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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
One year ago: Spaghetti Avocado
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.
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.
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.
One year ago: Chicken Burgers with Garlic-Rosemary Greek Yogurt
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.
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.
Check out all the other garlicky goodness happening today:
- Black Garlic Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream from girlichef
- Caesar Tartlets with Sweet Garlic Butter Crusts from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Easy Garlic Infused Olive Oil from MarocMama
- Garlic and Herb Lamb Chops from Healthy. Delicious.
- Garlic Bread from My Catholic Kitchen
- Garlic Dill Roasted Potato Wedges from From Gate to Plate
- Garlic Fried Rice from Crazy Foodie Stunts
- Garlic Soup with Cheese & Garlic Olive Crunch Bread from The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
- Garlic Trifecta with Quinoa Pasta and Spinach from Peaceful Cooking
- Gnocchetti with Asparagus and Garlic-Gorgonzola Sauce from The Spiffy Cookie
- Heart Healthy Roasted Garlic Chicken Recipe from It’s Yummi!
- Roasted Garlic Butter from Basic N Delicious
- Roasted Garlic Chicken Pizza Pockets from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Slow-Roasted Lamb with 40 Cloves of Garlic from Food Lust People Love
- Vampire Garlic Dip from Kudos Kitchen By Renee
One year ago: Strawberry, Mango, and Yogurt Smoothie
Two years ago: More Fudge Less Pudge Brownies
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.
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
My cat Brady lost his mind upon seeing me yesterday. My parents said they had only caught sparse glimpses of him since they released him into the basement a week ago, but the second I opened the door he came flying. This cat knows the sound of my footsteps, it’s crazy. Now that he knows I’m here he meows at the basement door until I come to hang out, which means many posts will be written down here (this one included) with him purring loudly at my side. Such an attention whore. I just hope he doesn’t meow too long at bedtime or else I’ll end up sleeping down here on an air mattress.
I love having homemade pesto in the freezer. The freshness of homemade basil year round! I actually made and photographed this almost a year ago, which is very evident to me now that I’ve been enjoying a fancy camera and paying more attention to lighting (I’m digging into the bottom of the barrel because I haven’t been in the kitchen with the move). But I digress. These little lasagna stacks are made easy by using wonton wrappers instead of traditional lasagna noodles and you can layer whatever you want between them. I used alternating layers of pesto and sausage marinara.
As of Sunday, all of my belongings are either in a PODS storage unit or at my parents home. It was incredibly disheartening to see the apartment at which I have lived almost 5 years completely barren. My last night there was spent watching a movie with my parents on my computer, sitting on the floor of the living room while eating the last of my ice cream, followed by a luxurious slumber in a sleeping bag.
Since I wasn’t quite prepared to leave Memphis yet, I am still residing here for a few extra days with my friend Maggie. I haven’t decided exactly when I will leave and have a feeling it may need to be a “rip off the band-aid” situation where I leave without warning. I don’t do goodbyes very well especially in times like this where I know I will turn into a sobbing idiot. Just a heads up to my Memphis friends – catch me while you can!
Anyway, yes I still have recipes for you this week because I am a psycho and made all of these before I packed up my apartment. Dedication or insanity? Either way you cannot complain. My godmother made this Mexican version of stuffed shells over the holidays and I immediately asked her for the recipe. For some reason I normally shy away from combining pasta and Mexican food but this was so incredibly good I had to make it again for myself.
One year ago: Brussels Sprouts with Honey Vinaigrette
After sharing my dad’s cookie recipe yesterday, I figured I should go ahead and share another one of his recipes. Over the years, this skillet lasagna was a popular request for when I came home for the holidays (followed by a request for his apple harvest oatmeal or applesauce pancakes in the morning). The entire recipe is cooked in one large skillet and takes under 30 minutes making it an easy decision for a weeknight meal.
In packing news, I’ve already gone through two rolls of packing tape! I knew I should’ve purchased the bulk package. I ran out of the second roll while packing up my root beer collection. Which by the way, taking that down and the shelving, aside from being a pain in the butt, left that wall feeling very barren and sad. Packing is super lame.
I’m at it again, mixing Greek yogurt into places where it doesn’t belong. Or maybe I’m just uncovering places where it does belong? This time I made gnocchi and they turned out great! It didn’t hurt that I tossed them in my homemade pesto with crushed red pepper (I have a serious weakness for fresh pesto). But whatever sauce of choice you use, these gnocchi will happily join the party.
In other news, I have submitted my second first author paper to be published! Hopefully this one will go through easier than the first one (which was conditionally accepted with the final revision is to be submitted soon). You cannot PubMed me just yet but I will let you know as promised. Once one of these babies goes to print, it will definitely strengthen my CV for this whole job hunt thing.
Two years ago: Cajun Chicken Alfredo Pizza
Every day that goes by is a day closer to my last day living in Memphis. 6.5 years ago I couldn’t wait for this day but now, nothing could have possibly prepared me for the emotional roller coaster created by this reality. I have even added Tennessee to my job searches, despite my desire to be relieved of the infernal summers here. As far as packing goes, I still only have two boxes packed because I find the idea of living in a packed up apartment depressing. Just seeing those two boxes and the three empty shelves that correspond to their contents makes me sad. I am not sure what would be better: pack and move earlier to rip off the band-aid, or continue slowly to get used to it? I’ll stick to the latter for now.
If you’re still with me and reading this after that whiny rant, then reward yourself with a homemade version of hamburger helper. It will comfort your worries away, if only for dinnertime. And I will try to be less of a Debbie Downer.
One year ago: Pumpkin Pie with Brown Sugar-Walnut Topping
Two years ago: Berry Detox Smoothie