Greek Pasta Casserole

Greek Pasta

 

Think of this as a Greek Bolognese Sauce, it is a hearty and comforting dish. I served it with a salad of lettuce, radishes and beets and toasted pita with garlic.

Greek Pasta Casserole

16 oz of cooked pasta ( I used rigatoni)

1 lb ground Turkey (you could use lamb, beef or chicken)

1 can diced tomatoes (Undrained)

2 c chopped fresh spinach

2 T greek seasoning

2 cloves garlic chopped

2 T red wine vinegar

1 c cream

1 c crumbled feta

1 c mozzarella cheese

in a large skillet saute ground turkey until no longer pink, add 1 T greek seasoning, garlic, and spinach, cook over med until spinach is wilted and add tomatoes and vinegar.

Greek Pasta

Mix together with drained pasta and add to a large 9×12 baking dish. Add cream and feta and mozzarella cheese and remaining Greek Seasoning.

Greek Pasta

 

Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally so pasta on top doesn’t get dry. Sauce will thicken and cheese will melt.

Greek Pasta

Greek Pasta

 

 

 

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Homemade Spicy Sloppy Joes

Homemade Spicy Sloppy Joes

Easy comfort food with a kick !

Homemade Spicy Sloppy Joes

2 lbs ground beef (use turkey or chicken if desired)

1/2 c chopped yellow onion

1/4 c chopped green pepper

2 t minced garlic

1 12 oz bottle of chili sauce ( I used Heinz)

1 6 oz can tomato paste

2 T Worcestershire sauce

2 T hot sauce

1/2 t salt

1/4 t cayenne pepper

1/2 t dried oregano

1 t mustard

1/2 c water

Brown ground beef with onions peppers and garlic over med high until meat is cooked through. drain off excess fat or liquid if needed. add chili sauce, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt, cayenne, oregano and mustard, stir to combine and heat through, add water and stir. Turn heat down to low and cook for about 10 minutes. Serve on toasted buns, add arugula and shredded cheddar if desired.

Homemade Spicy Sloppy Joes

Homemade Spicy Sloppy Joes

 

**Leftovers make great nachos, heat, spread on tortilla chips and sprinkle with cheese and sour cream

Cool as a Cucumber Pasta Salad

Cool as a Cucumber Pasta Salad

Cool off this Summer with this refreshing, easy and tasty pasta salad.

Cool as a Cucumber Pasta Salad

8 oz pasta cooked, drained and rinsed

2 cucumbers peeled, quartered and cut into 1 ” pieces

1 T chopped fresh mint

1 T chopped fresh parsley

1 T chopped ginger ( I used the refrigerated pre-minced found in the produce section of my supermarket)

1/2 c sour cream

3 T rice wine vinegar

salt and pepper to taste.

Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir to incorperate. Chill and serve.

 

Cool as a Cucumber Pasta Salad

Lasagna Supreme : Just Like the Pizza but Better

Lasagna Supreme: Just Like the Pizza but Better

 

All the flavors of a supreme pizza in a lasagna.

Supreme Lasagna

1 package no cook lasagna noodles

1 lb ricotta cheese

1 T  chopped fresh oregano

1 T chopped fresh basil

2 eggs

1 t salt

1/4 t pepper

4 hot italian sausage links (I used Turkey sausage)

1 green pepper sliced

1 c sliced onion

1 c sliced mushrooms

1 large jar marinara sauce

2 c shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400. in a large bowl mix ricotta, oregano, basil, eggs, salt and pepper and 1 c shredded mozzarella cheese.  Cut open casing of sausage and squeeze meat into a large saute pan, cook over med high heat until no longer pink. Add onion and green pepper and cook until onion is translucent, add mushroom and cook until slightly soft. Drain any liquid from pan.

Lasagna Supreme: Just Like the Pizza but Better

 

Using a large spoon, put approx 1/4 c of marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Add one layer of noodles, then 1/3 ricotta mixture, a layer of sauce about 1 c and then 1/2 of the sausage mixture. Add another layer of noodles, 1/3 ricotta mixture, 1 c sauce, then noodles. The 1/3 ricotta mixture,  1 c sauce , 1/2 sausage mixture, and then noodles. Cover noodles with sauce and remaining mozzarella cheese and cover with foil. (The middle layer will be just cheese)

Lasagna Supreme: Just Like the Pizza but Better

Lasagna Supreme: Just Like the Pizza but Better

 

Bake for 30 minutes with foil on, then remove and cook 15 minutes more or until cheese is melted and golden. Let sit at room temperature at least 15 minutes before cutting.

Lasagna Supreme: Just Like the Pizza but Better

 

Lasagna Supreme: Just Like the Pizza but Better

Ham and Cheese Casserole

Ham and Cheese Casserole

 

Do you have ham you need to use up, leftover lunch meat or ham from brunch? Here’s and easy comforting casserole to try.

Ham and Cheese Casserole

16 0z box ziti cooked and rinsed

2 T butter

2 T flour

1 t dijon mustard

2 c milk

1/4 ham cut into chunks or bite sized pieces

1/2 cup canned corn

1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 c shredded swiss cheese

1/4 t black pepper

 

Preheat oven to 350

In a medium saucepan melt butter over low heat, stir in flour and cook 1 minute. slowly add milk, stirring constantly and turn heat up to med high. When sauce begins to bubble turn back to low and stir until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. add dijon mustard, and both cheeses. stir until cheese is melted. add pepper and stir.

add cooked pasta, chopped ham and corn to a large baking dish. Pour cheese sauce over top and combine. Bake for 25 -30 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and crust form on top.

If you want  you can add breadcrumbs or more shredded cheese on top before putting in the oven.

Ham and Cheese Casserole

 

Roasted Succotash Salad

Roasted Succotash Salad

Roasted Succotash Salad

This is bursting with flavor and super easy to make.

Roasted Succotash Salad

1 box frozen corn, thawed

1 box frozen lima beans, thawed

1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes halved

1 T chopped fresh basil

Olive oil

lime juice (from 1 lime)

salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, toss corn and lima beans with about 1 T olive oil. I do this in a colander so I don’t use any excess oil. Place on a sheet pan and season with salt and pepper. Roast veggies for about 15-20 minutes or until corn get brown on the edges. Add to a mixing bowl with tomatoes, basil and squeeze the juice of 1 lime over the top, season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Great warm or room temperature so it’s perfect for pot lucks.

Cobb Salad, Family Style

I love a good Cobb Salad, it is so easy and so versatile. I like to serve mine in a glass 9×12 pan and serve it family style so that everyone can pick and choose what toppings they like, it’s is kind of like a low carb taco night. Use the ingredients your family likes and serve with a vinaigrette or ranch dressing.

Family Style Cobb Salad

2 heads of romaine hearts chopped into bite sized pieces

2 tomatoes chopped

1 ripe avocado peeled and chopped ( sprinkle with lemon or lime juice to prevent discoloring)

2 cups cooked chicken or turkey chopped ( I used a rotisserie chicken from my stores deli)

6 slices of  cooked bacon chopped

1/2 c blue cheese crumbled ( Use feta or even cheddar if that is your family’s preference)

3 hard boiled eggs chopped

Add lettuce to the pan, top with remaining ingredients, in rows. Sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired. Serve with dressing and tongs so that each person can get the ingredients they desire. This salad is also great for parties and pot lucks.

Easy Mustard Vinaigrette 

2 T olive oil

3 T red wine vinegar

1 t dijon mustard

salt and pepper

whisk together all ingredients, serve over salad.

Beer Makes it Better: Beer Macaroni and Cheese

Beer makes everything better and that holds true in this recipe. Give your mac and cheese new life and depth of flavor with this little twist on a classic.

Beer Macaroni and Cheese

1 lb elbow macaroni cooked and drained

4 T butter

1 tsp chopped garlic

1/4 c flour

2 t hot sauce

1/2 c beer

4 c milk

1 t smoked paprika

3 cups of shredded cheese

1/2 t pepper

1 t salt

Melt butter over low heat in a large oven safe pan, add garlic and saute 1 minute. Add flour and stir, cook 2-3 minutes over low heat. Add beer, paprika and hot sauce. cook 1 minute. Will become a thick paste like consistency.

Slowly add milk and hot sauce while whisking, bring up temperature to almost boiling and heat until thickened (so it coats a spoon). Add salt and pepper.

Whisk in cheese. I used Sharp Cheddar, Parmesan and Monterey Jack. This is a good recipe to clean out the cheese drawer in the fridge, try your favorite combo, the good thing is beer goes with all types of cheese.

Add Macaroni to pan, stir until macaroni is evenly coated.

Place in a 300 degree preheated oven for 15 minutes. Sauce will thicken and crust will form on top, add grated cheese and herbs if desired.

Serve as a main dish or as a side to your favorite meal, like Raspberry Chipotle Pork Chops

Spicy Tequila Pulled Pork with Lime Cilantro Cream

This one cooks in the crock pot for an easy meal, feeds a large crowd and can easily be doubled. I served it in tortillas with the Lime Cilantro Cream and shredded cheese.

Spicy Tequila Pulled Pork

1 Boston Butt Pork Roast

1 onion chopped

1 can rotel tomatoes with green chilis

1/2 c tequila

juice of 1 lime

juice of 1 orange

3 cloves garlic

1 t salt

1/2 t pepper

1 t cumin

1 t Habanero powder (omit if you want it mild)

Here is the easy part, throw everything into the crock pot, turn on high until it simmers, reduced heat to low and cook for approx 5 hours or until pork is done and easily shreds with 2 forks.

Remove pork from liquid and shred on a large cutting board or platter. Serve with warm tortillas, shredded cheese and Lime Cilantro Cream

 

Lime Cilantro Cream

Ina medium bowl mix together:

1 c sour cream

2 T lime juice

1T tequila

2 T chopped cilantro

1/2 t salt

1/8 t pepper

1/4 t lime zest

Return from NYC and a Potato Salad Recipe

It’s the weekend and I have returned from my trip to NYC, cooking has not been a priority as much as getting my house back in order. I left my husband and 2 teenagers in charge for 5 days and came back to a car without gas, piles of laundry, a parched herb and vegetable garden and an empty cupboard. I am pretty sure no one dusted or ran a vacuum either. I am not going to complain because everyone is alive and accounted for and if this is what has to happen for me to be able to take my little trips than that is a small price to pay. So today’s recipe is one that I made when we had a baseball night in. It is a perfect accompaniment to hot dogs, burgers or barbecue.

12 med sized red skinned potatoes ( I left the skins on, but if you like them peeled go ahead.)

2 stalks celery chopped fine

3 hard-boiled eggs chopped

1 1/2 T fresh chopped parsley

1t fresh dill chopped

3/4 c mayo

2T red wine vinegar

1t salt

Place potatoes in a large pot cover with water, bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cook until tender. Pour into a colander and drain. When potatoes are cool enough to work with cut into bite sized pieces and place in a large mixing bowl (don’t wait until potatoes are cold because they will be less porous and won’t absorb the flavors of the ingredients), add remaining ingredients  and mix together. Cover and place in refrigerator until chilled.