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.
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.
I love spinach and artichoke dip, but was very intrigued when I came across this recipe. One of my favorite pizza places makes a killer creamy artichoke dip, and this recipe reminded me of their version, but with the twist of feta cheese. I modified this recipe from Deep South Kitchen, and was very pleased with the result. I brought this up to Door County with me, and my friends and I devoured it quickly. I added a bit of sour cream and mozzarella cheese to make it a bit creamier an mellow out the mayo flavor. The dip was delicious, and I can’t wait to make it again. I also think that this would be great in a crockpot for easy travel to a potluck or get together, or perhaps as March Madness party (Go Wisconsin and Kentucky!)?
1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
6 oz feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup of mayonnaise (I use light olive oil mayo)
1/4 light sour cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 (2 ounce) jar chopped pimentos, drained
1/2 tsp black pepper
Sliced, toasted French bread or Tortilla Chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a circular baking dish with cooking spray. In a separate bowl, combine the artichoke hearts, feta, mayonnaise, sour cream Parmesan, pimientos and mozzarella until well blended. Season with black pepper. Transfer to the baking dish and bake at 350 degrees, uncovered, for about 25 minutes or until bubbly.
This sauce was wonderful. In addition to being great on veggies, I think this would taste fantastic on grilled chicken or fish. This one is a keeper! Enjoy!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 people
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes quartered
- 1 small shallot minced
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- 4 Tbsp fresh parsley chopped
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Zest of one lemon
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Mix the first seven ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to sauce to sit between 15-30 minutes before serving.
Modified from Eric Ripert