Sunday, September 7, 2014

Rotini Pumpkin Pasta

1 - 12oz pkg whole wheat rotini pasta
1-lb Italian turkey sausage (casings removed)
Olive oil
1/4 c. diced onion
3 tsp. minced jar garlic
1 1/4 c. Chicken broth
15 oz. can pumpkin puree
1 c. heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
pinch of ground cinnamon
Salt & pepper to taste
Italian blend shredded cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

In a 3 qt. stockpot heat 1 tsp olive olive. Brown sausage until no longer pink. Drain and set aside.

Return pot to heat adding a 1/2 tsp olive oil. Over medium heat saute onion and garlic for 3 - 4 minutes.

Stir in broth, pumpkin, heavy cream, red pepper, cinnamon and cooked sausage. Stir to combine. Salt & pepper to taste. Over med-low heat simmer mixture to thicken; stirring often. This should take about 10 minutes.Sprinkle about 1/4 - 1/2 cup of shredded cheese. Stir to melt.

Pour sauce over cooked pasta & stir to coat noodles. Top with more shredded cheese and serve.

Click HERE for printable recipe


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Coleslaw Easter Eggs

Every year at Easter time I get so excited to dye my eggs. This was such a fun tradition growing up that I never out grew it. Well this year, I decided I was tired of the same 'ol dyed egg shells that you just peel and toss in the trash. I was also tired of the same 'ol recipe for making deviled eggs. So here's the new spin on an old favorite.

First I hard boiled my eggs as normal. Once cooled I peeled the eggs, cut them in half to remove the cooked yolks and using food safe Easter egg dye, I dyed the egg whites themselves then arranged them on an egg platter for filling.

Coleslaw Eggs
1 dozen eggs (hard boiled, cooled, peeled, halved, yolks removed & in this case egg whites dyed)
1/4 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
Black pepper (to taste)
1/4 tsp. Dehydrated minced onion
1/4 tsp. Garlic powder
Hidden Valley Ranch Coleslaw dressing
2 Tblsp. Bacon bits

To the reserved yolks that were previously removed from the hard boiled eggs, dd in dry seasonings. Stir to break up yolks. Add in enough Coleslaw dressing to moisten but not saturate the yolk mixture. Stir to mix well. Filling should be moist and smooth. Spoon into each egg half. Sprinkle with a dash of Old Bay atop filled eggs for decoration. Keep refrigerated.

Click HERE for printable recipe

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Homemade Cherry Lime-Aid

While happy hour is nice, I don't always have time to run by Sonic, so instead I thought I'd recreate one of our favorite snack time drinks...the Cherry Lime-aid. So the other day, I got in the kitchen and started throwing things together. The end result was delicious and refreshing. 

1 (2 liter) bottle Siera Mist lemon lime flavored soda 
1 (16 oz) jar Maraschino cherries 
1 fresh lime 
(Image taken before lime slices were added)
In a large container pour entire jar of cherries and juice. Next slowly add the bottle of Siera Mist. The mixture will bubble & fizz, which I think is pretty neat to watch. Slice the lime into thin circles and add to the liquid. Stir well. Refrigerate and serve chilled.

Click HERE for printable recipe

Monday, February 3, 2014

De-Constructed Red Hot Chicken Casserole

For Superbowl Sunday, it's not uncommon to see "Hot Wings" on the party menu. While I do enjoy a good hot wing, I am not a fan of the, eating or cleaning from it. While I am so NOT a football fan, I was beginning to crave the taste of the hot wing sauce. If you've followed my blog for any amount of time, you know how I do enjoy pasta. So....with that in mind, I adapted a sort of deconstructed hot wing, pasta casserole type dish to have instead. It satisfied with the spicy chicken flavor I was looking for, yet had the cheese pasta that I love. 

12 oz. large elbow noodles
4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
crushed red pepper
Thai style chili sauce
1/2 Tblsp minced garlic (I prefer jarred garlic)
1 1/4 c. homemade Italian seasoned breadcrumbs (or store bought)
1 celery stalk, finely diced
5 oz. sundried tomato & pesto goat cheese
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
4 cups 2% milk

1 c. Franks Red Hot Wings (hot) sauce
8 oz. jalapeno jack shredded cheese
4 c. cheddar cheese cubes

Preheat oven to 350*. Grease a 9"x13" oblong casserole and set aside. 

Season chicken breasts with desired amount of spicy chili sauce, 
garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium low heat until juices 
run clear and meat is fully cooked.
 In the meantime, prepare noodles according to package directions. 
Drain and set aside. 

Remove chicken from dutch oven and dice into small cubes. 
Be careful handling chicken as meat is still hot. 

 In a small bowl combine bread crumbs, diced celery 
and goat cheese. Stir well to combine. 

 In a medium sauce pot over medium low heat, 
melt 6 Tblsps butter.

To the melted butter, whisk in flour.Cook over med low heat 
about 3-4 minutes stirring consistently.
 Now stir in milk. 
 Continue stirring and cooking until mixture begins to feel "tight."

Reduce heat to low and stir in Frank's Red Hot sauce and 
jalapeno jack cheese. Stir until cheese melts and mixture is smooth
 to stir. 
 Stir in diced chicken.
In a greased 9"x13" oblong casserole, mix together the cooked 
pasta and cubed cheddar cheese.
 Pour chicken & cheese sauce over the pasta. 
Carefully stir to mix together.

Top with bread crumb mixture. Bake at 350* for 35-45 minutes, 
until bubbly and cheese is melted.
 Remove from oven and serve. 
Pairs great with homemade bread and butter.  

Click HERE for printable recipe

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Fresh Squeezed

The other day a friend gave me some of her fresh picked meyer lemons. I knew I wouldn't be able to use them all at one time, so I decided to juice them. 

Fresh lemon juice is great in a myriad of recipes from soups to baking to salad vinaigrette. But how do you capture that fresh squeezed taste when you may not need the juice right away? Simple...freeze it!
Freezing options are up to your preference, but I like to use ice cube trays. For $2 at the local Dollar General store I was able to pick up a 3 pack of stacking trays. Using my juicer I simply juiced the liquid gold and filled up my trays. Once frozen solid I can pop them out of the trays and store them in zip lock bags and pull out a cube as needed. I had a half pint of liquid left over, so I simply stored in it a canning jar in the icebox. This weekend it will definitely get used in a cake recipe as well as a soup. Waste not want not!