Monthly Archives: March 2014

Baked Spaghetti Bread

Cheesy Baked Spaghetti Bread

Baked Spaghetti Bread

I adapted this recipe from http://www.rhodesbread.com/blog/blog/braided-spaghetti-bread, and I haven’t looked back. Left over spaghetti never tasted so good.

Baked Spaghetti Bread

The presentation combined with the delcious-ness makes it an instant crowd pleaser. So, I like to make it for get-togethers, and people seem to be so impressed by the simple braided crust and then are impressed by how yummy it is. I’ve tried experimenting with different seasonings and cheeses or making it without ground beef.  I’ve found it is pretty much impossible to mess this recipe up, unless you burn it, drop it on the floor and the dog gets to it first.

This is just a fun and delicious way to make left over spaghetti special.  Many times though, I make spaghetti specifically for this recipe.

Baked Spaghetti Bread

Roll out dough, put spaghetti and cheese in the center. Cut slits in the dough and add a little pesto if you have it. Baked Spaghetti BreadStart folding

 

Baked Spaghetti BreadCriss-cross!

Baked Spaghetti Bread

Baked Spaghetti BreadKeep going.  Baked Spaghetti BreadAlmost done! Baked Spaghetti BreadEasy as pie!

Baked Spaghetti Bread

Add some Italian seasoning & sprinkle on some Parmesan….

Baked Spaghetti BreadBake and serve!

Baked Cheesy Spagetthi Bread
Recipe type: Casserole
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3
 
Ingredients
  • 1 Loaf Rhodes Bread Dough or 12 rolls of frozen bread dough
  • 2 cups left over spaghetti (spaghetti noodles covered in meat sauce)
  • 6 oz shredded cheese (mozzarella and/or asaigo and/or romano)
  • 1 tbsp Italian spices (basil/oregano/thyme)
  • 3 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp pesto (optional)
  • Extra sauce for dipping
Instructions
  1. Let frozen dough defrost in refrigerator overnight, on counter for 2 hours, or if pressed for time, microwave on low until workable.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  3. Roll out dough on floured surface to the size of your cookie sheet or about 12x16 inches
  4. Transfer dough to buttered cookie sheet
  5. Add left over spaghetti in a heaping strip along center of dough, leaving about 3-4 inches on both sides. Add shredded cheese on top.
  6. Cut about 20 slits in each side toward center, stopping ½ inch before reaching spaghetti. Make sure number of slits on each side are equal.
  7. Add a smear of pesto on each strip (optional).
  8. Start on one end and stretch strip over to the other side, at about a 45 degree angle.
  9. Then bring strip on other side back over crossing the first strip at about a 45 degree angle. Keep alternating strip in criss-cross pattern until finished. Fold end up towards center if necessary.
  10. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning then parmesan cheese.
  11. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes.
  12. Serve with extra sauce for dipping if desired.
Notes
Rhodes bread dough is found in the frozen section. Alternatively use about 12 frozen rolls of dough to substitute for 1 loaf
Use two Rhodes bread dough loaves and add more spaghetti/meat sauce to serve 6. Add 10-15 minutes cooking time.

 

Baked Spaghetti Bread

Simple Curry

Simple Greek Yogurt Curry

Simple Curry

Greek yogurt is so wonderful. It is full of protein and probiotics.  I often use it to replace all kinds of ingredients  in recipes. Depending on the recipe, I may use it to replace heavy cream, milk, or even ice cream such as in a smoothie.

Simple Curry

I always use greek yogurt when making curry, I feel like it mellows out the spices. The first time I made this curry was for my boyfriend (now hubby), in college.  I had never tried curry, but smelled it at some restaurant and craved it.  We tried it, and are never going back.  The flavor is rich and it transforms what ever vegetables I need use up into a exciting meal.  I throw in chicken if I have it or cayenne pepper if the hubby is feeling spicy, and I like to serve it over thin rice noodles.

Simple Curry

Greek Yogurt Curry
Author: 
Recipe type: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Versitle easy curry
Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tbsp gram masala
  • ½ tbsp garlic powder or 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1½ cup greek yogurt
  • 2-3 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 cups chopped vegetables (I used mushrooms, cauliflower, and carrots)
  • 1 chicken breast (optional)
  • rice or rice noodles
Instructions
  1. DIce onion and brown in olive oil for 15 minutes in large nonstick pan over medium high heat. Add spices (garlic, curry, and gram masala) to onions and contuine sauteing for 3 minutes.
  2. Turn heat down to medium low and mix in 2 cups milk, yogurt, tomato paste, and vegetables and simmer for 1½ - 2 hours or until desired tenderness of vegetables. Add more milk as needed to keep sauce from drying or burning.
  3. Optionally, add cut up chicken breast and simmer for 20 more minutes.
  4. Serve over rice or rice noodles, cooked according to package instructions.

IMG_2704

Raspberry Nutella Greek Yogurt Smoothie

Raspberry Nutella Greek Yogurt Smoothie

Raspberry Nutella Greek Yogurt Smoothie   Spring is here!  The birds are tweeting, the sun is shining, and pollen is EVERYWHERE.  Our cars are covered and I can literally see clouds of pollen floating from the trees with every gust of wind.  I didn’t want to inhale all that yellow stuff so I decided to stay indoors and celebrate the arrival of spring with a smoothie :)

Actually this smoothie, has the consistency of soft serve ice cream, which is just how I like it.  It feels like I am indulging in on  icecream when in reality I am eating veggies and high protein greek yogurt. One of my favorite flavor combinations is chocolate and raspberries so I decided a  nutella and raspberry smoothie would be perfect.  I added a banana too, to get a creamy consistency, but the  banana flavor is overtaken by the raspberry and nutella.  I couldn’t help but put a little whip topping and chocolate syrup on top but that part is totally optional.

Raspberry Nutella Greek Yogurt Smoothie

I love to make smoothies because they are so easy to make, easy to clean up, and are delicious.  I have a dishwasher safe blender so I just throw my ingredients in the blender, blend, eat, and then the dishwasher cleans up for me. I love it.

Raspberry Nutella Greek Yogurt Smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert, Snack
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp nutella
  • 1 frozen banana
  • ¾ cup frozen raspberries
  • ⅓ cup plain greek yogurt
  • ⅓ cup almond milk
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients in blender and puree about 3 minutes, or until consistency is smooth.
Notes
This smoothie is thick, just add more milk for a thinner consistency.

 

Raspberry Nutella Greek Yogurt Smoothie

Grasshopper Pie

Grasshopper Pie

Grasshopper Pie

Today is cause for celebration.  Not only do I get to go see some family from Georgia this weekend, but I also didn’t have to work today!  There were too many nurses on the schedule and I happily volunteered to go home. ..and make pie for everyone :)

Don’t get me wrong, I like my job. However, I also love family. And pie.

Chocolate and mint is one of the greatest flavor combinations of all time. Chocolate and raspberry is the other greatest dessert flavor combination, but since it is St. Patrick’s Day weekend we will stick to minty green for now.  There are dozens of variations of grasshopper pies out there, some get pretty complicated and complicated doesn’t necessarily mean more delicious.  This version is easy and there is no use of the stove top or baking needed! Just some stirring, chopping up cookies, and pouring.  This pie has the creaminess of a minty cool whip layered on chocolate pudding and a crunch from a cookie crumb crust and chopped up mint chocolate cookies.  I am not sure why it is called grasshopper pie; my best guess is the green color. I try to sneak veggies in recipes sometimes but I promise I did not sneak any grasshoppers in this pie.

Grasshopper Pie

The first time I made this was for my in-laws and they LOVE IT!  I also love it, obviously, but surprisingly my hubby does too.  He tends to be a chocolate purist and doesn’t like his chocolate tainted with other flavors. I mean the man passes up Reese’s for crying out loud! Nevertheless, this pie is just too good to pass up, even for him. Mm-mm, success.

I usually try to take pictures of food before I eat it, but this pie had already chilled in the freezer for a couple hours and the creamy minty cool whip, chocolate pudding, and crunchy cookie crumbs just called out to me. Sooo, I ate a bite or two between pictures.

Grasshopper PieGrasshopper PieGrasshopper PieGrasshopper PieGrasshopper Pie

All of a sudden my slice was gone, but it was all for the sake of the delicious looking pictures above, so of course I had to help myself to a second slice for more delicious looking pictures. And then eat that slice too :)

With a belly full of pie, I am one happy lady.

I adapted this recipe from one that was originally published in Simple & Delicious November/December 2007 p 61.

Grasshopper Pie
Recipe type: dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Mint chocolate puddin' pie in a cookie crumb crust
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cups cold almond milk (regular works too)
  • 1 package (3.9 ounces) instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 2-1/2 cups light cool whip, divided
  • 7 mint chocolate cookies* , divided
  • 1 chocolate crumb crust (9 inches)
  • ¼ teaspoon mint extract
  • A couple drops green food coloring (optional)
Instructions
  1. Mix milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes then let sit for 2 minutes. Fold in ¾ cup cool whip
  2. Chop up 5 cookies and stir into in pudding mixture then pour into cookie crust.
  3. Mix the remaining cool whip with mint extract and food coloring and spread on top of the pudding layer in the cookie crust. Chop up the 2 remaining cookies and sprinkle over the top.
  4. Cover and freeze 2 hours or refrigerate 4 hours, or until set.
Notes
Store in refrigerator for a creamy texture to the pudding or freezer for an ice-cream like consistency.

 

Grasshopper Pie

 

Roasted Vegetable Salad

Roasted Vegetable Salad

Roasted Vegetable Salad

This salad is exciting. Using cabbage as the base I loaded it up with colorfully fun healthy veggies. That’s right, I called vegetables fun.  I had a bunch of veggies in the fridge pleading with me to be used before they went bad, including mushrooms which I always always have in the fridge.  A wasted mushroom is a sad day, and I had a whole cupful of mushrooms just days shy of the  slime stage so something had to be done STAT.

Roasted Vegetable Salad

Have I mentioned my addiction to mushrooms?! Its bad, I put them in and on everything. I have never ever ordered a mushroom-less pizza. I don’t know why I love them so, but I do. It is an irrational love. I can’t quite put my finger on it why they taste so good, and I am compelled to add them to almost every savory dish that comes out of my kitchen, but hey, many a people have been caught up in all kinds of irrational love way wilder than my mushroom love.

I digress.

Back to this delicious roasted salad.

Roasted Vegetable SaladRoasted Vegetable Salad

To make it more filling, I added potatoes to the mix. I found an assortment of red, white, and purple fingerling potatoes at a local store that sells cheap local produce called the Vegetable Bin. They have been in business for a century, and for good reason. I mean, who can resist buying purple potatoes?!  I also can’t resist buying their locally made sourdough bread.

Roasted Vegetable Salad

Roasted Vegetable Salad
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Roast vegetable salad serves 6-8 people depending on if it is a side or main dish and left overs are easily reheated.
Ingredients
  • ½ head cabbage
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • ½ cup sliced carrots
  • 1 small squash
  • ½ zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped potatoes
  • 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon
  • 1tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 415F
  2. Mix together lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.
  3. Chop up cabbage into wedges, about 2-3 inches long. Dice onions, and chop up the rest of the vegetables to the size of your preference, no bigger than ½ inch x ½ inch thick.
  4. Put the vegetables together in large bowl then pour olive oil mixture over it and stir gently as to not break up the cabbage wedges too much.
  5. Put mixture on cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil and bake at 415F for 40-50 minutes, flipping vegetables with spatula about every 15 minutes.

Roasted Vegetable Salad

Copycat Chick-Fil-A Lemonade

Copycat Chick-Fil-A Lemonade

Copycat Chick-Fil-A Lemonade

Sometimes I crave Chick-Fil-A, and those cravings usually happen Sunday. When they are closed :/

WHY?!

Copycat Chick-Fil-A LemonadeCopycat Chick-Fil-A Lemonade

So I decided to try to recreate their lemonade, so I could satisfy just part of my Sunday afternoonIMG_3139 craving. Their lemonade is nice and tangy, and not overly sweet.  I like a kick in my lemonade and this copycat recipe delivers.  It is so good on a hot day, which is already happening here in Charleston…in March. Crazy, but I am not complaining one bit. Yesterday we romped around on the beach with our pup. Romp romp romp.

Copycat Chick-Fil-A LemonadeNo store bought lemonade can match the deliciousness of fresh squeezed lemonade.  My hubby used to work at Chick-Fil-A and said he would cut up hundreds of lemons and use a machine that would squeeze them to create gallons of lemonade. The machine I used to squeeze these lemons is called a bicep. There is nothing wrong with ‘squeezing’ in a little work out in the kitchen. Hehe.

Copycat Chick-Fil-A Lemonade
Author: 
Recipe type: Drinks
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5
 
Fresh squeezed tangy lemonade that is not overly sweet. Makes 5 glasses of lemonade.
Ingredients
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 4 cups water, divided
  • ¾ cup lemon juice (about 6 squeezed lemons)
Instructions
  1. Squeeze lemons, making sure to strain out the seeds and most but not all of the pulp.
  2. Mix sugar and 1 cup of water in microwave safe container then microwave for 1 minute on high. Stir then microwave 1 more minute and mix until sugar dissolves completely.
  3. Stir sugar water, 3 cups chilled water, and lemon juice then refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

Copycat Chick-Fil-A Lemonade

Single Serve Waffle Recipe

Single Serve Waffle

Single Serve Waffle Recipe

This morning I just wanted a waffle. My husband wanted to skip breakfast in order to sleep in, but I wanted my waffle. A hearty whole wheat cinnamon waffle with chopped pecans (pronounced pe-cans not pe-cons here in good ol’ South Carolina).  AND a drizzle of local honey on top.  AND some fresh cut up fruit to go with it.  I was practically drooling by the time I thought all this out.  Scott could have his cozy bed and puppy snuggles, but I would have a peaceful morning with a single healthy waffle all to myself. hehehe :)

Single Serve Waffle RecipeIMG_2491

So here you have it.  My fresh off the waffle iron single serve waffle recipe!

Single Serve Waffle
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Easy single serve whole wheat pecan waffle recipe.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2½ tbsp chopped pecans
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup almond milk
Instructions
  1. Grease waffle iron and preheat
  2. Mix dry ingredients together and then mix wet ingredients together in separate bowls
  3. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
  4. Immediately pour into waffle iron and cook according to your waffle iron instructions, or on medium-high heat for 2 minutes.

Single Serve Waffle RecipeSingle Serve Waffle Recipe

Pesto Ricotta Biscuits

Pesto Ricotta Drop Biscuits

Pesto Ricotta Biscuits           I love pesto, mainly because I love basil. Pesto its like an explosion of basil flavor so I just knew adding it to the biscuits would make them a perfect complement to an Italian dinner.  I decided I should add a little ricotta cheese to them too.  Since my biscuits are so fluffy yet rich and delicious with the thick creamy ingredient-buttermilk (aka pure baking gold), I figured the addition of ricotta cheese would make these babies just as flavorful-Italian dinner style.  It worked big time. These biscuits are fluffy yet melt in your mouth  with flavor.  I definitely impressed the hubby with this one.

Pesto Ricotta Biscuits

This recipe yeilds 16 of these little drop biscuit babies.  The batter looked a little green, but the end result, even less green, which is good because I am certain bright green biscuits would be zero appetizing to my picky husband.

Pesto Ricotta BiscuitsPesto Ricotta Biscuits

I guess ricotta cheese is not know for being the healthiest thing in the world so I tried to balance it out by adding a bit of whole wheat flour, using smart balance butter, and almond milk.  I know, it doesn’t work that way, but every little bit helps right? 😉

Pesto Ricotta Drop Biscuits
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Southern drop biscuits combined with Italian flavors.
Ingredients
  • 1½ cup self rising flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup ricotta
  • 3 tbsp butter*
  • 2 tbsp pesto
  • 1 cup milk*
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Butter cookie sheet and preheat oven to 415 F.
  2. Mix self rising flour and whole wheat flour in mixing bowl.
  3. Add butter pinching with fingers until thoroughly mixed. Then add ricotta, pinching with fingers until ricotta is distributed throughout mixture
  4. Mix in milk and pesto.
  5. Drop large spoonfuls of mixture on buttered cookie sheet and sprinkle parmesan cheese over the tops.
  6. Bake at 415F for 16-18 minutes
Notes
*I used smart balance butter and original unsweetened almond milk

 

Pesto Ricotta Biscuits

Vegetable Pesto Pasta

Veggie Pesto Pasta

Vegetable Pesto Pasta

One of my favorite stores is World Market.  When Scott and I are bored and looking to get out of the house, World Market , is a place we both agree to go look around in. It has some fun neat stuff such as soap that smells really really good, cool decorations, and of course my favorite- unique interesting foods from different parts of the world.  I found some delicious looking basil pesto this week-end and so I put it to the test.

fresh vegetables

Of course, I started with a lovely line up of fresh veggies. How could anything go wrong. It makes me happy to coat vegetables with the deliciousness of pesto so that my hubby will eat it.

Vegetable Pesto PastaVegetable Pesto Pasta

Vegetable Pesto Pasta

After taking our pup to the dog park,  Kindo spent the afternoon snoozing on the couch, Scott spent the afternoon gaming, and I happily spent the afternoon dreaming and cooking up a couple pesto recipes.  I love pesto; it is rich and creamy from the olive oil and bursting with the flavor of green ground spices.  It is not spicy, just flavorful, so I added it to some biscuits made moist by ricotta cheese and some easy to make vegetable pasta.

Vegetable Pesto Pasta

Veggie Pesto Pasta
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5
 
Spaghetti with pesto, abundant veggies, ricotta & parmesan cheese
Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 small yellow squash
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 8 oz mushrooms (1 pack)
  • ⅓ cup wine
  • 1 pack cherry tomatoes
  • ½ lb spagetthi (1/2 pack)
  • ½ cup pesto
  • parmesan cheese (optional)
  • ricotta cheese (optional)
Instructions
  1. Dice onion, chop mushrooms, mince garlic, and thinly slice bell pepper then sautee in nonstick pan with olive oil over medium heat
  2. In the meantime, thinly slice zucchini and squash, cut cherry tomatoes in half, then add to pan along with wine. Let the liquid cook off while preparing the noodles.
  3. Heat a pot of water over high heat. Once it comes to a boil, add spaghetti or preferred pasta and cook according to package instruction.
  4. Drain pasta and mix with pesto. Mix in the vegetables.
  5. Serve each plate with 3 heaping tablespoons of ricotta cheese and a heavy sprinkling of parmesan cheese.

 

Vegetable Pesto Pasta

Vegetable Pesto Pasta
Vegetable Pesto Pasta