Baked Pasta and Meatballs

 

We’ve had a pretty busy Sunday running errands and getting ready for the upcoming work week. I’m sure I’m not the only one that thinks weekends are way too short. If it were up to me, we’d have five-day weekends and two-day weeks. Doesn’t that sound much better? If only …

Since I made it to the grocery store and filled our fridge and non-pantry up with goodies for the week, I thought I’d throw together a laid-back early Sunday night dinner. It’s a little twist on the average pasta.

Baked Pasta and Meatballs

Ingredients

Pasta of Choice (I used Bow Tie Pasta)
Tomato Sauce of Choice (We had some Tomato Sauce with Garlic and Basil)
1 can Mushrooms
Mozzarella Cheese
Beef Meatballs 
 
 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Boil pasta as directed.
Saute drained mushrooms in a small saucepan, add pasta sauce and simmer. 
Drain noodles, mix together pasta sauce and noodles, then pour into a baking dish. 
Place meatballs on top of the pasta, add thick layer of mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 25 minutes, until cheese is fully melted.

Buffalo Chicken Bites

Buffalo Chicken Bites

 

As I was browsing foodgawker a few weeks ago, I came across this recipe for Buffalo Chicken Bites on Sweet Pea’s Kitchen I was instantly in love. Healthy-ish boneless chicken wings? Is there such a thing? Yes, there is. These are super easy to make. It was a little bit messy because I used my hands to form the bites. But the outcome is absolute deliciousness. These bites are great alternatives to a deep-fried night at Buffalo Wild Wings. To complete the meal, I served them baked homemade fries and two side dips; marinara dipping sauce and spicy light ranch.

Buffalo Chicken Bites

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Shredded Cooked Chicken
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup Hot Sauce (to taste)
  • 3 1/2 ounces Light Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups Sharp Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped Green Onions
  • 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 – 4 cups Corn Flakes cereal, crushed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350?F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine chicken, cream cheese and hot sauce, cheddar cheese and green onions.
  3. Roll a heaping tablespoon of mixture into a 1½-inch ball and place onto a plate or separate baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining mixture.
  4. Place flour in a shallow dish.
  5. In a second shallow dish, place eggs.
  6. In a third shallow dish, Place cornflakes.
  7. Dip each chicken ball first into the flour, then the egg and ending with the Corn Flakes. Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm with ranch or blue cheese dressing.
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October BBQ

Who says you can’t BBQ in October? This weekend was perfect for a BBQ – sunny and 70ish. I decided to have some people over for a low-key cookout.

Did I mention that I don’t have a grill?

That’s alright. I made due without it. I used our Foreman-like Grill to cook the burgers, but for everything else we (or should I say I) used the oven and stovetop as a substitute. I boiled the hot dogs and the corn and made a baked chicken and shrimp with lemon and garlic sauce. I also attempted to cut the frying calories out by baking the fries. They turned out delicious and perfectly crispy.

But the hit of the afternoon (at least in my opinion) was the spinach artichoke dip. You can’t have a BBQ without chips and dip. So to complement the store-bought salsa and chips, I decided it would be a good idea to make my own dip. Adapted from Eat Yourself Skinny.

 

 

Spinach Artichoke Dip Recipe

Ingredients

1 (8 ounce) package of fat-free cream cheese, softened or whipped
1/4 cup Low Fat Mayonnaise
1/4 cup grated Low Fat Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup grated Low Fat Romano cheese
2 cloves Garlic, peeled and minced
Garlic Salt
1/2 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 package cup frozen chopped Spinach, thawed and drained
1/4 cup shredded Low Fat Mozzarella cheese
 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Lightly grease a small baking dish.
Mix together cream cheese, mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, Romano cheese, mozzarella cheese, minced garlic, garlic salt. 
Stir in artichoke hearts and spinach.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.
Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, until bubbly and lightly browned.

 

I also pitched in on the dessert front and made some pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting – all from scratch.

 

Pumpkin Cupcakes and Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 eggs, beaten until frothy
1 cup mashed cooked or canned pumpkin
3/4 cup milk
Icing
1/4 cup butter
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
 

Directions

Mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg into a bowl.
In a separate bowl, mix butter and sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs.
Add butter and sugar mixture to flour mixture.
Blend in mashed pumpkin.
Spoon batter into cupcake cups.
Bake at 375° for 25 minutes.
Frost with cream cheese frosting
Icing
Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl, beat well until smooth

Easy Like Sunday Morning

I don’t agree that Sunday mornings are necessarily easy. Actually, I remember when I was younger Sunday was the worst day of the week – the day before school. And let me tell you, school in middle school was endless.

This Sunday morning falls into the “easy” category. Now that I’m out of school, done with college, finished up my Master’s degree, and am working full time in the field of my dreams, my Sunday anxieties have subsided. I can now enjoy Sunday mornings.

 

 

I was craving a low-fat egg sandwich, with my regular cup of morning coffee. That’s easy … easy like Sunday morning.

 

 

Single Sunny Side Up Egg Sandwich

Ingredients

1 Egg
Mustard
Low Fat Cheese
Cooking Spray
Sandwich Thins 
 

Directions

Grease the skillet with cooking spray. 
Crack the egg into the skillet, cook until the yolk is set (the edges will get crispy).
Spread mustard onto sandwich thins, add sunny side up egg, top with cheese.

Shrimp Bow Tie Pasta

 

I was so tired last night that I forgot to post my Bow Tie Pasta with Shrimp in a Lemon Butter Sauce recipe. It’s basically a super easy pasta dish that really doesn’t take more than 30 minutes. Honestly, you won’t believe it until you see it. While I should be staying away from anything and everything pasta, bread and rice, it was a perfect first day back to work after a three-day weekend dinner. I fell asleep shortly after rinsing out my bowl.

 

Shrimp Bow Tie Pasta with Lemon Butter Sauce

Ingredients

2 cups Frozen Cooked Shrimp
2 cups Bow Tie Pasta
Dried Rosemary, to taste
Dried Oregano, to taste
¼ cup I can’t Believe it’s Not Butter Light
Lemon Pepper, to taste (I usually use a lot)
 

Directions

Boil pasta as directed
In a medium saucepan heat shrimp, add lemon pepper
Then melt in the I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter Light
Add rosemary and oregano, to taste
Drain pasta, mix together shrimp/sauce and pasta. 

Bridal Shower Rose Cake

A very dear friend of mine is getting married soon. As you know, it’s almost impossible to have a wedding without some sort of girls only event like a bridal shower or bachelorette party. For her bridal shower, I wanted to replicate this beautiful cake I had seen on Apron of Grace.

The theme was so fun, a tea party. Since experiencing afternoon tea in London last year, I’ve had an affinity for high tea. There’s something special about dressing up to sip from carefully crafted tea cups and nibbling on delectable scones, cakes, and finger sandwiches. In London, it’s a three-course affair and highly unlikely that you spend less than an hour, at least, chatting, sipping and eating.

I dressed the part – when you have the opportunity to dress up, why not! I’m talking big hat, heels and a shimmery suit.

 

 

Since the colors were white and purple, I thought I’d create a delightful little surprise by having the outside be white, and making the vanilla-flavored insides purple. The cake was a success! I didn’t realize it was going to be the center of attention.

 

 

 

I admit, I used boxed ingredients – but that’s because I didn’t want to change too many variables.

 

Purple Almond Rose Cake with Vanilla Frosting

Ingredients

2 packages White Cake Mix
6 Egg Whites
2/3 cup Vegetable Oil
2 ½ cups Water
2x Food coloring: 24 Red+16 Blue
2 teaspoons Almond Extract
2  packages Vanilla Frosting
 

Directions

Mix together cake mix, egg whites, oil and water.
Add almond extract, mix well
Add food coloring, mix well
Pour into 3 eight-inch pans
Bake at 350 for 19-23 minutes
Allow to cool for 30 minutes
 

Frost with vanilla icing. Then decorate as shown in the following video

Buttercream Cupcake Rose

 

There will be extra batter and icing – I used the rest for cupcakes.

 

 

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