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Jun 25, 2014

Penne, basil, pine nut, and cheese Casserole

I have to say that I've never cooked with pine nuts before, and I was pleasantly surprised!
This recipe calls for toasting them which gives a really great flavor.
This casserole was devoured by our entire family!

You will need:
8 oz (3 cups) penne, cooked and drained
2 cans (14.5 oz) crushed tomatoes in thick puree
2 Tbsp toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup slivered fresh basil or 1 tsp dried basil
3/4 tsp salt
fresh pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup firmly packed grated swiss cheese
freshly grated parmesan cheese for sprinkling

To Make:
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Place pasta in a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish lightly coated with cooking spray or oil.

*toasting pine nuts*
Place pinenuts in a small nonstick skillet over medium/high heat. Stir with a wooden spoon until toasted, 4-5 minutes.

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, stir together tomatoes, pine nuts, basil, salt, parsley & pepper. Simmer 2-3 minutes. 
Mix with pasta in casserole, and stir in swiss cheese. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese on top.

Bake uncovered until bubbly, 35-40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe Source: The big book of casseroles by Maryana vollstedt

Jun 17, 2014

Spicy Lemon, Tomato, Chicken Pasta

I love a simple recipe for when the evenings are a bit chaotic and this is a great one because it's all cooked in one pot together. Paired with a salad and sourdough bread and you've got a great meal!

You will need:
1 pound chicken breasts
2 Tbsp evoo
1 Tbsp minced garlic
 2 1/2 cups fusilli pasta (dry)
1 cup grape tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
juice from 1-2 lemons, depending on how much you like
1 cup water
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup shredded Mozzerella

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. 
Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
Add chicken and cook until just browned.
Stir in the pasta, tomatoes, chicken broth, lemon juice, water, basil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil and continue to stir often, uncovered, for about ten minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Remove from heat, sprinkle cheese on top, and cover for ten minutes or until cheese is melted and remaining liquid is absorbed.

Recipe Source: Yellow Bliss Road

Jun 11, 2014

Scalloped Potatoes with Ham

This recipe has me swinging from chandeliers! 
I watched the Pioneer Woman make it on her show and I knew that I just had to try it.
I've never made from scratch scalloped potatoes and with the addition of bacon, they were swoon worthy!
I cannot wait to make these again.


3 pounds Russet Or Yukon Gold Potatoes, Washed Thoroughly
2 Tablespoons Butter
3 cups Diced Ham
1-1/2 cup Half-and-half
1-1/2 cup Heavy Cream
1/4 cup Flour
Black Pepper To Taste
1 cup Grated Cheddar Cheese
1 cup Grated Monterey Jack Cheese
Chopped Parsley (optional)

To Make:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Butter a large casserole dish.
Heat butter in a large skillet. 
Add ham and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat and set aside.

Combine half-and-half and cream in a microwave-safe container and nuke for a minute or so, until no longer cold. Whisk in flour and black pepper until totally combined. Set aside. 

Combine the two grated cheeses. Set aside.

Using a mandoline, slice potatoes into 1/8-inch slices (very thin.)

 Layer 1/3 of the potato slices in the buttered casserole dish. 

Sprinkle on 1/3 of the ham mixture, then 1/3 of the cheese, then pour on 1/3 of the cream mixture.
Repeat this twice more, ending with a sprinkling of cheese and a pouring on of the rest of the cream mixture. 

Cover dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 20 minutes at least, or until bubbly and hot.

Cut into squares and serve. Sprinkle on chopped parsley if you'd like!

*Tip* To speed up the process, you can also boil the sliced potatoes for 3-5 minutes before assembling the casserole. Just drain before putting it all together.\

Recipe Source: The Pioneer Woman

Jun 4, 2014

Bosc Pear Salad with Sweet Balsamic Dressing

My sister in law brought this salad over for dinner and I couldn't stop eating it.'
I now call it the "Molly Salad" and make it all the time.
There is just something about this salad...maybe the candied walnuts, the delicious pears, or the homemade balsamic dressing, but everything goes together perfectly.

You will need:

Spring mix & spinach
Candied walnuts (directions below)
2 Bosc pears
Shaved parmesan

Balsamic Dresssing

3/4 cup evoo
¼ cup balsamic
1 tsp ground mustard
1 tsp brown sugar
Sea Salt, pepper

To candy the walnuts, 2 Tbsp butter and 1 TBSP brown sugar melted in pan. 
Then add walnuts and coat. Lay on wax paper to dry.

After the walnuts are candied, add spring mix and spinach to a bowl.

Slice up 2 bosc pears and toss in a handful of cranberries.

Add some freshly grated parmesan cheese and your salad is ready to eat!

To make the dressing combine all ingredients and whisk.
Pour over salad and toss well.