In a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil. When hot, add minced garlic and cook for a minute. Pour in drained tomatoes. Add sugar, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
I love hot beef sandwiches. We had these at work last week, and I decided that I needed to make some at home! I did not have a recipe and asked around the office to see how others made their sandwiches. Ultimately, I used the combination below. These sandwiches turned out fantastic. Ron and I were sad we didn’t have more leftovers after the leftovers were gone! I love to add a slice of cheddar to my sandwich, but plain is also very tasty. This is a fantastic meal for football Sunday or a family get together. Looking at the photos makes my mouth water…. maybe it will have to hit our crockpot again sometime….SOON!
In other news, all is going well with Kellen. We hired a Doula (contract in the mail!) and I so excited to work with her. The reason we decided to hire a Doula was becuse of our desire to have a natural birth and looking for someone outside the hospital that we can trust and communicate with. I am so happy we found Emily because it seems like a perfect fit for the three of us!
3 lb chuck roast
1 can cream and celery soup
1 lipton onion soup packet
1 tsp black pepper
1 1/4 cup water
Buns and Slices of Sharp Cheddar for Sandwiches
Place roast in the crockpot. In a medium bowl mix soup, water, onion packet, and pepper. Pour over roast. Cook on low for 7 hours. At 7 hours, shred meat and allow beef to cook for an additional hour.
This is so delicious. I originally saw this recipe from House 344 on Pinterst and knew I had to try it. The recipe makes an entire 9×13 casserole dish and thankfully we had a work lunch last week. Everyone loved this dessert, and I loved how simple it was to put together! It may not be the most beautiful dessert, but if you love oreos and chocolate it sure is yummy!
In other news, the babe has hit the 6 month mark! Three more months to go till we get to meet him! I am very excited, but nervous at the same time. It is crazy how much life will change. Right now I am savoring the moments of being able to hop in the car quickly to run around and uninterrupted sleep while it lasts!
1 pkg of regular Oreos
1/2 cup of butter
1 lg box of instant chocolate pudding
2-8 oz cool whips
8 oz. of cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
Crush the whole package of cookies either with a food processor, or in a bag and a rolling pin. Save a 1/2 c. to sprinkle on top of dessert when it’s done. Pour remaining crumbs in a 13×9 pan. Melt butter and pour into crumb mix. Stir it up good and press crumbs in bottom of pan to make a crust. Make chocolate pudding according to package directions and let it setup in the fridge. In a mixing bowl blend cream cheese until nice and smooth and then add powdered sugar, mix. Then fold in 1-8 oz thing of cool whip. Top oreo layer with cream cheese mix, then pudding, then your last 8 oz thing of cool whip, and then sprinkle remaining Oreo’s on top. Cover and refridgerate until ready to serve.
Time for another Crazy Cooking Challenge!!! The theme for this month is Cheesecake!
As I have stated before, I am not a big cheesecake person. Give me a fruit pie and I am a happy camper. When picking my recipe I tried to find something my husband (Mr. Cheesecake Lover) would consider “ultimate”. I found this recipe for Mini Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake at Very Best Baking. The recipe looked so easy and I knew Ron would love it. As expected, this recipe was really simple and came out perfectly. My husband described they cheesecakes as “to die for”, and would not let me bring leftover to work because he wanted them for lunch. Click the picture above to join the fun for the Crazy Cooking Challenge!
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 Tbl sugar
2 Tbl butter
1 1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
12 oz cream cheese, softened
2/3 sweetened condensed milk
1 large egg
3 Tbl baking cocoa
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbl caramel ice cream topping
Extra caramel topping to drizzle on top
Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line 12 muffin tins with paper liners.
Combine crumbs, sugar and butter in a small bowl. Press rounded tablespoon of crumbs into the bottom of each muffin cup. Divide 1/2 cup of chocolate chips into each cup.
Beat cream cheese in a medium bowl until fluffy. Add sweetened condensed milk, egg, cocoa, vanilla, and caramel. Beat until smooth. Spoon 1/4 cup of the mixture into each muffin cup.
Bake 18-20 minutes or until centers are set. Remove from oven. While still warm top cheesecakes with additional chocolate ships. Cool completely and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Serve and drizzle with caramel topping.
The Improv Cooking Challenge is one of my favorite blog activities. I love the challenge of the different ingredients and looking at all the different thing my fellow bloggers submit. If you would like to learn more and be apart of the challenge visit Kirsten at Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker. The theme for this month is cherry and almond. I thought a dessert or baked good of some sort was appropriate. I saw this recipe for cherry almond scones from Tutti Dolci, and I knew it was perfect. This recipe is really easy and I love the warm plump cherries with the nutty almond flavors in the finished product. The only thing I would adjust next time is the cooking temp and cooking time. My scone (I made 1 large 8 inch scone), was not done in the amount of time the recipe called for and I had to cook it a bit longer resulting in the bottom being a touch over done. Next time, I think I would decrease the temp and cook it a bit longer. Hope everyone is having a lovely week! Check out the next month: corn and butter! Yum!
2 cups plus 1 Tbsp flour, divided
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup chilled unsalted butter
1 cup cherries, pitted and quartered
2/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 large egg
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 Tbsp sliced almonds
1 Tbsp turbinado sugar (or raw sugar)
Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Whisk together 2 cups flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Dice butter into 1/2-inch pieces; sprinkle over flour mixture and use a pastry cutter to cut in evenly until mixture resembles coarse meal (I did not have this so I used a whisk).
Place cherries between layers of paper towels and press gently to remove moisture. Combine with 1 tablespoon flour in a small bowl; toss with a fork to coat. Add cherry mixture to flour mixture, folding in gently. Whisk together buttermilk, egg, and almond extract in a small bowl; add to flour mixture and fold in just until moist.
Use a floured bench scraper (I used a wooden spoon) to scrape dough out onto prepared baking sheet; lightly flour hands and pat dough into an 8-inch circle. Score into 12 wedges with bench scraper; sprinkle dough with sliced almonds and turbinado sugar. Bake 20 minutes or until golden. Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet, then carefully transfer to wire rack to cool before slicing into wedges. Store leftovers in an airtight container up to 1 day and warm before serving.
Yield – 12 scones (serving size: 1 scone)
It is time for our bi-weekly recipe swap! The theme for this month was blogger’s choice. We have this theme pretty often, and it is my favorite (especially now since my taste buds are so different). I received the blog Cooking for Fun. There were lots of great recipes to choose from, but I was looking for a meat free side and something with no soy sauce or ginger. I came across a recipe for Creamy Potatoes Au Gratin and knew it was perfect. The recipe is really easy to put together, and super yummy! I cut back on the amount of onion, and used a sharp cheddar cheese when I prepared the dish. My husband and I both loved the potatoes! The dish is very rich, but it is delicious. It also takes about an hour and a half to cook so make sure to you allow enough cooking time before dinner! Thank you for a great recipe, and the recipe for Glazed Apple Cream Pie looks wonderful! As always, a big thank you to Sarah for putting this together!
4 russet potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 onion, sliced into rings
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Layer 1/2 of the potatoes into bottom of a greased 8×8 casserole dish. Top with the onion slices, and add the remaining potatoes. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Mix in the flour, and stir constantly with a whisk for one minute. Slowly stir in milk. Cook until mixture has thickened. Stir in cheddar cheese, and continue stirring until melted. Season cheese sauce with salt and black pepper. Pour cheese over the potatoes, and cover the dish with aluminum foil, and bake for1 1/2 hours.
Since learning I was pregnant I love to snack on cheese (from what I hear from friends with children this is pretty common). As you know from previous posts meat has not been my friend while I was in the first trimester. So, I searched for flavorful recipes that were meat free, but filling. I came across this recipe on Pioneer Woman’s blog. My mouth watered at the title and I knew I had to make it. This recipe is really simple and only contains a few ingredients, but the flavors are wonderful. I love the addition of fresh spinach for extra nutrients. My husband wished I had included some kind of meat, but I loved the dish without any additions. however, I think it would taste lovely with a grilled chicken breast or grilled chicken sausage. Hope everyone is doing well!
1-1/2 pound Pasta (angel Hair Or Thin Spaghetti)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 whole 28-ounce Can Diced Tomatoes, Drained
Dash Of Sugar
Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, To Taste
3/4 cups Crumbled Blue Cheese
3/4 cups Heavy Cream
4 cups Baby Spinach
Half-and-Half, for thinning (if needed)
Extra Blue Cheese Crumbles, For Garnish
Cook pasta according to package instructions.
Reduce heat to low. Stir in crumbled blue cheese. Add cream and stir, then a little splash of half-and-half if sauce is too thick. Cook for a minute or two, tasting and adding more seasonings as needed.
At the last minute, toss in spinach. Immediately toss in the cooked and drained pasta. Serve immediately!
I was so excited about this theme for this month’s Improv Challenge: Strawberries and Cream! If you are not familiar with this blogging challenge you can find more information at Kristen’s blog Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker. Each month there are two assigned ingredients and unlimited choices. You can make anything you want (an original recipe or from another blogger), but it must have the ingredients. I usually try to be creative with the ingredients, however this month I opted to go with a Strawberries and Cream Muffin I found at Jane’s Sweets and Baking Journal. This muffin recipe may look simple (it is actually very easy), but the flavors are out of this world! The muffin is layered with a vanilla muffin mixture, cream cheese layer, and tons of fresh chopped strawberries (makes a cheesecake like flavor). These muffins are so yummy! I think this would also be excellent with blueberries or raspberries. Thank you Kristen for another great challenge! Don’t forget to watch out for next month’s theme: cherries and almonds.
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. almond extract
2 large eggs
2 cups All Purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 and 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup fresh ripe strawberries chopped into very small pieces (the redder and sweeter, the better!)
4 oz. full-fat cream cheese, very soft
1 and 1/2 Tbsp. of liquid from one whole egg that’s been beaten lightly
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Put paper liners in the cups of your muffin pan, or use nonstick baking spray liberally.
Cut up your berries and set them aside.
In a small bowl, mix together with a spoon the cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 and 1/2 Tbsp. beaten egg, and 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract. Mix until almost all the lumps are gone. Set this aside, but don’t chill it.
Melt the butter slowly in a sauce pan on low heat. Add the vanilla extract, almond extract, and the milk into the butter, stirring to combine. Cool until the mixture is just warm, then whisk in the eggs.
Thoroughly combine with a whisk, in a large mixing bowl, the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour all of the butter and milk mixture into the dry ingredients, blending just until combined. Don’t overmix. It’s okay if a few little flour streaks are still evident.
Using a portion scoop, fill each muffin cup barely half full. Scatter a few pieces of strawberry on top.
Using a small spoon, dab a generous teaspoonful or so of the cream cheese mixture on top of the berries.
On top of that, add on another tablespoon or two so of the muffin batter.
On top of that, add a few more pieces of strawberry. Push them in just slightly.
Sprinkle the tops of the unbaked muffins very generously with coarse sugar.
Bake the muffins for about 15 to 18 minutes, until they’re light golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. The middle of the cupcake should be kind of firm when lightly pressed with a finger. Check on the muffins early, and if they’re browning too fast, lightly cover the pan with a sheet of foil.
Let the muffins cool in the pan, on a rack, for a couple of minutes, then carefully remove them from the pan to cool on the rack.
Do you ever have a dish that brings back childhood memories? This pasta salad does that for me every time. This was something my Mom always made for family gatherings, and it was my favorite. The original recipe calls for mushrooms, but I forgot to grab them at the store so they are missing from the bowl. Ron and I had this salad with our BLT sandwiches on Tuesday. Yum! Can you believe that Ron never had a true BLT before? I am convinced he was dropped off from another planet! I guess he always had BL sandwiches because he didn’t like tomatoes. Now that he is older and wiser tomatoes are now long the enemy. Hope everyone is having an awesome week! Keep you eyes peeled for the Recipe Swap tomorrow and the Crazy Cooking Challenge on Monday!
8oz corkscrew pasta (I used a gluten free veggie pasta)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes, washed and halved
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1 cup shredded light mozzarella cheese
1 cup Italian salad dressing (I use Kraft Light Zesty Italian)
3 Tbl sliced green onions
Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, chop peppers and slice tomatoes. When pasta is tender remove from heat and drain. Rinse pasta with cold water. Toss noodles with peppers, tomatoes, olives, and onions. Stir in dressing, and mix in the cheese. Cover and allow the salad to rest in the fridge for at least an hour. Stir and serve.
When I was a kid going to the mall food court was a big deal. My favorite place to go was Sabbaro’s. I would get the small baked ziti and my sister got a slice of cheese pizza…memories…. KB Toys, Claire’s, and Maurice’s. I was thinking about this pasta dish while meal planning last week and decided I wanted to find a copycat recipe. I found this copycat recipe from Recipe Mama and knew it was perfect! There is really nothing fancy about this dish or challenging or particularly unique, but it reminds me other Saturday afternoons at the mall with my sister and my mom. This is a very easy vegetarian dish and it is kid friendly! Ron grilled some chicken sausage for his dish, but I had mine plain with a touch of tomato sauce on top. If you haven’t had this pasta at Sabarro’s you might think I am a little nuts about this pasta, but if you have you know exactly what I am talking about.
2 lbs Ziti
2 lbs Ricotta Cheese
3 Oz Grated Romano Cheese
3 Cups Tomato Sauce (buy a little extra on the side if you wish to top your pasta)
1/2 Teas. Black Pepper
1 1/2 lbs Shredded Mozzarella Cheese|
Cook Ziti according to package directions until al dente stirring often.
After cooking, drain ziti well, but
do not rinse the pasta!
While Ziti is cooking preheat oven to 350F. Combine
ricotta, romano, tomato sauce (reserve 1/4 cup) and pepper in
large mixing bowl.
Gently combine cooked ziti with sauce mixture.
In a 13″x9″x2″ pan, spread the 1/4 cup reserved sauce.
Add ziti and top with mozzarella cheese. Cover loosely with
aluminum foil and bake until mozzarella is thoroughly melted
(about 20 minutes). I topped mine with some additional warm tomato sauce.