Pasta

Pumpkin, Sage & Sausage Stuffed Shells

Pumpkin and stuffed shells come together for the ultimate fall comfort food. Stuffed with sage pork, cooked in a pumpkin-tomato sauce, and topped with mozzarella and goat cheese.

Pumpkin Sage & Sausage Stuffed Shells 1

Fall baking involves a lot of pumpkin but what about its savory side? Savory pumpkin recipes make for excellent comfort food and one of my favorite comfort foods is stuffed shells. I have made stuffed shells with a pumpkin cream sauce before but this time around I used a pumpkin tomato sauce and stuffed the shells with sage pork instead of a meatless ricotta mixture. Then the shells are sprinkled with some mozzarella and creamy goat cheese. Both recipes are good for different reasons so you should probably make them both.

Pumpkin Sage & Sausage Stuffed Shells 2

One year ago: Birthday Explosion Mini Cheesecakes

Two years ago: Stovetop Cajun Chicken Mac and Cheese

Three years ago: Pumpkin Biscoff Cream Cheese Bread
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Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes, Kale, and Gorgonzola Sauce

Fresh cherry tomatoes and kale jazz up this quick and easy pasta dish with a gorgonzola cream sauce. Serve by itself or pair up with grilled chicken.

Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes, Kale, and Gorgonzola Sauce 2

Back to school season is here. I may not have children who are getting back into the swing of another school year, nor am I myself in school (which by the way it still has not sunk in that I am no longer a student) but the time has come to start whipping up those quick and easy weeknight meals. This pasta dish not only takes advantage of the tomatoes in season, but comes together in minutes and can be served as a side or by itself. I chose to serve it topped with grilled chicken and garlic bread.

What are your favorite weekday dinner recipes?

Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes, Kale, and Gorgonzola Sauce 1

One year ago: Peach Bread

Two years ago: Root Beer Cake Brownies

Three years ago: Biscoff Cheesecake Ice Cream
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Lighter Chicken Bellagio

Oven-fried chicken with prosciutto, arugula and a guiltless pesto-asiago cream sauce aka a lighter version of the popular dish “Chicken Bellagio”.

Lighter Chicken Bellagio 2

Yesterday’s interview for an adjunct teaching position went very well. In fact they were quite impressed with me! The down-side is that they may only have one class for me to teach in the upcoming term (which translates to a small paycheck). But they might have more next term which starts in December, so getting my foot in the door now could pay off. I have lots to think about and if you know me at all you are aware of my very pensive mind. Which is a nice way of saying I think too darn much, especially when it involved life decisions.

Lighter Chicken Bellagio 1

In an effort to not over-think things let’s soothe the mind, body, and soul with some comfort food that’s been lightened up. I first had Chicken Bellagio at an Italian restaurant in Rochester, NY but apparently it is also a very popular dish at the Cheesecake Factory. Either way, after experiencing it I decided I needed to make a homemade version that is slightly healthier. The chicken is oven-fried and served over whole wheat pasta tossed in a light pesto-asiago cream sauce with prosciutto. Top it off with some fresh arugula and it’s a sight for sore eyes!

One year ago: Jalapeno Cheddar Chicken Burgers with Guacamole

Three years ago: Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Basil Roasted Peaches
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Slow Cooker Chicken and Broccoli Sauce

Summer cooking is made easy with your slow cooker – it’s not just for cold weather. This chicken and broccoli sauce is great on top of your favorite pasta.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Broccoli Sauce 1

Yesterday I was sucked into the gloriousness that is McKay’s used books. Not only do they have an expansive selection of books to rival any of the larger chain bookstores, but there was an entire aisle of cookbooks. Unfortunately I was only there for a short stop before heading off to the movies and didn’t have enough time to fully commit to the search but you better believe I will be going back sometime this week to take over that aisle. There are all kinds from the latest cookbooks to those gems with contributed recipes which were made for bake sales, fundraisers, etc. I cannot wait to see what I find!

In truth however, I bookmark so many recipes daily from my fellow food bloggers that I really should not be thinking about buying cookbooks, used or not. There are simply not enough meals in the day for how many recipes I want to try. I expressed this problem to Joanne (Eats Well With Others) and decided that somehow we all need to get together, cook two recipes we’ve been dying to try, and then have a fat-kid field day. What I would give to live closer to make that happen. Guess I could always venture back up to the NYC area again. Or maybe Kita (Pass the Sushi) and I could convince everyone to venture to Seattle with us to visit Peabody (Culinary Concoctions by Peabody) and all the root beer deliciousness that awaits.

But back to all the food I want to cook. This is one such recipe that I have been wanting to make and the best part is that it doesn’t take any time at all to prepare because your slow cooker does all the work and doesn’t heat up your house. Well okay you have to steam the broccoli and cook the pasta but the hard parts are taken care of, giving you more time to focus on whatever else. Like daydreaming about foodie-travels.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Broccoli Sauce 2

One year ago: Cherry Vanilla Almond Overnight Oatmeal

Three years ago: Jalapeno Cheddar Hummus with Homemade Pita Chips
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Eggplant Parmesan with Parsley Orzo

Oven-fried eggplant parmesan stays extra crunchy when topped with cheese and marinara only just before serving. Served alongside orzo seasoned with parsley.

Eggplant Parmesan with Parsley Orzo

For how much I enjoy eggplant there seems to be a shortage of eggplant recipes only my blog, only five to date and now the sixth today. Most of the recipes are pretty creative though with things such as eggplant veggie burgers, eggplant stuffed shells, and also eggplant manicotti. I do also already have a recipe for the classic eggplant parmesan but the one I am sharing today is a little different. The first version was layered in a casserole after the eggplant was breaded. This time it is served separately in order to preserve the crunchiness of the breading. Slices of fresh mozzarella cheese are thrown on at the end and placed under the broiler just long enough to get all gooey. Served with warm marinara and orzo seasoned with parsley.

One year ago: Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond Granola Bars
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Creamy Chicken Sausage and Kale Pasta

Shake up your regular pasta for dinner with a creamy ricotta sauce, Italian chicken sausage, and hearty kale. Cooks up quick for a great weeknight meal and only uses two pans.

Creamy Chicken Sausage and Kale Pasta 1

We’re almost halfway through the calendar year folks. Which means nearly 6 months have gone by since I graduated with my PhD and my student loans from the past 11 years are about to come knocking on my door. Thankfully I do not have much debt with grad school tuition waived and a stipend the last 7 years. I’ve already taken a chunk out of my undergrad loans thanks to my dad’s help with investing what money I could spare over the years. Thank goodness for a father with money/investing smarts.

Creamy Chicken Sausage and Kale Pasta 2

You know what else is smart? Making this pasta for dinner tonight. One pot for cooking the pasta, one skillet for the rest, and dinner is ready pronto. As an added bonus it also happens to be delicious.

One year ago: Smoky Sweet Potato Burgers with Roasted Garlic Avocado Cream

Three years ago: Veggie Eggs Benedict
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Grown-Up Macaroni and Cheese

Boxed macaroni and cheese cannot compete with the three cheeses in this grown-up version. Sharp cheddar, Gruyere, and blue cheese will rock your taste buds.

Secret Recipe Club

Happy Memorial Day! And also a happy Secret Recipe Club reveal day. This month I was assigned to Dena’s blog, Oh! You Cook! Not only is she a blogger, she is also a librarian by day and has a cookbook called The Everything Kosher Slow Cooker Cookbook. Regardless of your dietary restrictions however she has scads of recipes everyone can enjoy such as Stuffed Grape Leaves Casserole, Chubby-Hubby Truffles, and even Caramelized Banana-Stuffed Fried Oatmeal. Talk about incredible! But with the Memorial holiday I had my sights set on her macaroni and cheese.

This particular mac and cheese is a huge upgrade from the boxed stuff (not that I don’t enjoy that from time to time). It is made with three types of cheese, sharp chedder, Gruyere, and blue cheese. The combination of those three makes for one awesome mac and cheese sauce. Which speaking of I must warn you, while making the cheese sauce for this recipe I was worried that it should have cooked down further or used less milk as it seemed like far too much sauce for the amount of noodles. However once it baked in the oven it was perfect. Do not be concerned with the seemingly excessive amount of sauce pre-baked, it will turn out just right.

Grown-Up Macaroni and Cheese

One year ago: Spaghetti Avocado

Three years ago: Baked Zucchini Fries with Balsamic Aioli
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Pass the Cook Book Club: Breakfast Sausage Ravioli & Giveaway

Ravioli is now acceptable for breakfast. Stuffed with fluffy potato, crispy bacon, and spicy pork and then covered in a sage cream sauce. It’s a dream come true.

PtCBC 2014

If you are like me, you accumulate cookbooks faster than cooking from them. Kita (Pass the Sushi and Girl Carnivore) saw a need and filled it by creating Pass the Cook Book Club. Every month a three recipes are picked from one cookbook and on the 4th Thursday we share what we made. This month I had the honor of picking the cookbook and recipes.

It was an easy decision to pick the Breakfast for Dinner cookbook by Lindsay Landis and Taylor Hackbarth (Love & Olive Oil), but narrowing down the recipe choices to three proved incredibly difficult. I’ve been wanting to cook from this cookbook ever since they came to Memphis (yea it took me way too long, don’t shun me Lindsay & Taylor) and there were far more than three which would have made my taste buds throw a party. Little pagemarkers were sticking out all over the place that I may as well have marked off every recipe. But there can only be three so in the end I chose Breakfast Sausage Ravioli, Italian-Style Stuffed French Toast, and Lemon Poppy Seed Thumbprints. And as the syrup on top (instead of cherry since this is breakfast we’re talking about) we are also giving away 3 copies of Breakfast for Dinner to our readers! After checking out everyone’s recipes, be sure to use the Rafflecopter widget to enter.

breakfast-for-dinner-book

As you already know, I made the breakfast ravioli. This was the #1 recipe on my list of things to make from this cookbook because not only have I only made homemade ravioli a handful of times (which I realize I more than most), but it’s breakfast-ized! How amazing is the world that we live in to have ravioli for breakfast!? Of course they are stuffed with all kinds of breakfasty goodness such as fluffy potato, crispy bacon, and spicy pork, but what made me fall in love was the sauce – the creamy, buttery, sage-flavored sauce. It was so amazing that I had to double the recipe for the sauce. It took a lot of self control to not rub it all over my face.

Breakfast Sausage Ravioli

One year ago: Chicken Burgers with Garlic-Rosemary Greek Yogurt

Two years ago: Whole Wheat Thin Crust Pizza Dough
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Gnocchetti with Asparagus and Garlic-Gorgonzola Sauce & Giveaway

This dish is a garlic lover’s dream. Mini gnocchi (gnocchetti) and asparagus are tossed in a garlic-gorgonzola cream sauce made with enough garlic to keep the vampires away.

Gnocchetti with Asparagus and Garlic-Gorgonzola Sauce 1

Today is National Garlic day and to celebrate I joined up with a bunch of other food bloggers to share recipes that predominantly feature this beloved food enhancer. There’s even a stellar giveaway to go along with it!

When thinking of what to make for the occasion, I immediately thought of a garlic restaurant in San Francisco at which I once ate, which takes pride in how much garlic they use every day. We had garlic seeping out of our pores afterwards and I relished in it, refusing gum afterwards. This pasta dish is my recreation of what I ordered – mini gnocchi (gnocchetti) and asparagus tossed in a garlicky-gorgonzola cream sauce. I used 8 cloves of garlic (which amounted to 1/4 cup minced) in the sauce. In other words, this is not for the faint of heart when it comes to garlic.

Gnocchetti with Asparagus and Garlic-Gorgonzola Sauce 2

Check out all the other garlicky goodness happening today:

One year ago: Strawberry, Mango, and Yogurt Smoothie

Two years ago: More Fudge Less Pudge Brownies

Three years ago: Coconut Chicken Salad with Apricot Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
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Spaghetti with Roasted Butternut and Brussels & Greek Yogurt Cream Sauce

Spaghetti with roasted butternut squash and Brussels sprouts proves that that winter squash and vegetables transcend the seasons. Especially when paired with a Greek yogurt cream sauce.

Spaghetti with Roasted Butternut and Brussels & Greek Yogurt Cream Sauce

The weather was finally showing signs of spring sticking around but has suddenly revived its pesky habit of dropping to nearly below freezing today. Here I was getting into the groove of spring attire only to be denied once more. As a result I continue to crave roasted winter vegetables/squash such as Brussels sprouts and butternut squash. With this cold front sweeping the nation I figured a pasta dish with some season-transitioning flavors would help comfort the cold away, especially when paired with a creamy Greek yogurt sauce. I even put some fried sage on top, in all its crispy and falvorful glory.
One year ago: Creamy Pesto with Mini Ravioli, Asparagus and Sun Dried Tomatoes

Three years ago: Guiltless Cajun Chicken Alfredo
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