Super Easy and Delicious Red Sauce

A few years ago, a friend of mine gave me a recipe for Baked Ziti. Her husband was stationed in Naples, Italy for a few years and she got the recipe from a local. The recipe included a homemade red sauce that we really liked, but it wasn’t quite perfect. Adam has spent the last few years tweaking it and he’s finally determined that it’s as good as it’s going to get. And it’s good, READ MORE

Baked Blueberry French Toast

Baked Blueberry French Toast just sounds incredible, doesn’t it? It tastes incredible too. Even better, it is very easy to make. Even my cooking-challenged self hasn’t managed to screw this one up yet! We make it every year for breakfast Christmas morning and it is my go-to dish for breakfast potlucks.

2 8-oz bags cinnamon sugar pita chips
7 large eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
6 oz fresh blueberries
READ MORE

Spicy Pasta Salad with Smoked Gouda, Tomatoes & Basil

Gouda is quite possibly one of my most favorite foods.  Nearly every day, I eat an apple with gouda for lunch.  Smoked gouda?  Even better!  (FYI – You can buy a huge wedge of it at Costco for much cheaper than the grocery store!)  This pasta salad was seriously delicious and even better the next day.  I was worried the sauce would be too heavy with the mayo, but it wasn’t at all.  I think next time we make it, we’ll throw in some bacon too.  Bacon and gouda together.. READ MORE

Chocolate Chip Lactation Cookies

They’re called lactation cookies because they’re full of delicious stuff that’s wonderful for nursing mama’s — lots of good-for-you ingredients, some of which have also been shown to help boost milk supply.  As a lot of you know, I battled with supply issues with Braden the entire time he was nursing, then again with Mackenzie as she got closer to a year old.  I ate a LOT of these cookies (did I mention that they’re delicious??).  I promise you, they’re READ MORE

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

I’ve never been a big fan of sweet potatoes.  At least that is what I thought.  I’m a super picky eater and they just didn’t look all that appetizing, so I never tried them.  Orange and mushy just wasn’t doing it for me.  Mature, right?  A few years ago, we were at Disney World with Adam’s aunt and uncle and sweet potato chips came as a side with the sandwich I ordered.  I tried them, since they weren’t mushy, and they were pretty good.  Lately, I’ve READ MORE

Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken Soup

santa fe crock pot chicken soup

The original recipe for this makes a thicker chicken mixture and they recommend serving it over rice. I wasn’t a huge fan of it that way, so I add in some pureed tomatoes and make it into a soup. We top ours with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and a bit of fresh cilantro. Super easy to make and absolutely delicious. It freezes really well and is great as leftovers too.

Ingredients

24 oz (1 1/2) lbs chicken breast
14.4 oz can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
1 cup tomato READ MORE

Broccoli Salad

We have made this a few times and everyone always begs for the recipe. It’s incredibly easy to throw together and seriously delicious. We cut the sugar in half from the original Paula Deen recipe. I love Paula and I have a sweet tooth, but it was way too sweet for us. I also like to use low fat mayo, turkey bacon, and low fat cheese to help make it a bit healthier.  We’ve also used craisins instead of raisins, or a mixture of both.  I think next time I may try adding in some chopped pecans, I love the way they taste with craisins and cheese.

Ingredients:

1 head broccoli
6 to 8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup raisins or craisins
8 ounces sharp cheddar, cut into very small chunks
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Trim off the large leaves from the broccoli stem. Remove the tough stalk at the end and wash broccoli head thoroughly. Cut the head into flowerets and the stem into bite-size pieces. Place in a large bowl. Add the crumbled bacon, onion, raisins/craisins, and cheese. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients, stirring well. Add to broccoli mixture and toss gently.

From Paula Deen.

Baked Ziti

I originally got this recipe from my friend Natalie.  Her husband was stationed in Naples, Italy for a few years and got the recipe from a local.  We really liked the original recipe, but changed a few things (modified sauce, added sausage) to better suit our tastes.

Ingredients:

1 pound ziti
1 cup whole mik ricotta
8 oz thin sliced fresh mozzarella
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 pound Italian sausage
10 basil leaves torn small
1 pot of Adam’s Super Easy and Delicious Red Sauce

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook pasta 2 minutes less than usual and drain.

Cover the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish with sauce (about a cup).  Blend 2 tablespoons of the sauce with the ricotta cheese in a bowl.  Toss the pasta with the ricotta mixture.  Spread half of the pasta in the baking dish. Spread the sausage in the baking dish.  Spoon a layer of sauce over pasta and sausage.  Cover with sliced mozzarella, basil, and half of the grated cheese.  Top with the rest of the pasta, sauce, and grated cheese.

Bake for 45 minutes and cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Cheddar Horseradish Cheese Ball

So very good – cheese, horseradish, and bacon?  How could it be bad?

Ingredients

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (2 1/4 ounces)
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 slices bacon
1/3 cup toasted chopped walnuts
Assorted vegetables and crackers, for serving

Directions

Mix both of the cheeses, the onion, horseradish, 1 of the tablespoon parsley, Worcestershire, salt to taste and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl until evenly combined. Form the cheese mixture into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and chill until firm and the flavors have blended, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Remove the cheese ball from the refrigerator up to 30 minutes before serving. Cook the bacon in skillet until crisp, transfer to a paper towel, and when cool crumble. Mix the bacon with the nuts and remaining tablespoon parsley in a shallow bowl. Roll the cheese ball in the mixture so that it is coated evenly. Serve with vegetables and crackers.

From Food Network.

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