Monthly Archives: October 2011

Roasted Red Pepper, Meatball and Pepperoni Pasta Bake

We love Italian food in our house. This cooks up pretty quickly and made everyone happy.

1 lb. penne, ziti or farfelle
4 cups pasta sauce
1 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
1 cup cooked meatballs, quartered
1 cup pepperoni, chopped
1 cup ricotta
3 cups fresh mozzarella, divided
1 cup parmesan, divided
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Cook pasta according to package directions and drain when done.

Heat pasta sauce in a pan. Add red peppers, meatballs, pepperoni and ricotta and stir to combine.

Prepare casserole dish with cooking spray. Add cooked pasta and sauce to casserole dish and stir to combine.

Add half of each of the cheeses. Stir.

Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the pasta.

Bake, uncovered, for about 10-15 minutes.

What did the family think? Lots of happy people at the dinner table last night.

Where did this recipe come from? Food Network Magazine, March 2011, p. 59

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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Italian

Mini Chocolate Chip or Blueberry Muffins

We had these as part of our Sunday brunch last weekend and they were a hit! I made them with chocolate chips, but there are some blueberries in the frig right now so I can make another batch with blueberries. These are great for snacks, too.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup blueberries or chocolate chips
1 egg
1/2 cup skim milk
1/8 cup canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Whisk dry ingredients and blueberries/chocolate chips in one bowl and set aside.

Mix wet ingredients in another bowl. Add milk mixture to flour mixture and use a spatula to very gently fold mixtures together, about 5 or 6 strokes only. There will be lumps; do not over-mix.

Spoon batter into greased mini muffin tin and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until tops are golden brown.

Did I change anything? I used less sugar and would have added more chocolate chips. I wanted then to be more chocolaty. The above recipe reflects the sugar change, but not the chocolate chip changes I would make. Adjust the chocolate factor to your liking.

What did the family think? Yum!

Where did this recipe come from?

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Filed under After School Snacks, Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Vegetarian

Waffle Iron Eggs

My husband sent me a link the other day explaining how to make waffle iron eggs. I thought I would humor him and give it a try and I am SO glad that I did. First of all, they’re fun. Eggs shaped like a waffle? What’s not fun about that? Also, for some reason, when eggs come out of a waffle iron, they can be eaten as a finger food which is great if you have little ones.

5 eggs, scrambled
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, optional
Cooking spray

Heat up your waffle iron.

While that is heating up, scramble the eggs and put in the cheese.

When the waffle iron is ready, spray liberally with cooking spray.

Pour eggs in the waffle iron, close the lid and wait. Check on them after about a minute. Continue to check on them until they are as done as you want them. Be careful though, eggs in a waffle iron create a lot of hot steam.

I used a pair of cooking tongs and a spatula to slide the eggs out of the waffle iron.

What did the family think? Thumbs up from everyone, even the youngest who isn’t a huge egg fan.

Where did this recipe come from? adapted from a recipe from The Novice Chef

(I know this picture is terrible, but it’s all I’ve got. Trust me, they are yummy.)

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Filed under Breakfast, Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Lent, Six Ingredients or Less, Super Easy to Make, Vegetarian

Beer Pizza Dough

This is a no fail way to make pizza dough that doesn’t involve yeast. One recipe makes two pizza which works out perfectly for our house…one pizza for the kids and one for the adults. There is also something very rewarding about making your own pizza dough. I highly recommend it.

3 cups flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
12 oz can beer (use a light kind or your crust will taste “hoppy”)
olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.

Pour in the beer and mix well.

Spread a handful of flour on your work surface and dump the dough onto it.

Toss the dough around to coat it with flour and prevent it from sticking.

Knead it 2 or 3 times.

Shape the dough into a ball and divide it in two if you are making 2 thin crust pizzas.

For a deep dish pie do not divide.

Grease your pizza pan with oil and use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into a circle.

Brush crust with olive oil lightly and then add your sauce and toppings.

Bake for 12- 15 minutes or until golden brown on top.

What did the family think? I made two batches of this which made two deep dish pizzas. I think everyone would have been happier had I just made one batch of it that would have made two thin crust pizzas. Our oldest and I liked the crust the way it was, but hubby and our youngest weren’t too thrilled.

photo by me

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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Italian, Lent, Six Ingredients or Less, Vegetarian

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Dip

I found this on Pinterest and have been wanting to make this for forever, but the boys kept eating all of the graham crackers before I could make it. My oldest had a friend over today and we had just enough graham crackers, so I decided to make some for a treat for their playdate.


1 1/2 cups chickpeas (1 can, drained)
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking soda
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup nondairy milk (I used soy.)
1 1/2 T brown sugar
1/3 cup chocolate chips (I used the mini kind.)
2 to 3 T oats (or flaxmeal)
Graham crackers for dipping

Put all of the ingredients (except the chocolate chips) into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Mix in the chocolate chips and then sprinkle a few more on top.

Did I change anything? I put more peanut butter in it than the original recipe called for so it was more peanut buttery. I also sprinkled on a few more chocolate chips, but used half as much brown sugar. All of the changes I made are reflected in the recipe above.

What did the family think? It was a playdate success!

Where did this recipe come from? Chocolate Covered Katie

photo from Chocolate Covered Katie

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Filed under After School Snacks, Definitely Making it Again, Desserts, Everybody Ate It, Vegetarian

Goat Cheese, Meatball and Sun-dried Tomato Panini

This is what happens when you are super hungry and all you have are interesting tidbits of things in your frig to eat. Everything in this panini was leftover from some other recipe I’d made, but together they were yummy and perfect.

2 slices bread
2 meatballs, cut in half
2 sun-dried tomatoes
Goat cheese, the soft spreadable kind

Make a sandwich out of the above ingredients. If you have a panini maker, use it. If not, heat a skillet over medium low heat and spray with cooking spray. Place sandwich in skillet and put a heavy skillet on top of it for a few minutes. Flip the sandwich over, place the skillet on top of it again and cook for a few minutes on that side.

What did the family think? I was the only one who ate this and I would make another one right now, but I am out of meatballs.

Where did this recipe come from? Me

Photo from Appliancist

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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Italian, Sandwich, Six Ingredients or Less, Super Easy to Make

Jamie Oliver’s Bolognese Sauce

As I said in my last post, I am trying out one of Jamie Oliver’s cookbooks, Jamie Oliver’s Revolution. In the front of the book it asks readers to learn at least one recipe from each of the chapters and then teach two or more others that recipe. So this is the recipe I am sharing and teaching others from the pasta chapter.

2 slices of bacon
2 medium onions
2 cloves of garlic
2 carrots
2 celery stalks
olive oil
2 heaped teaspoons of dried oregano
1 lb of ground beef or pork (or a mixture of the two)
2 14-oz cans diced tomatoes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
small bunch of fresh basil

Finely slice the bacon, peel and finely chop the onions, garlic, carrots and celery.

Place a Dutch oven on medium to high heat. Add 2 lugs of olive oil, bacon and oregano and cook and stir until the bacon is lightly golden. Add onions, garlic, carrots and celery to the pan and stir every 30 seconds for around 7 minutes or until softened and lightly colored.

Stir in the ground meat and the canned tomatoes. Fill one empty can with water and add to the pan.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pick the basil leaves and place in the fridge for later. Finely chop the basil stalks and stir into the pan. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down and simmer with a lid on for about 45 minutes stirring every now and again.

Remove from the heat. Tear and stir in basil leaves.

Did I change anything? I left out all of the herbs and just bought Italian-style diced tomatoes.

What did the family think? This has a lot more ingredients in it than the typical pasta sauce we eat, so I knew it would not go over well as just pasta sauce so I used it in a lasagna.

Where did this recipe come from? Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, p. 165

photo from Angela Hartwig

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Filed under Italian, Pork

Jamie Oliver’s Evolution Potato Salad

I checked out Jamie Oliver’s cookbook from the library last week. In the book there is a pledge to learn a recipe from each chapter of the book and teach two or more other people on the condition that they do the same. So, here is my recipe from the salad chapter. Learn it, love it and pass it on.

1-3/4 pounds baby potatoes, peeled our not peeled, you decide
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
small bunch of fresh chives
1/4 cup yogurt
2-3 slices bacon

Bring a pan of salted water to a boil. Peel 1-3/4 pounds of baby potatoes, if you like, or leave them unpeeled, chopping any larger ones in half; leaving the smaller ones whole. When the water is boiling, add the potatoes to the pan and bring back to a boil for about 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes. Test them with the point of a knife to make sure they’re cooked through. As soon as they’re ready, drain them well in a colander and put them into a bowl.

The trick is to dress the potatoes while they are still hot – mix 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice in a bowl. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir well. Toss the hot potatoes in the dressing.

Finely chop a small bunch of fresh chives and sprinkle them over the potatoes. Toss well before serving.

Toss the dressed potato salad and chives with 1/4 cup of yogurt.

Put a frying pan on the heat and add a splash of olive oil. Thinly cut slices of bacon into small pieces and add to the pan. Toss and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the bacon is crispy and golden. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle over your potato salad and serve.

We had this with hamburgers and fruit salad.

Did I change anything? I left out the lemon zest that was in the original recipe.

What did the family think? Hubby and I liked it. I liked the yogurt and lemon in it and the bacon was a nice finish. The boys don’t like potatoes.

Where did this recipe come from? Jamie Oliver

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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Salad, Side Dish

Brazilian Stroganoff

I love stroganoff, so when I saw this on a friend’s Facebook page I just had to try it out. I had never heard of this before though, so I did a little research (which means I Googled it) and found out that there are a lot of different ways to make this particular dish. This recipe makes a lot of food and as I discovered today as I was eating some of the leftovers, it tastes even better the second day.

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cups sliced mushrooms
56 oz. ground peeled tomatoes
3/4 cup dry red wine
3 T Dijon mustard
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 qt. heavy cream
1 1/2 lbs. cooked and shredded chicken
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a stockpot, sauté onions in oil until translucent. Add garlic and mushrooms. When mushrooms are halfway cooked, add tomatoes, red wine, mustard and Worcestershire sauce.

Let simmer 10 minutes; add cream and chicken. After 30 minutes, add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over rice.

Did I change anything? The original recipe called for shallots and soy sauce. I didn’t have those, so I used onions in place of the shallots and just left out the soy sauce. Also, my hubby does not do mushrooms, so I only put in three cups of them. The original recipe called for five cups.

What did the family think? Well, hubby wasn’t feeling well, so he didn’t eat at all. We had a VERY late dinner and I really didn’t want to fight with the kids about eating this because I knew one of them would put up a Class A stink, so they had Subway instead. I, however, ate all of mine and went back for seconds.

Where did this recipe come from? I found this on my friend Erin’s FB page from her friend, Shannon.

photo from Mazzu’s

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Filed under Chicken

Tuscan Pasta with Sun Dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce

This could have easily come from a restaurant. It was so good and so different than the pasta dishes I usually make. Everyone loved it and we even had enough left over for the boys to take it in their lunch boxes to school too.

1 (20-oz.) package refrigerated four-cheese ravioli (or whatever kind you like)
1 (16-oz.) jar sun-dried tomato Alfredo sauce (I found some by Classico)
2 tablespoons white wine
15 oz. can diced tomatoes, throughly drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Prepare pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, pour Alfredo sauce into a medium saucepan. Pour wine into sauce jar; cover tightly, and shake well. Stir wine mixture into saucepan.

Stir in tomatoes and basil and cook over medium-low heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Toss with pasta, and top evenly with 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese.

What did the family think? Thumbs up from everyone!

Where did this recipe come from? My Recipes

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Filed under Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Italian, Lent, Six Ingredients or Less, Super Easy to Make, Vegetarian