Embracing the Fall season.

 Shocking. Right? 😉 

With warm warm comforting dinners. Creamy cheesy egg noodles topped with hearty meat sauce. Some secret ingredients make it not a bad option on the health front too, even though it may appear otherwise!


Cottage cheese. Greek yogurt. Really?

I’ve made this version of Pioneer Woman’s recipe before and loved it, so clearly it just had to be done again.  See updated recipe below 🙂


Afternoon wine tasting and country patio views. Can’t beat wine sipping, good conversation and pleasant Fall afternoons.

Although seems like I was just here though, now doesn’t it?! 😛 


Pumpkin beer. Or shall I say, the best pumpkin beer around. SO GOOD.

 The caramel flavor surprise really sets this Pumking apart!


Even pumpkin spice candles. Perfect atop new antique store finds. I guess that cozy Fall feeling isn’t thaaaaaaaaat bad after all 😉

And we all know that having all the wine things at easy access from the living room is most certainly what this girl needs haha. Well. Whoops?


But nothing beats the morning sunshine. Fall or summer, you still can’t beat waking up to that on a nice long weekend now can you? 😀

Hope y’all enjoyed your weekends too!

Creamy Noodle Bake topped w/ Meat Sauce
Serves 3-4

  • 1/2 of a 16oz. package of egg noodles
  • 1 cup low fat cottage cheese
  • 1 6oz. container plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 c. chopped green onion
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 16 oz. cans tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • salt & pepper

1. Meat Sauce:  Saute diced onion in 1 tblsp olive oil for about 5 minutes, until soft. Add ground beef and garlic, cooking until beef is done (about 10 minutes). Season w/ salt & pepper too. Once beef is done pour in tomato sauce, stir, and season with oregano. Cover and let simmer while you prepare the noodles.

2. Noodles:  Boil noodles according to direction, drain and set aside to cool for a few minutes. Meanwhile mix together cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, green onion and season with salt & pepper. Once noodles have slightly cooled, stir into cottage cheese mixture to combine.

3. Casserole: Coat the bottom of a medium sized baking dish with olive oil or cooking spray. Add noodle mixture and spread evenly. Top with 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese followed by tomato meat sauce mixture. Sprinkle remaining cheddar on top of sauce. Place casserole, covered, into 350F oven and bake for 20 minutes, until cheese has melted and noodles are warmed through.


Are you ready for a super simple, meatless recipe that incorporates both an ingredient you might know all to well around here plus one that you’ve probably never seen before?! 🙂



Chobani. An old friend.


Cottage cheese. A new one!!


No reason we can’t all be friends around here, right? 😉

I realize that the addition of cottage cheese here might sound a little weird. And honestly, I would have to agree. Especially if it’s not your favorite ingredient <– me.

But life is all about taking risks and trying new things, is it not?! So get out there, go for it, and I think you’ll find that you might really like these 🙂

They are not only super good for you, but also ridiculously easy to make. And they may even please any diner who might be always asking “where’s the meat?”…

Just sayin!

To start, a quick mix of the spinach filling. Bulked up with protein-rich Chobani and cottage cheese. Plus the jalapenos give it a little spice!


Then a light layer of your favorite enchilada sauce into a baking dish. I really like the one shown above, it has a great flavor and no any partially hydrogenated oils 🙂


Followed by a few hearty corn tortillas, which I took straight from the freezer! They freeze wonderfully for recipes such as this.


A thick spread of spinach filling.


And a layer of your favorite cheese.


Then you’re ready to repeat again. But this time with more enchilada sauce!


Another layer of tortillas. Draped in the rich peppery sauce.


Followed by the rest of the spinach filling.


And the remainder of the cheese.


Into the oven for just a little while.


Until the enchilada bake is full of hot melted cheesy goodness 🙂


Then served.


Rich in flavor, packed with healthy spinach anddddd low in calories too my friends 😉

(Around 320 calories per serving.)


What do we have here…

An actual recipe and not a weekend/restaurant recap on CookinFanatic?

What kinda nonsense is that 😉

So yea. This CookinFanatic version of a Whole Foods king ranch casserole


About that.

Not even sure that I’d ever heard of king ranch casserole until recently. Who is this king ranch you speak of?

Right? Anyways.


This sneaky casserole manages to fill itself up with mixed leafy greens, an easy frozen favorite of mine…


And alongside vitamin packed leafy greens, has all the comfort of freshly cooked chicken and cream of chicken soup with a zesty jazz-up of diced tomatoes with green chilies, onions & green peppers too…


I don’t cook with cream of chicken soup often, but sometimes, sometimes it’s really just all ya need for a cozy meal. AmIRight? 🙂

This meal comes together super fast too, pre-cooked chicken or not! Just needs a few to bake, no supervision necessary.

I chose to poach a half chicken from Whole Foods instead of using pre-cooked. Flavor y’all.

But rotisserie chicken, chicken breast, leftover chicken, all of that would work just fine too!

whole foods chicken 7

After poaching the chicken and giving a good chop, it was time for an easy casserole assembly….

Corn tortillas.


Mixed greens.




The mixture of cream of chicken, diced tomatoes with green chilies, green pepper, onion and garlic.


And cheese. Always cheese.


Another layer of tortillas.


And everything else just the same!


Then into a 350F oven for 45 minutes until the veggies get soft and the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned…


What a healthy way to enjoy a creamy, cheesy warm n’ bubbly casserole… no?

The flavor on this dish was wonderful, creamy and hearty with just a hint of tangy spice. Just how I like it! 🙂

This made the perfect make-ahead Sunday dinner too. All baked up with nowhere to go. Except into my mouth. For dinner. A few hours later. Or for lunch. Because I couldn’t wait that long. Whatever.

Either way. This one is a keeper. Perfect for a crowd on a cool winter night!

Enjoy 🙂