Spaghetti alla Carbonara

This recipe is from The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook. I love pastas with creamy sauces...Mike isn't a big pasta fan and pretty much prefers traditional spaghetti over anything else...why was I the one born with Celiac Disease?! Oh well, when I make my gluten free versions it means lots more for me :-)! Aside from cooking the bacon (which Mike kindly did for me), this dish was simple to throw together and I LOVED it!!!

Ingredients:
- 16 oz spaghetti or fettuccine (I used gluten free spaghetti)
- 1/2 c. whipping cream or half and half (I used 1/2&1/2)
- 1/2 c. egg substitute (I used 1 egg)
- 1 c. freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, divided (I used parmesan)
- 1/4 c. butter
- 8 slices bacon or pancetta, cooked and crumbled
- 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley

Directions:
(I'll type what the instructions as they are given, but I cooked the noodles and in a separate pan cooked all the other ingredients, stirring constantly. Then I mixed the sauce and noodles together and served.)
- Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat wihpping cream in a heavy saucepan. Combine egg substitute and 1/2 c. cheese, stirring mixture well.
- Drain spaghetti, and place in a serving bowl. Add butter; toss gently until butter melts. Add egg mixture, whipping cream mixture, bacon and parsley; toss. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 c. cheese. Serve immediately.

Roasted Parmesan Asparagus

Asparagus was on sale for a steal this week so I bought some and set out to find a tasty way to make it. I must say this was, hands down, my favorite asparagus EVER!!! I loved it and it was super, super easy too! I found the recipe on My Kitchen Cafe. As for the catfish, well, we just used this lemon fish fry that I got free when I bought the fish and it was delish too, although no comparison to the Broiled Parmesan Tilapia in my opinion!

Ingredients:
2 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus (about 30 large)
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 lemons cut in wedges, for serving (I just squirted some lemon juice on them before roasting)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
If the stalks of the asparagus are thick, peel the bottom 1/2 of each. Lay them in a single layer on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender.
Sprinkle with the Parmesan and return to the oven for another minute.
Serve with lemon wedges.

Chicken Cacciatore (Freezer Meal)

This is the first freezer meal we have tried from the second round and so far so good! Much better than the picture, I promise. We ate ours over rice instead of spaghetti noodles and really liked it. All I had to do was dump the frozen bag in the crock pot in the morning...beautiful...especially since I had to work last night! The chicken shredded apart wonderfully after cooking all day. I will say I added lots of salt and pepper to mine though. Our fearless freezer group leader Kelly made this one, and also started a blog of our freezer meal recipes, Katy Freezer Swap, so check it out.

Ingredients:
2 lbs. Chicken Breasts, boneless skinless
1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped
1 Onion, chopped
1 can Spaghetti Sauce
1/4 cup red wine
1/2 tsp Basil
1/2 tsp Oregano
*On hand: 12 oz. Spaghetti

Prep Day:
Cut Chicken breasts into quarters. Combine with all ingredients into a gallon-size freezer bag and mush.
Serve:
Place Cacciatore, frozen, into a crock pot and cook all day on low. Serve over cooked spaghetti.

Serves 6, Cost per dish $4.98

Sausage and Potatoes

This recipe idea comes from Taste Buds and was really easy and super tasty! She suggested boiling the potatoes a little before cooking them with the onions and I forgot I started them boiling, so mine were pretty much ready to mash when I cooked them. It still tasted delish...just turned out more like a hash than intended. We all loved this one!!!

Ingredients:
3 t olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 med red potatoes, chopped (I love potatoes so I used 6 and will probably use even more next time)
16 oz light sausage link, sliced in 1/2 in pieces
1 clove garlic, minced
salt & pepper
parsley, chopped (I used about 2 T)

Directions:
Heat olive oil in pan over med heat.
Add potatoes & onions and season with salt & pepper.
Cook over med heat (stirring frequently) until potatoes are tender & browned.
Add garlic and sausage & cook until sausage is browned a little.
Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

(another picture from when I made the potatoes the right way....)

Fusilli Alla Caprese

I know most of my pasta dishes look the same because I use the same gluten-free penne for every recipe...this one really looked prettier with the spiral pasta it calls for :-). I used the last of my mozzarella on this and I really like it. It's nice and light (maybe a little too light for dinner for Mike's liking) and was really easy. It is another recipe I found on My Kitchen Cafe. This week I'm trying out recipes from an actual cookbook again though :-).

Ingredients:
1 pound fusilli pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups cherry tomatoes, quartered (about 1 1/2 pints)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, torn
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, diced (about 1 1/4 cups)

Directions:
-Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta into a large bowl and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
-In a medium skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt, and pepper. As the tomatoes cook and soften, smash them with a fork. Continue to cook until the tomatoes make a chunky style sauce, about 4 minutes.
-Transfer the tomato sauce to the bowl with the pasta. Toss to combine. Add the basil leaves and mozzarella. Stir to combine. Add the reserved pasta water, 1/4 cup at a time, until the pasta is moist. Serve.

Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage

This week I was searching for recipes to use up ingredients I have leftover in my fridge...and this one helped take care of my block of mozzarella cheese. I found it on My Kitchen Cafe, who went on and on about how delicious this one was. I really liked it and I would make it again for sure, but it's not my new favorite. The great thing is it makes a lot and so I froze half of it...gotta love that!!!

Ingredients:
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes with juice, lightly crushed with hands (I used a can crushed tomatoes)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup heavy cream (I used half and half)
1 pound rigatoni
10 ounces baby spinach (she suggests doubling, but I didn't)
12 ounces smoked chicken sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick (I used turkey sausage)
6 ounces fontina (or mozzarella) cheese, 4 ounces cut into 1/2-inch cubes and 2 ounces coarsely grated
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:
-Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic. Cook for another minute.
-Stir in tomatoes and oregano; cook until tomatoes are falling apart, 10 to 15 minutes. Add cream; cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper.
-Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook pasta in the boiling water until al dente, according to package instructions. Add spinach, and cook just until wilted. Drain, and return contents to pot.
-Add tomato sauce, sausage, and cubed fontina to pot; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Divide evenly between two shallow 1 1/2-quart baking dishes. Top with grated fontina and Parmesan. Bake until browned and edges are crisp, 20 to 30 minutes.

Zucchini Mozzarella Medley

Zucchini is one of my absolute favorites so I was excited to try this recipe when I saw it on My Kitchen Cafe. It was easy and really good. It would be a great recipe to use with garden fresh veggies in the summer! Last night we ate it with some Miner Marinaded Chicken.

Ingredients:
3 cups sliced zucchini
1 cup sliced onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 t. dried basil
1/4 t. dried oregano
1/4 t. salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tomato, cut into 12 wedges (my tomatoes were small so I used 2)
4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese(I just used little slices)

Directions:
In a large skillet, saute the zucchini, onion, garlic and seasonings in olive oil until crisp-tender (about five minutes). Gently stir in the tomato; sprinkle with cheese. Remove from the heat and let stand until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

Miner Marinade

Ok, so I just named it that because it's a marinade my family uses a lot in the summer. I have requested this chicken more than once for my birthday dinner I think...it is heavenly, especially when it is thrown on the BBQ! I just realized I had never blogged it, and this is one recipe I definitely need to preserve for the future, so here it is!
(today for lunch I threw one diced chicken breast into some Brown Rice and Veggie Salad and LOVED it...for dinner we served it with Zucchini Mozzarella Medley)

Ingredients:
-3/4 c. olive oil
-1/2 c. soy sauce
-2 T. Worcestershire sauce
-1/2 t. salt
-1 t. pepper
-1/4 c. wine vinegar
-1 t. parsley flakes
-2 cloves garlic, mashed

Directions:
-Mix all ingredients together. Let your meat of choice marinade overnight in it!

Vegetable Soup

This recipe comes from The Occasional Vegetarian and was SOOO much better than the last vegetable soup I tried. I really loved the cabbage in it! Thanks Michelle :-)!

Ingredients:
2-3 T olive oil
1 small yellow or white onion
2 carrots sliced
2-3 minced garlic cloves
6 c vegetable broth
2 c cabbage chopped
2 c green beans cut into bite sized pieces
(I added one diced potato)
2 T tomato paste
1/2 t oregano
fresh ground pepper

Directions:
Heat oil over med-high heat. Cook onions and carrots until onions are tender Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.
Delicious served with french bread.

Cheesy Hash Brown Chili

I love chili, I love hashbrowns, AND I love cheese so I knew we couldn't go wrong with this Rachael Ray recipe! It's pretty much chili in a casserole format, with yummy cheesy potatoes on top...YUM!

Ingredients:
-2 T olive oil
-1 onion chopped (I only used 1/2)
-2 T chili powder
-2 t. ground cumin
-1/4 c. tomato paste
-1 lb. ground beef (I used 1/2 lb. ground turkey)
-salt and pepper
-1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, rinsed
-1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
-1 lb. bag frozen shredded hash browns
-1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:
-In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over med heat. Add the onion, chili powder and cumin and cook, stirring, until onion is soft, about 5 min.
-Stir in the tomato paste. Add the beef and cook, breaking up the meat, for 5 min; season w/salt and pepper.
-Add the beans and the tomatoes with their juice and bring to a boil.
-Lower heat, partially cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Transfer to an 8x11 dish (I used 8x8).
-Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.
-In a large bowl, combine the potatoes and cheese. Scatter the potato mixture over the chili.
-Place in oven and bake until potatoes are cooked through and chili is bubbling, about 35 min.

Broiled Tilapia Parmesan

I bought some Tilapia and Catfish that was part of a promotion at one of our grocery stores this weekend. I froze the catfish and started looking online for a good recipe for the tilapia. I came across this little gem on All Recipes to use as my base recipe. The sauce is SOOO good! It was easy to make, cooked in just a few minutes and I LOVED it! I made all the sauce and had 1.25 lbs of fish, but thought the amount of sauce was perfect. I think I'm becoming a fish lover :-)!

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 pounds tilapia fillets

DIRECTIONS
-Preheat your oven's broiler. Grease a broiling pan or line pan with aluminum foil.
-In a small bowl, mix together the Parmesan cheese, butter, mayonnaise and lemon juice. Add spices: dried basil, pepper, onion powder and celery salt (and garlic powder and red pepper flakes). Mix well and set aside.
-Arrange fillets in a single layer on the prepared pan. Broil a few inches from the heat for 2 to 3 minutes. (I sprinkled fish with Goya seasoning salt before putting under broiler)
-Flip the fillets over and broil for a couple more minutes. Remove the fillets from the oven and cover them with the Parmesan cheese mixture on the top side. Broil for 2 more minutes or until the topping is browned and fish flakes easily with a fork. Be careful not to over cook the fish.

Dark Mocha Torte

My mom made this HEAVENLY cake for my Grandma's birthday celebration yesterday and it was SOOOO good! Even Mike, who isn't necessarily a cake lover wanted to take some of the leftovers home with us. YUM!!! I wasn't thinking about posting the recipe at the time, just enjoying each bite, so I never took a real picture of it, but it is definitely worth making!

INGREDIENTS:
Torte:

1 box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® chocolate fudge cake mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup rum or water
1 1/4 teaspoons instant espresso coffee granules
Filling:
2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 to 3 teaspoons milk
Ganache:
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons butter (do not use margarine)
1/3 cup whipping cream
(this photo via Betty Crocker)

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 350°F (325ºF for dark or nonstick pans). Grease bottoms only of two 8- or 9-inch round cake pans with shortening (do not use cooking spray); lightly flour. Make and cool cakes as directed on box for 8- or 9-inch round pans.
2. Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan, stir granulated sugar, rum and coffee granules until coffee is dissolved. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally; remove from heat. Cool completely.
3. In medium bowl, beat all filling ingredients on low speed just until blended, adding enough milk for spreading consistency; set aside.
4. In 1-quart saucepan, heat all ganache ingredients over low heat, stirring frequently, until chips are melted and mixture is smooth. Refrigerate about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened.
5. Cut each cake layer horizontally to make 2 layers. (To cut, mark side of cake with toothpicks and cut with long, thin knife.) Brush about 1 tablespoon of the rum mixture over cut side of each layer; let stand 1 minute to soak into cake. Fill each layer with about 2/3 cup filling. Spread ganache over side and top of torte. Store loosely covered in refrigerator.

Lentil Chili

I found this on the Food Buzz website (see left side bar) from the Plain Cook. Although the overall flavor was really good, I thought it was a little plain. Perhaps it was the missing jalapeno that I forgot to buy? We topped with cheese, salt (it needed it) and crushed chips. I have really loved some of the lentil recipes I have tried and was hoping to love this, but just didn't. I think some people would really like this though, so try it yourself and let me know what you think!

Ingredients:
1 med yellow onion, diced
1 med red bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 med carrot, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons packedbrown sugar
2 T chili powder
1 T ground cumin
1/2 t cayenne pepper
2 t dried oregano
1 t dried thyme
1 t dry mustard
2 1/2 c dried brown lentils, rinsed
8 c chicken broth
3 T olive oil
salt

Toppings:
sour cream
tomatoes
chopped green onions
chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:
-Combine the first 15 ingredients in a slow cooker; cover and cook on low, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are soft, about 8 hours.
-During the last hour, add the olive oil and season to taste with salt.
Serve the chili in bowls with toppings.

Lemon Cream Pasta with Chicken

I just couldn't wait another day to try this pasta! I LOVE creamy pasta and after loving the lemon garlic chicken so much I knew this was going to be good! I'm sure it is even more delicious using cream and regular noodles, but I still loved it this way! Thank you My Kitchen Cafe!

Ingredients:
3 cups shredded or cubed Lemon Garlic Chicken
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 (16 ounce) package tube pasta (I used my gluten free penne)
2 cups heavy cream (I used half & half)
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded

Directions:
-In a large saucepan, season the chicken broth with the garlic powder and pepper.
-Bring to a boil and add lemon juice and pasta. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until all liquid is absorbed, about 25 minutes (I did have to drain some liquid at the end, but probably because my GF noodles are just weird).
-Stir chicken into cooked pasta, along with the cream, parmesan cheese and lemon zest.
-Cook, stirring, over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Stir thoroughly before serving.

Lemon and Garlic Grilled Chicken

This is another winner from My Kitchen Cafe ...we LOVED it!!! I will use less salt next time, but the overall flavor was SOOO good! I doubled the recipe and can't wait to use the leftovers in her Lemon Cream Pasta later in the week!

Ingredients:
Juice of 1 lemon, approximately 3 T
3 T olive oil
1 t minced garlic, about 2 medium cloves
1 t salt (I recommend only using 1/2 t.)
1/4 t pepper
1/2 t dried oregano
1 pound chicken breasts

Directions:
-Combine all marinade ingredients. Place chicken in a ziploc bag and pour marinade over chicken. Seal bag and place in fridge overnight.
-Grill (or cook in frying pan).
-Note: If you cut your chicken into smaller, bite-sized pieces and then marinate it, you can get away with only letting it marinate for 5 or 6 hours instead of overnight.