Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Cheesy-Beefy Casserole

We all love this dish.  It's easy, super cheesy and yummy.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 lb pasta (rigatoni, rotini, etc)
-2 lbs extra lean ground beef
-1 bell pepper, chopped
-1 small onion, finely chopped
-1 (24 oz) jar marinara sauce
-1 (10 3/4 oz) can condensed cheddar cheese soup
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp pepper
-1 tsp dried parsley flakes
-8 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.
Meanwhile, cook the beef, bell pepper and onion over medium heat, until meat is cooked through. Drain and set on counter.
To the meat mixture add the sauce, cheese soup, salt, pepper and parsley. Give it a good stir. Add the drained pasta and mix very well.
Pour into 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle all over with the cheese.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let it sit for 5 minutes.  Scoop onto plates and enjoy!

Friday, May 26, 2017

Cheesy Noodles with Ham and Broccoli

This is a great dish in under 30 minutes!  Everything combines beautifully and fast.  I love the creaminess of the cheesy sauce with the noodles, ham and broccoli. Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-12 oz egg noodles
-16 oz frozen broccoli florets
-16 oz cubed ham
-1/3 cup salted butter
-1/2 cup heavy cream
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
-1 cup shredded mozzarella
-1 cup shredded Parmesan
Directions:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the noodles and cook for 3 minutes.  Add the broccoli and cook for 2 more minutes.  Add the ham and cook for 2 minutes.  Drain and return to stove over low heat.
Add the butter and stir until melted.  Add remaining ingredients and give it a good stir.  Scoop onto plates and enjoy!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Banana Bread

I can't believe I've never posted this recipe on this blog! It's a basic banana bread recipe, super easy with super delicious results.  For me, the walnuts are a must, but you can leave them out if you prefer to.  Enjoy!
Yields one large loaf
Ingredients:
-1 cup sugar
-1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
-2 large eggs
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-3 very ripe bananas
-1/2 cup buttermilk
-1/2 tsp salt
-1 tsp baking soda
-2 cups flour
-1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Coat the bottom and sides of a large loaf pan with baking spray (the one with butter and flour).  Set aside.
In your mixer's bowl, cream the sugar and butter.  Once smooth, add the eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla.  Peel the bananas and add chunks of it into the running mixer. Stir in the buttermilk, salt, baking soda and flour, half of cup at a time.  Add the walnuts.
Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Cool in pan over wire rack for 10-15 minutes.  Carefully, remove bread from pan and place on wire rack to cool completely.  Slice and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Veggie-Feta Dip

I love chips and dip.  That's why once in a while I like to come up with different dips and experiment.  This is inspired from my childhood when, especially during the summer, when tomatoes are at their finest, we had a simple tomato-cucumber salad with some feta and hot bread.  What a delight!   This is the dip version of that with all the fresh veggies, the feta and of course the chips.  Yum!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-8 oz garden vegetable cream cheese, at room temperature
-1/4 cup plain yogurt (Greek works fine too)
-8 oz crumbled feta cheese
-1 garlic clove, finely minced
-1/2 tsp pepper
-1 cucumber, peeled and diced
-2 tomatoes, chopped
-4 green onions, cleaned and chopped
-1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
Directions:
Mix the cream cheese, yogurt, feta, garlic and pepper.  Pour mixture on bottom of serving dish.  Top with the cucumber, tomatoes, onions and olives.  
Scoop up with chips and enjoy!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Egg and Macaroni Salad

I really love pasta salads and this is yet another quick and delicious one.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 lb elbow macaroni
-5 large eggs
-1 cup mayonnaise
-1 tsp sugar
-1 tsp apple cider vinegar
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp pepper
-1/2 tsp yellow mustard
-6 green onions
Directions:
Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain, rinse in cold water and drain again.
While pasta is cooking,  hard boil the eggs. Cool, peel and chop the eggs.
In your large salad bowl, mix together the mayo, sugar, vinegar, salt, pepper and mustard.  Mix very well.  Clean and chop the green onions.  Add to the dressing and mix well.
Toss in the drained pasta and give it a good stir to coat evenly.  Fold in the chopped hard boil eggs.  Enjoy!


Friday, May 12, 2017

Cod and Noodles with Wasabi Vinaigrette

This is quick and light, yet filling.  I love the light texture of the cod combined with the heartiness of the noodles and the sweetness of the bell pepper and edamame.  Really wonderful combo!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
For wasabi vinaigrette:
-1/3 cup rice vinegar
-1/4 cup sesame oil
-3 Tbs wasabi sauce
-1 large garlic clove
-1/2 tsp ground ginger
Remaining ingredients:
-4 cod filets
-salt
-3 (3 oz each) packages ramen noodles***discard seasoning packets
-1 red bell pepper, seeded, halved and sliced
-1 cup frozen edamame, shelled
-3 cups baby spinach
-sesame seeds
Directions:
In your blender, combine all vinaigrette ingredients and process until smooth.
Line a baking sheet with foil. Place cod on top.  Top each piece of fish with 1-2 Tbs of the vinaigrette.  Sprinkle with a dash of salt.  Broil on HIGH for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook noodles in boiling water for 2 minutes.  Add the bell pepper and edamame and cook for 1 more minutes.  Drain and rinse in cold water.  Drain again.
To the noodles, add the spinach and give it a good toss.
Divide noodle mixture between 4 bowls.  Top each with a piece of cod and sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Enjoy!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Kielbasa with Creamy Alfredo Pasta

This is a super quick meal and very delicious.  I just love the creaminess of the sauce.  The cream cheese blends perfectly with the heavy cream and Parmesan cheese.  Super yummy!  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 lb Polska kielbasa
-1 lb pasta (any kind you like)
-1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter
-4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
-2 cups heavy cream
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp pepper
Directions:
Cut the sausage in half lengthwise, then slice.  Place in heated skillet and cook until golden brown. Remove from stove.
Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions.  Drain and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, melt butter in large saucepan.  Add the cream cheese and whisk until smooth.  Stir in the heavy cream and garlic powder.  Bring to a simmer, lower the heat and cook for 5 minutes. Add the cheese, salt and pepper.  Give it a good stir.  
Pour sauce over drained pasta.  Add the cooked kielbasa.  Mix well, serve and enjoy!

Monday, May 1, 2017

BBQ Pork Pasta Salad

I really love pasta salads and I'm always looking for finding new ways of enjoying them.  The other day I came across this recipe and I knew I had to make it.  It was an instant hit for our family.  It's quick, easy and very yummy.  Enjoy!
Ingredients:
-1 lb pasta (rotini, penne, fusilli, etc)
-2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
-1 tsp Louisiana style hot sauce
-1/2 tsp chili powder
-1/8 tsp garlic powder
-1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
-1 cup mayonnaise
-1/2 cup bbq sauce (I prefer Sweet Baby Ray's)
-1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
-6-8 green onions, cleaned and chopped
-16 oz pulled pork in bbq sauce
Directions:
Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain again very well.
While the pasta is cooking, in your big salad bowl mix the vinegar, hot sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne and mayo.  Mix very well.  Add cooled and drained pasta and remaining ingredients.  Mix very well and place in the fridge for a couple of hours.  
To serve, scoop into bowl and heat for 1 minute in the microwave.  DELICIOUS! Enjoy!
Slightly altered from a recipe courtesy of the Neely's on foodnetwork.com 

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