Baked Cavatappi

Baked Cavatappi

One of the things I love about baked pasta is that it’s easy and it’s a comfort food. This dish can be made vegetarian by omitting the meat or by adding soy crumbles as a replacement. I used cavatappi (<< my auto-correct wants to change that to catnapping) pasta because I love the shape and texture. It has small ridges that grip the pasta sauce and cheese which makes each bite more flavorful. It’s also fun to say  cavvvv-aaa-tappi now try that with a southern accent. But you can use any tubular pasta with this bake, penne, ziti and even macaroni. This is a kid approved recipe, 3 out of 3 said YUM! Ingredients 1 lb of pasta 1 lb ground meat (turkey or beef) 1 full jar of pasta sauce 8 oz of ricotta cheese 1 cup of mozzarella cheese black...

Oven Baked Penne with Creamy Alfredo

Oven Baked Penne with Creamy Alfredo

New York City gave me life. Four days of roaming around the city with no children and two of my best friends was the best gift to myself. I went, saw and ate everything. I met wonderful new people and documented every second of my vacation. The photos are posted on my private Instagram account: Erica2368 I am considering doing a separate post on my site featuring the food I ate. I purposely avoided chain restaurants, ate street food, local vendors and small local restaurants. The great news is I finally found a chicken biscuit in NYC and it was AMAZING! I will have to do a post just for that. Overall my trip was a success. I came home recharged and energetic. I loved traveling with my friends and I am planning another trip for May 2015. I prepared for my trip by...

Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s Pie

  Tomorrow I am leaving for my annual vacation. Starting in 2013 I decided to take an extended weekend away from my kids and darling spouse to enjoy alone time. During this weekend I focus and re-center myself. This quiet time gives me moments to concentrate on the things around me. Albeit I am going to one of the busiest cities in the U.S. NYC has been my vacation spot 3 times now and I thoroughly enjoy it. I will take my time at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and eat cupcakes and sushi at Dean and Deluca. These little moments that are usually taken for granted will be an indulgence and as close to luxury as I can get. It also gives me a few days to miss my amazing daughters. I love being a stay at home mom and homeschooling but I think it’s healthy...

Fruit Pizza

Fruit Pizza

The past two weeks have been extremely busy. I had to pleasure of cooking the birthday meal for my wonderful friend and neighbor Mrs. Alyssa. She had a wine and paint party and I made several of her favorite dishes.  She also made a fruit pizza, the one and only thing at the party that I did not make I liked the best! It was so delicious that I had to make it for Elise’s birthday which just so happens to be today. I baked the cookie yesterday and this morning the girls and I decorated the pizza and ate it for breakfast. It was indeed a Happy Birthday for my 6 year old today! Ingredients sugar cookie dough (refrigerated, dry mix or homemade) 8 oz cream cheese (room temperature) 1/3 cup of sugar 1 tablespoon vanilla 4 cups of fruit (strawberries, blueberries,...

No-Knead Bread

No-Knead Bread

I had so much dough left after I made our homemade hot pockets that I had no idea what I should do. I wrapped it in a tight plastic bag and froze it immediately. Dough can last up to one week in the freezer. Yesterday, I pulled it out and let it defrost overnight in a large bowl.  By the morning the dough quadrupled in size. I punched it down, flipped it over and let it sit while I preheated the oven. The girls enjoyed waking up to the smell of fresh baked bread. Ingredients Basic Pizza Dough Directions Allow the dough to sit, overnight is preferable. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place Dutch oven (lid on) in hot oven and allow to heat for 30 minutes.  Place dough in hot Dutch oven (lid on), bake for 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes....

Jalapeno and Corn Dip

Jalapeno and Corn Dip

  Quick and easy way to make a delicious dip. It’s easy to add ingredients to make tasty variations on this dip. I included a squeeze of lime to give it a bit of a bite. I also added way more jalapenos because I keep it spicy. You can add cayenne, mayo, Monterrey cheese, etc. This recipe is versatile and it will always be a big hit. Ingredients 4 slices bacon, diced 3 (15.25-ounces) cans whole kernel corn, drained 2 jalapenos, seeded and diced or 2 tablespoons of picked jalapenos 1/2 cup sour cream 1 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese 1/4 cup Mexican Cheese blend salt, black pepper, cumin, season to taste 1/4 cup of fresh chopped cilantro 8 ounces cream cheese, cubed 2 tablespoons chopped chives Directions 1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat....

Crispy Kale Chips

Crispy Kale Chips

I love kale. I try to include it in my diet daily. I used organic leafy kale for this recipe but you can use baby kale or any form of kale that you find. This recipe also works well with spinach leaves too. Ingredients kale olive oil salt Directions 1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 2. Wash, clean and dry kale leaves. Using a knife cut the stems to separate the leaves. Coat in olive oil and seasoning (salt works fine but I used Greek in this recipe. 3.  Transfer to cookie sheet. Bake until crispy, about 10 minutes. I do not allow them to get brown because it changes the flavor. I enjoy the bright green color of kale. Thanks for reading my blog and allowing me to share my food journal with you. Wake up everyday expecting...

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