Sausage & Cheese Tortellini

Sausage & Cheese Tortellini

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Hi friends! And a special shout out to all the moms on Mothers Day! ❤

This is one of those recipes that was written for the slow cooker but as I’ve stated before those don’t fit into my life that well. So I transposed this, if you will, to be made in a fraction of the time on the stovetop!

Turned out great. And it’s really a fast thing to make, especially when you can buy those pre made tortellini’s  in the store. Life savers for a busy mom. I’m  not a mom but if I appreciated how fast this one was to make, I’m sure moms do to0 🙂 And the basil added at the end gives this a real boost of fresh flavor.

Ingredients: 

  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 20 oz package of your favorite tortellini
  • 1 lb  Italian sausage
  • 2 Cans Diced Tomatoes (I used the ones seasoned with basil, garlic & oregano)
  • 4 oz. Neufchâtel Cheese (Or cream cheese)
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Fresh Basil

Instructions: 

1. Take your Neufchâtel out of the fridge, and let it sit and soften a bit while you brown your sausage in a large pot.

2. Drain your sausage once it’s cooked and add the tortellini to your pot. Pour the tomatoes with liquid and all, and broth over the top. Add your cream cheese to the pot in chunks.

3. Give it a good stir to get everything evenly distributed, making sure the liquids are adequately covering the tortellini.

4. Cook uncovered on med-high head for a total of about 30 minutes or so or until your tortellini is cooked and your sauce has thickened a bit.

5. Pour into individual bowls and top with basil and cheese if desired.

Sooooo simple and tasty! Hope you like it as much as we did.

 

xoxo

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Thai Peanut One Pot Pasta

Thai Peanut One Pot Pasta

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3 words. One pot pasta- If you haven’t tried it, you need to. This is the second rendition of this ‘method’ that I’ve tried. First it was an Italian version- check that out HERE.

If someone asked me what my favorite ethnic found group was- I would be hard pressed to say Thai; and make it extra spicy 🙂 This dish isn’t spicy but it is delicious. This is totally versatile too and you can remove/add anything you want. For instance I am obsessed with hot sauce so I added about half a bottle of Siracha to mine……. 🙂

Hope you enjoy this easy delicious dinner!

Ingredients: 

12 ounces whole wheat linguine (or any long pasta)
4 cups water (or vegetable or chicken broth for extra flavor)
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon curry paste (I love green curry paste)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or minced hot pepper (jalapeño, Serrano, etc…)
2 inches of a ginger root, grated. Which makes it almost paste like.
2 carrots, matchsticked
1 red bell pepper, thick julienned
4 green onions, roughly chopped into 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons peanut butter

Add at the end of cooking:
About a 1/2 cup of cilantro
Juice of two limes

Optional garnishes:

Chopped peanuts
Mung bean sprouts
Jalapeño slices
More Cilantro

Directions:

Place 3 1/2 cups of the water and all other ingredients except cilantro and lime juice and garnishes in a large stockpot. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and keep covered and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Cook until pasta is al dente and almost all liquid has evaporated – this is where you can add more water if you need to.

Remove from heat. Then stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper if you want , sprinkle on garnishes as desired and eat!

YEAH, it’s that easy. Like I said above, I’m in love with spicy food so I added jalapeños and hot sauce to mine- but you can make this a 100% non spicy dish. It’s packed full of flavor and ummmmm could it get easier??!?!? No. The answer is, no it could not.

Hope you enjoy!!

*If you like this recipe make sure to check out my tomato basil version!

xoxo

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Fresh Veggie Greek Pasta

Fresh Veggie Greek Pasta

Ahhh, look how pretty this one is. Screams summer time BBQ to me.

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NEWS FLASH-I live in Wisconsin (ps. GO BUCKY!)

NEWS FLASH- it’s basically April and it snowed last week……

NEWS FLASH- I’m freaking sick of it!

I was desperate for something that tasted like summer and I came across this recipe.  It seemed so fresh tasting, and it was. 🙂

I made a dinner out of this and topped it with some chopped up chicken breast. We ate it warm. But I believe the recipe was originally intended to be a cold pasta salad. Like the ones you bring to SUMMER barbeques with friends when you wear shorts and tank tops and can sit outsiiiiiide and enjoy a cold beverage and possibly see some lightening bugs…ahhhhhh the good times. CAN. NOT.WAIT.

Anyway, we both really liked this dish. It was also a mini-milestone for me beeeecccaauuuse it contains kalmata olives and my Beau ate them! OK – he sort of picked around them while serving and it’s not like he said “these taste GREAT!” but after you hear this story you’ll realize why I’m so happy.

Jake and I have been together for about 6 and a half years. We met in college. Around our 1 year anniversary I decided to make him dinner. Back then it was a rare occurance as we lived in dorms or college housing and no access to a kitchen and we’re poor so there’s that. ANYWAY I choose to make a dish my mom always made called Medditeranean Chicken. Super simple and tasty. Basically 4 ingredients. Chicken breasts, cherry tomotoes, capers, kalmata olives- and then baked. Looking back, I have NO idea what I was thinking. Jake didn’t grow up eating as many diverse flavors as me and his palate was a little, limited shall we say. This was just too much.

Here’s the down and dirty version: I cook. I plate. We sit down. I take a bite=heaven. Jake takes a bite= run to bathroom, spit out food, brush teeth, gargle with Listerine immedietly.

How we are together to this day you ask? I don’t know. My feelings were so hurt but I tried to understand that it was “weird flavors!” for him. Anyway at the time, he pointed to the capers as being the death of him but after that it was both olives and capers that I had to hear about how he dispised them everytime they were in a 5 foot radius of him. I’m taking this dish a sign that almost 5 years later his palate has grown and adapted and they can slowly become part of our grocery repitiore.

But enough about me- Here is how you can make this deeeelicious recipe for you and your family!

Ingredients:
2-3 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons chopped parsley(I prefer Flat Leaf Italian)
1 tablespoon chopped basil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 pound penne pasta (or whatever pasta you want)
6 tablespoons olive oil
3 teaspoons garlic, minced

Instructions:
– In a large bowl, combine the chopped tomatoes, olives, feta, herbs and spices, salt and pepper. *If you want to serve this dish cold, you could add this mixture to the fridge at this point to chill
– Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain in a collander.
– In the same pot, (with the pasta in the collander) heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes without letting it turn brown and cripsy.
– Put the pasta back into to the pot and toss with olive oil mixture.
– Add the tomato-olive mixture and toss until the fresh vegetables are thoroughly mixed with the penne.
– Serve!

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Hope you enjoy! And I also hope the weather is warmer by you, but if it is please don’t tell me about it. I’m bitter, however I can’t complain tooooo much as it’s about 50 today. SPRING IS COMING!

Thanks for vewing !

xoxo

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One Pot Pasta

One Pot Pasta

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Literally throw it all in a pot

Happy Sunday! Hope everyone had a great weekend. If you’re struggling for simple recipe ideas for the upcoming week, I’ve gotcha covered. This is seriously one of the simplest and tastiest week night meals ever! I first saw this and was like “ummmm what? there’s no way you can cook it all together and it doesn’t get gooey and mushy and naaaasty”  There were too many good reviews for me to not try it and also the hope that it really would be delicious was too much for me to take- I gave it a try.

I’ve made this multiple times since the first time and I’ve made a few adaptations. First of all, I really did find it a little “gummy” the first time- I’ve found that a good way to help reduce this is to not add all the water right at the beginning and then add more towards the end of the cooking if it needs it. Also one time I made this I had some extra spinach lying around which was close to being not so great anymore, I threw it in right at the end and let it wilt and it really look this to the next level. As you can see in the picture above, you seriously just throw it all together and let it cook. Magical! 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces whole wheat linguine (or spaghetti, really just a long pasta)
  • 12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly or minced
  • 1/2 -1  teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
  • 2 sprigs fresh basil, plus torn leaves for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups water (or chicken or veggie stock for added flavor)
  • 3 oz Fresh Spinach (about half a standard bag)
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Directions

  1. Combine pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, red-pepper flakes, basil, oil, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and about 3 and a half cups of water in a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil mixture, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs, until pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated/soaked into pasta, which takes about about 10-12 minutes. This is where you can add more water if need be.
  2. Remove from heat. Stir in the spinach and let it wilt (like 2 minutes). Then season to taste with  extra salt and pepper, plate it up and garnish with basil and Parmesan cheese.
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ta da!

Sooo good. We love this and it’s packed with veggies and nutrients and yet soooo delicious you wouldn’t know it.

I have also made a Spicy Peanut Thai version of the one pot pasta- serisouly ALSO freaking delicious! Look for it in an upcoming post!

As always- thanks for reading, friends!

xoxo

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Mediterranean Mac & Cheese

Mediterranean Mac & Cheese

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Hello! So I started a thing where every week I’ll ask Jake to look at my food Pinterest board and pick a recipe for me to make during the week. I just get so sick of allllllwwaayyys picking what we eat and when I ask Jake he says ” um, I don’t know. Anything.” I mean doesn’t he browse blogs all day long and have a million recipes just floating around in his head? No? Ok then he needs a little inspiration 🙂 This was one that he picked. Clearly didn’t read anything about it since it contains olives which he ‘thinks’ are the spawn of satan but I adapted and only added those to my plate. Honestly this doesn’t have a TON of cheese in it, really you are creating a yummy creamy sauce from the flour and milk- which sort of makes you think it’s all cheese but it’s not too crazy. You can totally adapt and remove items you don’t like or add ones you like better. Enjoy!!!

Ingredients

  • 1 big (14.5 oz) can fire roasted, diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/3 cup chopped black or kalamata olives (I used about 1 tbsp of capers too!)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 box pasta(16oz)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 coves garlic, finely minced
  • 3 Tbsp a.p. flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 oz crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease an oven save dish (I used 9×13) & set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine drained diced tomatoes, chopped olives/capers, 1 Tbsp basil and dried oregano, set aside.
  • Boil pasta to al dente according to directions listed on package. Drain pasta well and return to pot.
  • Meanwhile, melt butter along with olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add onion and saute until soft and lightly golden, about 3 – 4 minutes, adding in garlic during the last minute of sauteing.
  • Whisk in flour, and cook stirring constantly for 1 minute. While whisking constantly, slowly pour in milk and bring to a boil, don’t stop stirring!
  • Once mixture reaches a boil reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring constantly until mixture has thickened, about 4 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, stir in 2 oz feta cheese and the mozzarella cheese then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pour tomato mixture over drained pasta and toss, then pour sauce over pasta mixture and toss all to evenly coat.
  • Pour coated pasta mixture into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle top evenly with remaining 4 oz crumbled feta cheese. Bake in preheated oven 20 – 25 minutes until edges are bubbling and top is golden brown.
  • Serve warm and garnished with basil!

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Ok see this is an example of a draft I created before I started my new photography initiative. Please excuse my orange ‘blaaaa’ lighting…I promise that it’s equally as delicious as if I’d taken the picture with my Nikon. Just tryyyyy it!

xoxo

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