mexican shells

Feb 7, 2012 by

this dish is a hybrid of mexican food and italian.   it was another pinterest find and it has definitely found a permanent spot on our dinner rotation!  i originally halved the recipe (as shown in the pics below) but now make a full batch, because it is great for lunch leftovers. source: the way to his heart  1 lb. ground beef (or turkey) 1 pkg taco seasoning 6-8 oz. cream cheese 16 jumbo pasta shells 1 1/2 c salsa 1 c taco sauce 1 c cheddar cheese 1 c pepper jack cheese garnish (green onions, sour cream, olives, onions) preheat oven to 350°. in a large pot, bring water to a boil for shells. in a medium pan, brown the ground beef, drain and add taco seasoning.  cook according to package directions.  add...

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chicago style pizza

Nov 27, 2011 by

on my first trip to chicago in 7th grade, i had a slice of chicago style pizza.  it was love at first bite.   years later, i discovered that my mom had a stonewear chicago style pizza pan and have been making my own chicago style pizza ever since.  (thanks for giving me your pan, mom! :)) i have been through a few different recipes for dough.  it all started with freezer section bread dough, which was great, but difficult to find in stores that are not vg’s.  then, i tried a variety of box mixes, and none had the same texture or flavor.  this most recent recipe is the closest that i’ve found to a true chicago style crust.  it’s full of cornmeal and is very buttery.  it’s the perfect pizza crust! also, as...

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lasagne soup

Nov 23, 2011 by

italian food is my absolute favorite food on the planet.  i am always looking for new  to try and when i came across this recipe for lasagne soup, i just knew that i had to try it.  i have made it twice now and really enjoy it.  tom really enjoys it, it is one of his favorites!  it’s very simple to throw together and tastes just like the real thing!  i’ll quit babbling about my love for italian food and get on with the recipe! source: 1 lb. italian sausage 1 1/2 c chopped onion 2 tsp minced garlic cloves 1 tsp dried oregano 1/2 tsp crushed pepper flakes 1 tbsp tomato paste 2 14 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes 3 mediterranean bay leaves 3 c chicken stock 4 oz. campanelle pasta...

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sausage pasta bake

Mar 26, 2011 by

i wish that i could be italian… making meatballs, homemade pasta and cannolis filled with marscapone cheese.  but i’m not.  i was, however, elated when i received “the italian issue” of the food network magazine a few months back.  it was full of all things italian and made me a very happy italian wannabe. anyways, this is a really fun dish to throw together.  i thought that i was making it for two, by significantly cutting down the original amounts listed in the article.  let’s just say that moderation isn’t my strong suit when cooking.  i was going for a 8″ square dish, but it made enough for a 9×13″ pan and we had it for leftovers and lunch.  a few times.  it was still very delicious!  this dish is also very customizable, based on your...

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chicken carbonara ala bran

Feb 11, 2010 by

bran came over and made dinner last night!  she found this dandy of a recipe from publix and it was delicious… not very nutritious, but our healthy sides made up for it.  i sautéed  broccoli with red pepper flakes, minced garlic and evoo and we also made a spinach salad with mandarin oranges, pecans and ken’s fat free raspberry pecan dressing.  we also threw in some garlic breadsticks.  now onto the main course… 1/4 c roasted red peppers 1/4 c sun dried tomatoes 6 slices smoked bacon 1 lb. boneless chicken tenders 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 c pre-sliced green onions, divided 8 oz. linguine pasta (bran went for a whole wheat and linguine florentine combination) 1 1/2 jars of alfredo sauce (bran used classico sun dried tomato alfredo) bring water to a boil for...

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Feb 4, 2010 by

lasagne is one of my signature dishes, i don’t think that i’ve made it the same way twice.  it has changed and evolved over time, depending on how much prep time i have, what i’ve got in the kitchen and how many people i’m cooking for.  i like to make lasagne split up between two ez-foil pans.  i like the long loaf pans because they accommodate lasagne noodles so well and i can freeze one for later.   they’re also very easy to clean up!  you can find these pans at larger grocery stores, such as meijer’s and wal-mart. 2 boxes lasagne noodles 1 lb. ground beef 1 lb. italian sausage, removed from casings 2 tsp minced garlic 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped italian seasoning salt and pepper, as desired 2 jars spaghetti sauce,...

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Jan 24, 2010 by

i may have mentioned this before, but i think that italian food is my favorite type of food to consume and to make.  these suckers were time consuming to make, but definitely worth the effort. source also, as a side note, check the price of the cheese that you’re purchasing.  back in michigan, i used to purchase wedges of parmesan cheese.  i couldn’t find plain parmesan cheese at the store, so i went ahead and purchased the parmigiano-reggiano cheese that was called for.  it wasn’t until after i got back home and started cooking that i noticed the $11.89 price tag on the back of the cheese.  i just about fell over!  next time, i’ll have to shop around to find economical cheese.  it was really good cheese, though. 🙂 filling 1 1/4 c...

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sausage and lentil soup

Jan 9, 2010 by

i have been on an italian kick this week.  well, i think i could be on italian kick every week.  i love italian food and one of my favorite restaurants is carraba’s italian grill.  they often feature sausage and lentil soup as their soup of the day and it is delicious!  here’s my version of this soup: 1 lb. italian sausage 1 large onion, chopped 1 stalk celery, chopped 2 large carrots, chopped 1 small zucchini, chopped 6 c chicken broth 2 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes, undrained 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tsp salt 2 c dry lentils, rinsed pepper, to taste italian seasoning, to taste brown sausage, drain off fat. in a large pot, combine all ingredients, bring to a boil. reduce heat, cover. simmer for about 1 hour, or until lentils...

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italian meatloaf

Jan 7, 2010 by

tom is a HUGE fan of meatloaf.  i hate meatloaf.  i’m just not a beef fan.  however, my mom learned this trick a long time ago… if you dress up meatloaf to smell like pizza and add cheese, i’ll eat it!   so i created an italian meatloaf all of my very own. 🙂 1 lb. lean ground beef 1/2 lb. italian sausage 3/4 c cracker crumbs 1 egg, beaten 1/2 med. onion, chopped 1/4 tsp salt pepper, to taste 1/2 tsp oregano 1/2 clove garlic, minced 1/2 c pizza sauce 1/2 med. bell pepper, chopped filling: 1/4 lb. deli ham 4 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded mix the first eleven ingredients together in a large bowl.  reserve half of the sauce. on a large sheet of wax paper, or cookie sheet,  pat meat to...

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