Tag Archives: easy week night meals

World’s easiest chili

6th October 2015

Sometimes we just want to make everything simple and quick. Yeah, we enjoy complex meals and trying new things but this Chili recipe has been a go-to since college when I’d make a pot and have a couple lunches worth. It has stuck around ever since and I haven’t changed it either.

World’s Easiest Chili

  • 1lb ground beef (or you can do turkey)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes – plain
  • 1 large jar of chunky salsa (we usually use a medium or hot)
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of dark red kidney beans (or pinto if you’d rather)
  • 1tsp Cumin (add more to taste)
  • 1tsp Chili Powder (feel free to add more to taste)


  1. In a large pot brown the meat over medium heat.
  2. Adding seasoning to meat while browning.
  3. Once the meat is cooked through, add diced tomatoes, salsa, drained black beans and drained kidney beans.
  4. Bring ingredients to a quick boil and then simmer on low heat, covered for a generous amount of time if you can, if you can’t, this recipe can be done in 15 minutes.
  5. Add more seasoning to taste.

FADEB88D-7C96-4E18-BF6A-A05A45039DFFBon Appetit!

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Pasta Carbonara – easy week-night meal

4th September 2015

We love pasta around these parts. There’s nothing more satisfying than an excellent pasta, and that is sometimes hard to accomplish! One of our newest interests in super quick and easy week night meals is Pasta Carbonara. Grab some bacon or pancetta, some noodles, eggs, and a little parmesan and you’re good to go. You probably already have all these ingredients at home and that’s what makes this recipe a go-to!


Mmmm pancetta: get.in.my.belly! And VIOLA! Pasta carbonara! Just like that! Well, below are the steps but it is really easy, I promise!IMG_2018


1 tablespoon olive oil

6oz pancetta (or just pour the whole package…)

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1lb spaghetti (or any other favorite noodle really!)

3 large eggs

1/4 cup pecorino romano cheese

3/4 cup parmigiano reggiano cheese

Ground black pepper to taste

Feel free to top with parsley too!


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until it starts to sizzle. Add the pancetta and cook until it is crisp by stirring often. Take the pan off the heat until ready for the next step.
  2. Meanwhile, bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and then add salt. Add in the noodles and cool until al dente. Drain and then reserve at least 3/4 cup of pasta water.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and the cheeses as well as the pepper to taste.
  4. Working quickly after the pasta is done, pour pasta into a large mixing bowl and combine with the pancetta (lightly drained from grease) and the egg mixture. Add enough of the pasta water to make it creamy. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and feel free to garnish with parsley and extra parmigianno!

Bon Appetit!


Cooking with the Dillmans

24th February 2014

Let’s start the week off with something yummy, gooey and oh so good. Last night I made baked ziti for a dear friend of mine who just had a baby. I was trying to think of something I could bring over and finish off in their oven and something everyone would want to eat. So I found Pioneer Woman’s Bake Ziti recipe and it was a pure hit!! It was relatively simple to make and left us with a ton of servings!

Recipe via Pioneer Woman

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 whole Large Onion, Diced
  • 1 pound Italian Sausage
  • 1 pound Ground Beef
  • 1 can (28 Ounce Can) Whole Tomatoes, With Juice
  • 2 cans (14.5 Ounce) Tomato Sauce Or Marinara Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 16 ounces, weight Ziti Or Mostaciolli, Cooked Until Not Quite Al Dente
  • 1 tub (15 Ounce) Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
  • 1-1/2 pound Mozzarella Cheese, Grated
  • 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 whole Egg
  • Fresh Minced Parsley

Preparation Instructions

Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for several minutes, or until starting to soften. Add Italian sausage and ground beef and cook until browned. Drain off fat, leaving a bit behind for flavor and moisture.
Add tomatoes, tomato juice, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Stir and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. After that time, remove 3 to 4 cups of the sauce to a different bowl to cool down.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a separate bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, 2 cups of the grated mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, and salt and pepper. Stir together just a couple of times (do not mix completely).
Drain the pasta and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking and cool it down. Pour it into the bowl with the cheese mixture and toss to slightly combine (there should still be large lumps.) Add the cooled meat sauce and toss to combine.
Add half the coated pasta to a large casserole dish or lasagna dish. Spoon half of the remaining sauce over the top, then top with half the remaining mozzarella cheese. Repeat with another layer of the coated pasta, the sauce, and the mozzarella.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbling. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.
(Sprinkle chopped parsley over the pasta before serving!)

Hope you’ll try this recipe too!!!
The Dillmans

Cooking with the Dillmans

20th February 2014

We actually do a lot of cooking around these parts and I figured I’d start sharing some our domestic abilities (somewhat), but more importantly recipes that we use that I’d recommend others try. So here’s another installation to the blog over at Home Chic Raleigh, called Cooking with the Dillmans. (Mostly because I can’t take ALL the credit for cooking because hubs does a LOT of it… whoops!!)

Last night we made P.F. Changs chicken wraps. Actually they were pork wraps, which I like pork and Harris Teeter did not have ground chicken or turkey on Sunday… I know, weird!!! I guess too many people were making chili last week with the snow. Anyway, pork is used a lot in Asian dishes so I didn’t mind using the pork. Here’s the recipe I found via Pinterest.


16 Boston, bibb,butter lettuce leaves or Iceberg lettuce. *(We recommend iceberg after this because the Bibb was way too soft and kept dissolving and popping open.
1 pound ground chicken breast          *(You can use pork, turkey, etc.)
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
¼ cup hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Asian chili pepper sauce (see Note) *(We used Sirracha!)
1 can (8 ounce size) sliced water chestnuts, drained, finely chopped
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil


PREPARATION: Rinse lettuce leaves, keeping them whole. Set aside to drain. Cook chicken in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring often to break up the meat. Add onion, garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, vinegar and chili sauce. Cook until the meat is crumbled and brown. Add water chestnuts and green onions. Cook until onions begin to wilt, about 2 minutes. I double the ingredients. Stir in sesame oil. Arrange lettuce leaves on the outer edge of a platter. Spoon meat mixture in center. Allow diners to spoon meat mixture into lettuce leaves and eat like a taco. Dipping Sauce: 1/2 teaspoon hoisin sauce 1/4 teaspoon chili paste with garlic 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce 1/2 tablespoon chinese-style hot mustard (extra hot)

COOK’S NOTES: Asian chili pepper sauce can be found in the Asian section of most supermarkets. Some brands contain garlic, which is fine. You can use 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes instead.

All in all it may have taken 30 minutes total create this meal and it was quite good! Some things I’ll change next time and it definitely left me with wanting more crunch and I think some of the crispy noodles would be good on top, and definitely switching the lettuce.

Hope you enjoy!
The Dillmans