bit of this oh so yummy recipe!! So, sorry about no photos to share of this delectable treat!

I believe that is a sign of a good recipe!

So here it is!

Chili Mac & Cheese


  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 3/4 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (10-ounce) can mild diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 cup fat-free milk
  • 4 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 4 1/2 ounces finely shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese


Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil. Add beef and next five ingredients; cook until the meat is thoroughly cooked through. Add the broth, water, and diced tomatoes and bring to a boil. Stir in the macaroni; cover and cook 10 minutes or until macaroni is done.

While the macaroni is cooking, heat milk and cream cheese in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until cheese melts, stirring frequently (using a whisk really helped!) Remove from heat. Stir in cheddar and continue stirring until smooth. Add cheese sauce to macaroni mixture; toss well to coat. Serve hot!

Adapted from a favorite recipe on


SSD Chili Mac & Cheese

Simple Treat: Frozen Chocolate Banana Bites

Summertime has the kids home, ready to raid the pantry for snacks. You want to give them something that will be good for them, but when they are craving something sweet, what do you do? Try these simple, frozen treats you can feel good about – the kids can even make these treats themselves! Plus, it is a nice snack for those adults who have a sweet tooth – only about 25 calories per bite!

SSD Banana Bites 2

Frozen Chocolate Banana Bites


  • Three ripe (but not too ripe!) bananas
  • 12 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1.5 Tablespoons vegetable oil


Place a sheet of wax paper on a baking sheet.

Slice the bananas into ½ inch slices.

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips and oil. Place in microwave and heat on full (HIGH) power for 30 seconds. Stir. Place back in microwave for 10-second increments, stirring in between, until the chocolate is just smooth. (FYI – Don’t over cook, or the chocolate will harden and look grainy.)

Dip the banana slices in the chocolate, making sure to cover entire slice in chocolate.

Place slices on wax paper. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for six hours or overnight until slices are thoroughly frozen.



SSD Banana Bites

Make Your Morning Smoothie, The Simple Way

My family loves a good smoothie for breakfast, but sometimes the morning rush leaves us without enough time to assemble the smoothie! Check out the simple video tip above for a simple solution to that time problem!


My smoothie packets all assembled and ready to use in the morning!
My smoothie packets all assembled and ready to use in the morning!

Frozen Smoothie Packet Recipes:

Smoothie Flavor Combos – You are only limited by your imagination!

Our current favorite recipe includes banana, mango, pineapple, spinach, and coconut greek yogurt (mixed with apple juice)! My oldest says, “It is better than ice cream, and healthier, too!”

Other favorites include:

The Superfood Smoothie – strawberry, blueberry, chia seeds and apple juice or almond milk.

The Tropical – Mango, Pineapple, Coconut Yogurt mixed with organic acai juice.

Strawberry & Banana – mixed with vanilla yogurt and almond milk.

Another great tip when preparing your frozen smoothie packets: If you want to include yogurt in your smoothie, use an ice cube tray and make yogurt ice cubes. They make it easier to assemble your smoothie packets!

SSD Smoothie PAckets

Simple Recipe: Party Potatoes!

This super-simple potato casserole will become your go-to favorite. Probably the easiest recipe, besides buying pre-made potatoes! I’m whipping this up for Easter Dinner this year. How will YOU use them? At a party? A family meal?
A big thank you to my sister-in-law, Lisa, who shared this recipe with me!
SSD Party Potatoes

Party Potatoes

  • 1 30 oz. Bag Frozen Shredded Potatoes (I used Oreida Frozen Hash Brown Potatoes)
  • 1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 Pint Sour Cream (NOTE: I used 1 cup of sour cream by accident in the video, and they still tasted good! )
  • 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4-1/2 chopped, sauteed onions (optional)
Using cooking spray, grease the bottom of a 13×9 inch pan. Line the bottom of the pan with the frozen, shredded potatoes.
In a large bowl, mix together the cream of chicken soup, sour cream, and shredded cheese (add the onions, too, if using them!)
Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45 minutes – 1 hr. It will bubble all along the sides!

A Sundae For Breakfast? Sure!


A breakfast sundae is simple and is fun for the kids, and you can feel good about serving it!

Breakfast Sundae from
Breakfast Sundae from

Breakfast Sundae


  • Whole wheat waffle, toasted (I used frozen Eggo Whole Wheat Waffles)
  • Favorite yogurt (I used Oikos strawberry greek yogurt for extra protein)
  • Selection of favorite fruit, sliced & diced


Place the toasted waffle on a plate. Top with yogurt and fruit. Serve to very hungry and excited children!


SSD Breakfast Sundae

Roast Beef Boursin Bites

This is so simple to make (10-15 minutes, tops!) and it looks impressive! These will go fast at a party!


SSD Roast Beef BoursinRoast Beef Boursin Bites


  • 1/2 to 1 pound thin sliced roast beef (I used Boar’s Head London Broil), chopped into small pieces
  • 1 package Boursin Cheese
  • One package French Bread Rounds or toasted slices of french bread. I used French Bread Rounds from The Fresh Market.
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion. You can use fresh onion or frozen to make it easier.
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Teriyaki sauce. I used reduced sodium.
  • 2-3 Tablespoons butter
  • Creamy Horseradish sauce – optional


Spread the french bread rounds with boursin cheese. Arrange on a platter and set aside.

Saute chopped onion in butter and teriyaki sauce until tender. Add the chopped roast beef to the pan and saute briefly – approximately 30 seconds. Using utensils, place a portion of the beef/onion mixture on top of each french bread round. Add a small dollop of creamy horseradish sauce, if desired.



SSD Boursin collage

How To Make Veggie Noodles


Veggie NoodlesVegetable Noodles are all the rage right now! Search “Vegetable Noodle Recipes” on Pinterest and you will find hundreds of recipes! (And click here to see them all!)  But is there a simple way to MAKE them? YES!

By using a specific product made to create those lovely noodles! There are many out there, some expensive, some inexpensive. I am using the Veggetti™ (I got mine at Bed, Bath & Beyond). You can find it here if you are having trouble finding one –Veggetti Spiral Vegetable Slicer, Makes Veggie Pasta

Veggetti Slicer

Now that you have these noodles, what do you do with them? Make all kinds of wonderful dishes! I found one recipe I loved on Be sure to check out her website!

Zucchini Noodles With Roasted Tomatoes

Zuch Noodles 2


  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 large zucchini
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • grated pecorino cheese to serve (I used fresh parmesan!)


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Distribute the cherry tomatoes evenly on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the baking sheet into the oven and roast for 10-15 minutes until the cherry tomatoes just start to burst. Remove the baking sheet and set aside. (PS – I could eat these like they are candy!)

Using a mandolin or spiralizer (I used the Veggetti™), cut the zucchini into thin strips.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When hot add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, onions and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the zucchini noodles to the onion and garlic mixture and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes to the zucchini noodles and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

Dust the top of the noodles with pecorino cheese and serve.

Zuch Noodles 1

Game Day Roast Beef & Swiss Sliders

These will be a big hit at your big game day party! You can assemble this ahead of time, then pop in the oven just before guests arrive! So no missing a big play because you were in the kitchen!

Simple Roast Beef and Swiss Sliders

Roast Beef Sliders 2

Makes 24 individual sliders!


  • 24 slices of roast beef
  • 24 Hawaiian Rolls
  • 24 slices of swiss cheese
  • 4 Tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 4 teaspoons of dijon mustard (I used Grey Poupon Country Dijon – love the grains of mustard!)
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 4 generous splashes of Worcestershire Sauce
  • Thinly sliced, sautéed onions (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the Hawaiian rolls in half, and place bottom half of rolls into a baking dish. Place a folded slice of roast beef on the bottom half of roll. Place a slice of swiss cheese on top of that (if using the sautéed onions-add them here), then finish with the top half of roll. Repeat with the remaining rolls, roast beef and swiss.

Combine the melted butter and remaining ingredients, and brush the tops of the rolls with the mixture. Cover with tin foil. If assembling ahead of time, you can place sandwiches in fridge until ready to heat.

To Heat:  Place in 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, removing the tin foil at about 8 minutes along. Keep in oven until the cheese has melted.

Roast Beef Sliders 3


Roast Beef Sliders

A Simple Super Bowl Recipe To Make Ahead: Easy Stromboli

You can sit back and enjoy the game with this great recipe! Assemble several of them ahead of time, keep them in the fridge, and bake them when your guests arrive!

Easy Stromboli

StromboliMakes one Stromboli that feeds 4 people.


  • 1 10 oz. can of refrigerated pizza dough (or you can use dough pre-made from your grocery store).
  • 2/3 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 2-3 slices of provolone cheese
  • 6 oz. of your favorite italian meat – you can use pepperoni, sausage, prosciutto, salami, or a combination of both! I used pre-sliced italian selection of meats available at Publix.**
  • 2 Roasted red peppers, cut into long strips. I used jarred roasted red peppers.
  • Marinara Sauce for dipping

** Note: You can easily make this without meat by substituting your favorite veggies, chopped small. Use broccoli, basil, olives, banana peppers, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, and so much more! (My favorite combo-Basil, Mozzarella, Provolone, Red Peppers) Anything you’d want on a pizza can be thrown into a stromboli! If you are adding other meats, like chicken, just make sure they are fully cooked before using them in this recipe.

The Veggie & Cheese Stromboli with 2 types of cheese, roasted red peppers and fresh basil.
The Veggie & Cheese Stromboli with 2 types of cheese, roasted red peppers and fresh basil.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place pizza stone in oven to preheat. (or use a baking pan, sprayed with cooking spray)

On a lightly floured work surface, press out pizza dough into a rectangle (approximately 9″x12″).

Layer the provolone and mozzarella cheeses on the dough, leaving a clean border of 1/2″ to 1″ all around. Top with the meats and red pepper.

Roll the dough (lengthwise) like a jelly roll, and seal the edges of it all around.*** Place on the pizza stone (or pan), seam-side down.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes until golden brown.

Slice and serve with warm marinara sauce on the side for dipping.

*** To seal the ends of the stromboli, moisten with water, fold over, and press (on my second attempt, I used a fork to put a crimp like a pie crust and it stayed sealed!). If you don’t seal it well, you could have a blowout! See photo below. Another great way to prevent blow outs is to add a few vent holes/slits on top of the stromboli to allow the steam to vent!

This is an example of a blowout - when you don't seal the stromboli well!
This is an example of a blowout – when you don’t seal the stromboli well!

1 3 4 5 6 7 15

© 2015 SIMPLESOLUTIONSDIVA.COM Designed by The Web Design Chic | ADMIN LOGIN