Archive for the ‘pasta’ Category

I actually didn’t even plan on making this recipe. Sometimes things are just meant to be. I went to make Simple & Creamy Chicken Tortilla Casserole and realized I was out of sour cream. Don’t you just hate when that happens? I already had the chicken cubed and cooking so my brain started thinking. I had pulled this recipe out of the recipe box a few weeks ago because I’ve had a few requests for healthy recipes so this is what we had for supper! I know I don’t do many healthy recipes, but when I make recipes I try to use light or fat free ingredients as much as possible. Although I’ll warn you fat-free cheese just doesn’t melt right! I believe that you can eat everything in moderation and this is what I go by. I don’t deprive myself of things I enjoy, but I try to limit things I shouldn’t have. And no this does not always work (like the three or maybe even four cookies I ate last night…recipe coming soon!). I wasl definitely at the gym this morning at 5:45 am. I was not blessed with good genes where I can eat anything I want unfortunately. Dang you Dad for not passing that gene down! Seriously. The man upsets me. He stills weighs what he did when he graduated high school. He told me his belly is a bit larger now though. He called it “settling”. Gotta love his honesty at least. I took a “healthified” Alfredo sauce recipe and then added the chicken and peas to it. I personally like a little substance in my pasta so I added the chicken. You can leave this out if you would like. As for the peas they were added because my hubby won’t eat broccoli. I would have added broccoli otherwise but this was the only way to sneak in some veggies. Once again feel free to substitute broccoli for the peas. So here is my healthified Alfredo recipe. Enjoy!

Smarter Chicken Alfredo & Peas
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8 oz fettuccine, uncooked
1 1/4 c. fat free chicken broth
4 tsp flour
4 oz fat free cream cheese
1/8 tsp nutmeg
3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 c. peas, cooked
1 lb chicken breasts, cubed and cooked

1. Cook pasta as direct on package. Cook peas as directed on package. Cubed and cook chicken in skillet over medium heat.

2. Combine broth and flour in a saucepan. Stir in cream cheese; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly until mixtures boils and thickens. Stir in chicken and peas. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and the parsley.

3. Toss pasta with sauce, 2 Tbsp of Parmesan cheese and nutmeg.

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I ran to the grocery store after work to get a pound of hamburger for this recipe. I’m chilling out in the meat department minding my own business standing next to a gentleman and staring at the shelf. All of a sudden there is someone on the other side of me. I mean RIGHT on the other side of me.

I’m standing there thinking wow she’s really in my bubble, do I dare take a glance to see who this crazy person is or are they going to totally know I’m slightly annoyed?

Well I took the chance. I’m turning my head and I see this girl grinning from ear to ear. Oh I should have known I live in small town USA of course it’s someone I know! It was actually a really close friend and we had a good laugh over it. Then she told me she was going to follow me around the grocery store and see what I was making tonight. I giggled.

Now that’s a lot of pressure for a new recipe to turn out! She went on to tell me that her husband asks nightly what Julie is making. She’s one of my biggest readers and I love hearing feedback from her and all the rest of you.

As I didn’t want to leave her hanging until tomorrow to read up on my blog about my recipe and I just happened to have it in my purse, I whipped it out and shared it with her. I told her that if you see it on the blog tomorrow it’s a success but if you don’t it was a flop!

Since I’m posting it you obviously have figured out it was a success! It blends the best of both worlds incorporating Alfredo sauce and tomato sauce in the same dish.

 It was great and we decided it was a “keeper”. My husband then asked where all the keepers actually went because he rarely gets the same recipe twice. I’m a bit adventurous like that. I giggled and pointed to my over flowing recipe box. He just rolled his eyes at me. True love I tell ya. Enjoy!

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1 pound Spaghetti Noodles
1 jar (24 Oz. Size or 1 lb) Garlic Alfredo Sauce
3 cups Shredded Mozzarella, divided
½ cups Milk
1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
1 teaspoon Dried Parsley
1 pound Ground Beef
1 jar (24 Oz. Size or 1 lb) Spaghetti Sauce

1.Preheat oven to 350ºF.

2. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray.

3. Cook spaghetti noodles according to package directions. Rinse cooked noodles under cold water and drain very well.

4. In a large bowl, combine Alfredo sauce, 2 c. mozzarella, milk, oregano and parsley. Stir well to combine. Add cooked spaghetti noodles and toss to coat them completely. Place entire mixture into the baking dish.

5. Brown beef, drain well to remove excess grease. Over low heat, add spaghetti sauce and mix. Pour mixture over the noodle mixture in the pan. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 30 minutes.

6. Remove aluminum foil, sprinkle with 1 c. mozzarella cheese and bake for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Adapted from: The Country Cook

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Wow it’s a toasty one today! We go from cold to HOT and we never seem to get that perfect summer weather do we? Ahhh just never happy am I? We enjoyed the weekend weather, that actually was pretty nice, by camping for the weekend as I mentioned in my last few posts. My hubby was the main “chef” this weekend so I thought I’d treat him to supper tonight. So thoughtful aren’t I? In fact a lady walked past our camper while he was slaving over the grill and commented he must be the cook all weekend. At that given moment I thought I might be taking advantage of the situation if someone else noticed, but then I realized she doesn’t see me slaving in the kitchen all week so I continued to take advantage of him grilling this weekend! I assure you he was not the only one that cooked. In fact I grilled my very first chicken breasts this weekend. I didn’t even burn them and we didn’t get salmonella either. Success in my opinion! This recipe I’m sharing with you comes together in a flash which is great for a week night meal. My hubby saw all the cheese laying on the counter when I was making it and his eyes lit up as he commented “wow if it has that much cheese it’s gotta be good”. He loves anything with cheese that’s for sure! Enjoy!

Tempting Tortellini & Ham
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9 oz cheese tortellini
1 c. peas
1/4 c. butter
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/4 c. fat-free milk
1/4 c. half and half cream
1 1/2 c. cubed, fully cooked lean ham
4 ounces fat free cream cheese, cubed
1/2 c. grated Romano cheese
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp pepper

1. In a large saucepan, cook tortellini according to package directions.

2. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually add milk and cream. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened.

3. Add the ham, peas, basil, garlic powder, and pepper; cook and stir until cream cheese is melted. Drain tortellini; add to pan and heat through.

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Ham & Cheese Bowties

I still had some ham in the fridge from when I made scalloped potatoes so I found this recipe that I wanted to try with that pesky leftover ham. The hubby absolutely loves cheese, especially mac n cheese so I figured this was the perfect recipe because it’s basically glorified mac n cheese with ham. It was super easy to whip up after work and you should have most of these ingredients already in your house. If you don’t have Colby cheese you can use whatever cheese you have in your fridge. I served peas on the side but if you get really crazy and daring you can mix them right in. No Parmesan cheese? Use some bread crumbs. The possibilities with this recipe are endless. I should probably put a disclaimer on this recipe *Incredibly Cheesy* Not for the faint of heart! In fact I asked hubby if it was to cheesy. He of course replied it could never be to cheesey in his opinion. I’m off to softball practice! Enjoy!

Ham & Cheese Bowties
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16 oz farfalle pasta
1/4 c. butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
2 c. milk
1/2 tsp prepared mustard
2 c. shredded Colby cheese
2 c. cooked ham, cubed
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta & cook 8-10 minutes or until al dente, drain.

3. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Saute garlic for 30 seconds. Whisk in flour, salt & pepper. Cook & stir until smooth. Pour in milk, a little at a time, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil for 1 minute. Stir in mustard & Colby. Continue to cook stirring occasionally until cheese is melted. Remove from heat & stir in ham & pasta. Pour into a baking dish. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.

4. Bake 30 minutes or until bubbly & golden.

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Do you have those recipes where your mouth will start watering as you dream about eating it? Well this is one of them for me, which often makes me wonder why I don’t make it more often. The reason is not because it is hard. In fact it’s super simple and comes together fast which is always welcome on a week night when you get home from work.Throw together a green salad and make these Garlic Cheddar Biscuits and your meal is done! I really should make this more often. Sometimes recipes just get tucked away in the overflowing recipe box and you forget to take them out again for awhile. I think the ingredient that makes this soooo good is the Seafood Seasoning. Trust me you need this. I get Old Bay Seafood Seasoning. If you don’t have it make sure you get it for this recipe. After I finishing posting this recipe I’m off to make a dessert using my trifle bowl I’ve had forever and haven’t used. It’s a little bit sad and a little bit funny I get excited about using new cookware and bakeware. We have potluck at church tomorrow so HOPEFULLY it turns out or I’m up a creek without a paddle. Enjoy!

Shrimp Penne with Garlic Sauce
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3 c. Uncooked Penne Pasta (You can use any pasta you have on hand)
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced or Grated
1/4 c. Butter, Cubed
1/4 c. All-Purpose Flour
1 can (14 1/2 oz) Chicken Broth
1 can (5 oz) Evaporated Milk
1 lb Cooked Medium Shrimp, Peeled and Deveined
2/3 c Shredded Parmesan Cheese
2 Tbsp. Minced Fresh Parsley
1 1/2 tsp Seafood Seasoning

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Make sure not to over cook or your noodles turn to mush when you mix it with the pasta sauce!

2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan saute garlic in butter. I used my hand dandy little grater to grate my garlic and it works amazing. If you don’t have one I think it’s worth the investment.

3. Stir in flour until blended; gradually add broth and milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened.

4. Stir in shrimp (Make sure they are peeled and deveined!), cheese, parsley and seafood seasoning; heat through.

5. Drain pasta; place in a large bowl. Add shrimp mixture; toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from: Taste of Home

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Linguine Casserole

Another Sunday…another blog posting…I’m pretty sure that I’m going to end this tradition sometime! It’s been a good day and a good weekend for that matter minus the yucky weather Friday night and Saturday. I know this has been a popular saying but man am I going to be happy when spring finally comes! Friday night we laid low. On Saturday I got a text from my niece saying that she was just soooo bored. I remember when that was my favorite saying. It was very popular for me especially in the summer. My poor parents is all I’m going to say. I think this may be one of those things that comes back to haunt me when I have kids! So Hallie came over to my house for a bit. I warned her that we had to clean up after Jason was in the attic and he came down with half the insulation also. She didn’t think that sounded so bad so she helped me do a bunch of cleaning. We then made a pan of bars and she was a good helper. Her favorite part of course was licking the spatula…at one point she had a glob of peanut butter on her nose! I took a pic of her and had to put it in the blog! After we got done baking we went to her house and worked on a wedding scrapbook her mom had made for our wedding and it just needed pics put in it. We knocked a bunch off and Lynn even treated us to supper. Can’t turn that down! Today was a day spent doing laundry, grocery shopping and cleaning up a bit ..oh and I can’t forget … getting tax stuff ready for our appointment on Wednesday. Man I’m not looking forward to that! The recipe I’m going to share with you is a new recipe and I just tried it out tonight. I’ve been trying to eat a little healthier and this is a “lightened” up version. We definitely thought it was good!!

Linguine Casserole
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8 oz uncooked multi grain linguine, broke in half
2 c. cubed fully cooked lean ham
1 3/4 c. shredded Swiss Cheese, divided
1 can (10 3/4oz.) reduced-fat reduced sodium condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 c. (8 oz.) reduced-fat sour cream
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, finely chopped

1. Cook linguine (I used a whole grain pasta so it’s really dark in the pictures! You can always use normal pasta also) according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a bowl,  combine the ham, 1 1/2 c. cheese, soup, sour cream, onion and green pepper (I skipped the green pepper). I also used a garlic Italian seasoning from Tastefully Simple which added to it. Since I’m sure not a lot of people have this I would just through a little garlic in it! Drain pasta; add to ham mixture and stir to coat.

2. Transfer to a 13 in x 9 in baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

Nutrition Facts – 1 c. equals 293 calories, 12 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 47 mg cholesterol, 665 mg sodium, 29 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 19 g protein.

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It’s another Saturday and I just got done with work. After a quick stop at the grocery store to grab some stuff for throwing together a supper tonight I’m relaxing on the couch, watching Gossip Girl and writing a blog posting. I have every intention of making a “good” supper that isn’t out of the box tonight also. Sometimes life just gets going and night after night we are eating some “pre-fab” meal so sometimes I try to get out of that rut! I’ve been spoiling you with yummy treats lately in my postings so I thought I should probably add a “main dish” in here sometime. My hubby liked this one to and he’s usually the true test. Speaking of my hubby he is out fishing with his brother in a tournament. I was putting the groceries away and I noticed that our beer stash is missing…so I’m not sure if they are actually catching many fishing…but I think they are having fun! As for this recipe I’m going to share with you tonight it’s another crock pot recipe that seems to be my favorite! And it’s supper simple. My one word of advice is don’t cook your chicken to long because it will dry out and no one wants that!

Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan
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1 Egg
1/3 C Bread Crumbs
1/3 C Shredded Parmesan Cheese
1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (I used three but you can use four! I always get the packs of 3 so I just go with it!)
1 Jar (26 oz) Tomato Pasta Sauce
1/2 C Shredded Italian Cheese Blend
2 2/3 C. Penne Pasta (Or whatever pasta you have on hand!)

1. Spray 2-3 quart slow cooker with cooking spray.

2. In small shallow bowl, beat egg until foamy. In separate shallow bowl, mix bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, Italian Seasoning, Salt and Pepper. Dip chicken into egg, then coat evenly with bread crumb mixture; place in cooker. Spread pasta sauce evenly over chicken.

3. Cover; cook on low heat setting 5-6 hours.

4. Sprinkle Italian cheese blend over top. Cover; cook on low 10 more minutes or until melted. Meanwhile cook pasta and drain. Serve with chicken.

Recipe from Betty Crocker.com

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