Creamy Mac and Cheese (Countdown to Thanksgiving)

My family usually prefers the blue box for macaroni and cheese so it’s hard to find a homemade macaroni and cheese that they would love.  This is one macaroni and cheese recipe that they enjoyed eating.

This recipe makes a LOT of macaroni and cheese.  I made this dish on a Saturday night.  We ate it as a side dish for three different meals.

Continue reading “Creamy Mac and Cheese (Countdown to Thanksgiving)”

Chicken Parmesan (Day 30)

I’ve signed up for a 31 day  writing challenge.  Everyday in October, I am posting a new slow cooker recipe, a link to a previous posted slow cooker recipe, or a link to a recipe from another blog.

Tomorrow is the last day of the writing challenge.  I’m getting ready for my next two series.  They won’t be as intense as the 31 writing challenge.

The first series is a countdown to Thanksgiving series.  I have some crockpot meals for sides and even a turkey recipe for the crockpot.  My plan is to have a printable Thanksgiving menu the week before Thanksgiving.

The second series is a countdown to Christmas.  I already have recipes of the I’m Hungry cooking blog.  We are going to revisit some of our favorite Christmas cookies and treats.  The Imaginative One loves this time of the year because he loves taste testing the goodies.

I’ve already tasted two of the recipes for the countdown to Christmas.  Both the Wee One and the Imaginative One LOVED the first one.  Only the Wee One has tried the other one.  He kept going back for me so I think that is a sign that he LOVED the other treat.

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As I have said in other blog posts, we eat Sunday night dinner with my mother-in-law.  Twice during the month of October, we also invited another member of our church to our Sunday night dinner.  On the 11th, I decided to cook chicken Parmesan in the slow cooker.  Chicken Parmesan is one of my mother-in-law’s favorite meals.  Everyone raved on the deliciousness of the meal.

About a half an hour before the dinner, I took the chicken out of the crock.  I placed the chicken pieces in a casserole dish and then sprinkled Parmesan cheese over the chicken.  Then I put it in the oven for a few minutes to allow the cheese to melt. 

Continue reading “Chicken Parmesan (Day 30)”

Slow Cooker Ravioli

I’ve signed up for a 31 day  writing challenge.  Everyday in October, I am posting a new slow cooker recipe, a link to a previous posted slow cooker recipe, or a link to a recipe from another blog.

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Our family loves ravioli.  It’s such an easy meal to put together.  This recipe makes its own sauce so it’s truly a one pot meal.  Add a salad and garlic bread on the meal to make a complete meal.

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Slow Cooker Ravioli

adapted from The Country Cook

Crockpot ravioli

Stars of the recipe:

  • 1 package of frozen ravioli
  • 1 – 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes or 2 – 15 oz. cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 – 6 oz. can of tomato paste
  • 1 to 1 1/2 c. of water
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 c. shredded Italian cheese

Steps:

  1. Spray your crock with cooking spray.
  2. Place the ravioli and onion in the crockpot.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, mix the crushed tomatoes, water, garlic, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
  4. Pour over the onion and ravioli.
  5. Cover and cook for 5 hours on low.
  6. 10 minutes prior to serving, cover with cheese and allow to melt.
  7. Enjoy!

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If you enjoyed this recipe, please share it on Facebook or Pinterest.  Here is a link to my Facebook page and my Pinterest page.

Happy eating,
Traci

Crockpot Pizza

 

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Crockpot Pizza

Stars of the recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cups browned ground beef (I omitted this.)
  • 2/3 box of rigatoni (I used rotini.)
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 4 cups of mozzarella cheese (I used 2 cups.)
  • 2 jars of pizza sauce (I used 1 jar and added some water.)
  • 1 package of pepperoni (I used 1/2 package. Next time I’m going to cut the pepperoni into smaller pieces.)
  • salt and pepper taste

Steps:

  1. Place all items in a crockpot that has been sprayed with cooking spray. (I used a 3 quart crockpot.)
  2. Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours. (Mine was done in about 3.5 hours.)
  3. Enjoy

Printable Recipe

Pesto Orzo Pasta Salad

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I tried to come up with a witty blog entry about this salad.  Even though I thought and thought, I couldn’t come up with anything.  So I’ll just be straightforward.  This recipe is delicious and easy to put together.  You can adapt it by changing up the veggies in the salad.

Pesto Orzo Pasta Salad

Stars of the recipe:

  • 1/2 cup orzo pasta
  • 1/4 Tbsp. pesto
  • 1/4 c. broccoli florets
  • 1/4 c. grape tomatoes, cut in half or even fourths
  • 1/4 c. bell pepper, diced (I used yellow.)
  • 2 Tbsp. diced black olives
  • 2 Tbsp. Feta cheese

Steps:

  1. Cook orzo pasta according to package directions.  Put broccoli florets in the cooking water for the last 3 minutes of the pasta cooking time.
  2. Drain pasta and broccoli in a strainer.  Run cool water over the pasta and broccoli to stop the cooking process.
  3. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Enjoy!

This made 3 servings for me.

Printable Recipe

Chicken Scampi

My family doesn’t like shrimp so traditional shrimp scampi is a no go at my house.  So I decided to make scampi with chicken instead.  You know a meal is a winner when hubby, the Wee One, and Imaginative One all love the meal.  There was no complaints about the meal.

About five years ago, I got a spaghetti pot that cooks the spaghetti whole.  The boys loved eating the whole pieces of linguine.  They loved slurping up the pieces.  It made the meal fun for them.

Chicken Scampi

IMG_0706Stars of the recipe:

  • 1/2 box of linguine, cooked (reserve 1 cup of the cooking water) – I used whole wheat pasta.
  • 1 lb. of chicken, cubed
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 Tbsp. butter (separate into a 2 Tbsp. piece and a 3 Tbsp. piece)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 c. white wine
  • 2 lemons, juiced (microwave them for 10 seconds before juicing them)
  • 1 Tbsp. dried parsley or 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley

Steps:

  1. Cook the linguine, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.
  2. In a skillet, heat the oil and 2 Tbsp. of the butter over medium heat.
  3. When the butter is melted, add the chicken, onions, and garlic.  Cook until the chicken is cooked.  (5 to 10 minutes)
  4. Remove the chicken, onions, and garlic.  Tent a piece of foil over the chicken to keep it warm.
  5. Place the skillet over high heat.  Add the lemon juice and white wine.  Deglaze the bottom of the skillet and then cook until boiling.  Add the cooking water and 3 Tbsp. butter.
  6. Lower the heat.  Once the butter is melted, add the chicken, onions, and garlic.  Cook for about 3-5 more minutes until the sauce is thickened.
  7. Add the parsley and remove from heat.
  8. Pour over the cooked linguine and combine.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Printable Recipe

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Healthier Mac and Cheese

What is it about comfort food that warms your soul? The day after Christmas brought us lots of snow. We were under a winter storm warning but the counties around us were under a blizzard warning. The day after the storm, I decided to go grocery shopping. I still have to walk around snow piles to bring the groceries in. So I was craving some comfort food.

This macaroni and cheese warms your soul and is also healthier then the boxed stuff. So I was happy to serve it to my family. 🙂

The Imaginative One said it was good. Hubby went and took a second helping so that must mean he loved it.

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Healthier Mac and Cheese

Skinny Taste

Stars of the recipe:

  • 12 oz. high fiber pasta (I used Ronzoni Smart Taste rotini. You can use whole wheat pasta if you want.)
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 c. flour (I used white whole wheat.)
  • 1/4 c. minced onion
  • 2 c. skim milk
  • 1 c. chicken broth (I used 1 c. water with a chicken bullion cube.)
  • 2 c. shredded cheddar cheese, reduced fat
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 c. baby spinach
  • 1/4 c. panko bread

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions.
  3. Meanwhile spray a baking dish with butter flavor cooking spray.
  4. In a large, heavy skillet, melt the butter.
  5. Add flour and cook over low heat stirring with a whisk. Add the onion and cook for about 2 minutes.
  6. Add milk and chicken broth and continuing whisking. Raise the heat to medium heat until it begins to boil and becomes smooth and thick. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Once the milk mixture becomes thick, remove the skillet fro the the heat, add the cheese and mix until cheese is melted.
  8. Drain the macaroni and put back in the pot. Add the spinach and cheese sauce. Stir to combine.
  9. Pour into baking dish. Top with breadcrumbs.
  10. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
  11. Take the dish out, spray with a little more butter flavored cooking spray on the top.
  12. Broil for a few minutes to get the breadcrumbs golden.
  13. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

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Top Clicks of 2012

According to my stats counter, these are the top 10 recipes that were clicked on.

Taco Crescent Bake was #1 – It was published in February of  2011.

Sloppy Joe Pizza was #2 – It was also published in February of 2011.

Watermelon Cookies was #3.  These continue to be my kids and students favorite cookies.  It was published in July of 2010.

Watermelon Cookies
Watermelon Cookies

Makes It Own Crust Apple Pie was #4.  It was published in November of 2011.

Makes It Own Crust Apple Pie
Makes It Own Crust Apple Pie

Baked Spaghetti was #5.  It was published in January of 2012.

Baked Spaghetti
Baked Spaghetti

Homemade hamburger helper was #6.  It was published in October 2010.

Homemade Hamburger helper
Homemade Hamburger helper

Charleston Cheese Dip was #7.  It was published in January 2012.

Charleston Cheese Dip
Charleston Cheese Dip

Ranch Chicken Legs was #8.  It was published in March 2011.

Peanut Butter Blossoms was #9.  It was published in October 2010.

Peanut butter blossoms
Peanut butter blossoms

Green beans, potatoes, and ham was #10.  It was published in April of 2012.

Green beans, ham, and potatoes
Green beans, ham, and potatoes

Here’s to a successful 2013!

Reader’s Favorites

I went to my stats’ summary page to find the recipes that get the most clicks.  This is the top post of 2012.
SONY DSCBaked Spaghetti

Here’s the 2nd to 5th top posts of 2012:

SONY DSCCharleston Cheese Dip

20120413-205004.jpgGreen beans, potatoes and ham

20120323-193315.jpgBacon Cheeseburger Soup

20121014-153818.jpgPeanut Butter Blossoms Redone

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