Posts Tagged ‘ricotta’

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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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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Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats

When I first started this food blogging thing, I submitted several pictures to websites like Tastespotting and Foodgawker only to be consistently rejected. Honestly I cannot blame them as my pictures during those times weren’t that wonderful (as many food bloggers can relate to with their first photos). Now that I have a nice camera and a little more experience, I decided it was time to try them out again. And guess what? I got my first submissions onto both sites yesterday! The Smoked Sea Salt Caramel Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies made it onto both Foodgawker and Tastespotting, and the Cookie Dough Oreo Cake made it onto Tastespotting. Of course several others were rejected but that seems to be pretty typical and I still have plenty of learning to do when it comes to food photography.

Most of the time when my pictures don’t come out perfectly it is because I am in a hurry or don’t have the best lighting. It is especially difficult when you have hungry eaters anxiously waiting to eat the item you are photographing. Take these spaghetti squash lasagna boats for example: the lighting was not ideal but three other people were ready to dig in. I love cooking for more than just myself, but always feel bad making people wait until the photoshoot is done. It is a tricky thing to balance! Lighting aside, these lasagna boats were a delicious, low carb alternative to traditional lasagna with a fun presentation.

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna Boats

One year ago: Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Two years ago: Gluten-Free Bananas Foster Muffins

Three years ago: Cashew Chicken
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Skillet Lasagna

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.

Skillet Lasagna

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.

One year ago: Chili-Lime Roasted Butternut Salad
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Baked Mozzarella Chicken Rolls

Before I talk about food, I forgot to tell you how badly they butchered my last name at graduation. Over the years my family and I have heard all kinds of mispronunciations but one version tends to prevail and I am always prepared to hear it. However, sometimes people like to get creative by adding extra letters and graduation day was no exception. It was so bad even my own family and friends weren’t sure if it was actually me, despite prefacing it with my first and middle names. “Va-see-lick” – where the heck did you see an L in my last name, sir? Were you thinking of a basilisk? But I couldn’t be upset for long because he knew he screwed it up and mouthed a very apologetic “I’m sorry!” as I walked up the stairs. He even pulled me aside afterwards to apologize again and ask me how to pronounce my last name. Oh the joys of having an unusual last name (although I still like it despite all that).

These chicken rolls look more difficult to execute than they truly are (just like my last name). A ricotta-spinach mixture is rolled up in a thin chicken breast, dipped in egg and breadcrumbs, and then baked until crispy before topping with marinara, fresh mozzarella and basil. The end result is an entree that looks fancy without all the fuss. I made these on Thursday last week for dinner, ready upon the arrival of my parents (for graduation the next morning) and served with a mixed spinach salad. It was a hit! And then we had pie for dessert O:-).

Baked Mozzarella Chicken Rolls

One year ago: Buttermilk Biscuits

Three years ago: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip
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Stuffed Shells with Pumpkin Sage Cream Sauce

With my dissertation behind me and only 21 days until I graduate and get hooded for my Ph.D. you’d think I would be care-free and excited. Not so much, more like the same old stress and anxious. I am still working on a couple last experiments per reviewers comments on my paper, job hunting, and worrying about what I am going to do if I don’t have a job lined up by the end of January when my lease runs out. With any luck that last item won’t become a reality, but in the meantime it’s a good time for some comfort food.

Stuffed Shells with Pumpkin Sage Cream Sauce 1

Stuffed shells are great comfort food. Those big shells hug in their cheesy goodness of a filling while being wrapped up in a warm blanket of sauce. Sounds like the life, doesn’t it? This sauce happens to be extra special because it is a pumpkin alfredo sauce with sage. Now wait, don’t get discouraged thinking you have to make your own alfredo sauce (but you can if you want). This recipe uses a premade jar of alfredo mixed up with pumpkin puree and a couple other flavor additions to create a great fall pasta dish.

Stuffed Shells with Pumpkin Sage Cream Sauce 2

One year ago: Individual Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

Two years ago: Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

Three years ago: Veggie Lasagna
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Eggplant Manicotti with Creamy Pesto Filling

Every day is a battle to actually prepare a meal at dinnertime for myself instead of opening a blue box of mac and cheese or swinging by Taco Bell. I am actually impressed by only caving once thus far. Oddly enough I spruced up that blue box by topping it off with some lentil soup and fried okra. That is what happens when you are hungry and rummage through the pantry and freezer for random items. Oddly enough it was quite delicious and I may have to do it again the next time I cave.

But on the days I do manage to cook it is rarely anything that takes more than 30 minutes of preparation. And yes, this recipe today falls into the category. It may look fancy and difficult but the hardest part is slicing the eggplant, unless you’re smart and pull out your mandoline (I own one but always forget). The next hardest part? Not eating the entire pan by yourself in one sitting. The creamy pesto was freaking amazing and I wanted to bathe in it.

Eggplant Manicotti with Creamy Pesto Filling

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Pizza Tacos

It is a rare day to find flights for under $300, even more so under $200, but yesterday was one of those days and I snatched it up as fast as I could confirm the time and place of events for that weekend. This flight purchase was for my friend Amber’s wedding in October, another of which I am a bridesmaid! The flight actually ended up being free because I had accrued enough miles to do so. I should have signed up for the Amex Delta Skymiles CC a long time ago. Imagine all the free flights, free 1st checked bag, and group 1 seating I could have been enjoying all these years!

But anywho, to go along with the theme of frugality, here is a pizza taco recipe that I was able to make almost without a trip to the grocery store. Lately I have been trying to cook more with the items I already have stocked, and surprisingly for this meal I had every ingredient on hand except for the ricotta. That goes to show how well stocked my kitchen is for a girl living with no one else besides her cat. Sometimes I try to estimate how long I could survive without leaving my home, and appreciate that I do not need to test it for real because I covet fresh fruit far too much.

P.S. This recipe is a great, quick weeknight meal!

Pizza Tacos

One year ago: Easy S’mores Ice Cream Sandwiches

Two years ago: Eggplant Stuffed Shells
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Pepperoni Pasta Bake

There are times when I go to the grocery store and somehow leave without actually getting everything on my list. And then there are times when I cross every last thing off, only to get home and realize I didn’t buy enough of something or forgot to put something on the list in the first place. Enter improvisation. When making these stuffed shells, I substituted broccoli for shredded zucchini because I failed to buy any, and also some of the ricotta for Greek yogurt because I didn’t buy enough! Some people say you shouldn’t admit to screwing up and instead say it was all planned out from the beginning. However, I prefer admitting how awesome my creative skills under pressure because these shells were still awesome.

Pepperoni Pasta Bake

Two years ago: Butterscotch Haystack Cookies
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Sun-Dried Tomato Ravioli with Basil Cream Sauce & Jumbo Reese’s Heart Stuffed Cookie

Happy Valentine’s Day!! What do you have planned today? I am going to the Brooks Museum with some friends for a visiting internet cat video film festival! It’s going to be absolutely ridiculous and I cannot wait. After all, I don’t need to do anything mushy today because I already celebrated Valentine’s Day over the past weekend when I was visiting my boyfriend. We actually made the ravioli I am sharing with you today!

I packed my ravioli press in my luggage, but unfortunately my stand mixer + pasta rolling attachments were unable to come with me. So the BF used his muscles to roll out this dough by hand with a rolling pin. Serious dedication. He even got creative and made a little heart ravioli for me out of the last pieces of dough (which you can make out on the top of the pile).

So stay at home tonight with your favorite person, and make this dish for/with them. Serve with some roasted brussels sprouts and a nice glass of wine. Oh and don’t forget dessert! How about an easy jumbo cookie stuffed with a 5 ounce heart-shaped Reese’s? Scroll down for that lovely treat.

In mom news, her MRA had to be postponed yesterday due to some minor things and as a result was not able to go home yesterday. But I talked to her and she sounds good although still tired. Best part is her vision has already started to improve!

Sun-Dried Tomato Ravioli

One year ago: Raspberry Hugs Cheesecake Blossoms

Two years ago: Sweet Swirl Cookies
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