Perfect for weeknight suppers, this Skillet Baked Penne has all of the comfort of baked pasta without all of the fuss.
Baked Penne is comfort food at it's best. Pasta, sausage, a tomato cream sauce, and gooey cheese all combine into one satisfying dish. The only problem? Typical baked pasta recipes are hardly practical on a weeknight. This Skillet Baked Penne recipe, however, can be made from start to finish in less than an hour. Plus, you will only have one pan to clean at the end. And, it makes a generous amount of food, so you will likely have leftovers (in other words, a night off from cooking!). Triple win!
To make this, you start by browning some Italian sausage in an oven-safe ... [Continue Reading]
This baked pasta is full of yumminess. There's artichoke hearts, spinach, cheese, chicken, and sun-dried tomatoes. And pasta, of course. I used whole-wheat, because it's my favorite, and good for you too.
Do you need a meal to bring to a new neighbor or a friend with a new baby? This pasta bake is the perfect meal for gifting. After William was born, a good friend brought us a big dish of this and it fed us for days. It was wonderful. The leftovers reheat well, and it's full of protein, carbs, and veggies, which is just what you need when you're putting all of your energy into taking care of a newborn. ... [Continue Reading]
I love cooking with butternut squash this time of year. One of our favorite fall meals is butternut squash soup, homemade rolls, and a green salad. Roasted butternut squash, though, is hard to resist, especially when it's combined with a bechamel sauce and three cheeses in a lasagna. This lasagna reminded me of one of my other favorite butternut squash meals- butternut squash ravioli. It has all of the flavors of the ravioli, but is much easier to put together. The roasted squash, cheese, sage, and pasta, it's all there.
The lasagna requires minimal prep time, especially since it takes advantage of no-boil lasagna noodles. Plus, I always enjoy adding new and flavorful vegetarian meals to ... [Continue Reading]
This summer flew by, probably because the kids and I were so busy. Between swimming lessons, My Gym classes, more swimming, and running errands, we had someplace to be pretty much every day. Sometimes when the kids and I are out and about, I like to treat us by going out to lunch or for a morning snack. Often we'll choose to eat at Panera, because it's kid-friendly and we love the menu of bagels, sandwiches, and salads. If it's lunchtime, Julia always orders the mac and cheese and (not always willingly) shares some with her little brother.
I was excited to find that Panera's mac and cheese recipe is available on their website, so that we can enjoy it at home as well. Julia loved the ... [Continue Reading]
You know how sometimes you just need some cheesy, baked pasta in your life? I am here to help with those times. I love this Cheesy Mac Bolgnese because it's (obviously) pasta baked with melty cheese and bolognese sauce, it's easy to throw together, and it gets even better the second and third day as the flavors have time to come together. Great leftovers are a real plus when I have a busy week like this one... back-to-school means I am back to teaching... exciting but also crazy busy times! Cooking once and then not having to worry about cooking dinner for the next day or two is so helpful when I am getting back into the routine of balancing work and family.
Typically I make this with ... [Continue Reading]
Why is it that around one year of age kids suddenly start to get picky about their food? There are those few months before the one year mark where little ones are open to trying (and usually liking) just about anything, and then all of a sudden that all changes. You put some broccoli or scrambled eggs on the high chair tray and are thanked with a face that says, “Really, this is what you expect me to eat?” If you're a parent, I'm pretty sure you know what face I'm talking about. William, as was Julia, is all about the bread, fruit, and dairy when it comes to eating, with a little meat thrown in for good measure.
Still, I make sure to offer him a variety of foods, and we all eat the same ... [Continue Reading]
These days I'm all about getting the most out of my cooking. I love it when I find a recipe that not only feeds us for two nights in a row, but also freezes well. Investing time in the kitchen is even more rewarding when there is a big payoff, and in my world a quick meal that just needs heating up on a busy weeknight is a pretty big payoff. This cheesy spinach stuffed shells recipe makes a lot, plus it's hard to go wrong with cheesy pasta. I don't make special “kid meals” for Julia and William- they either eat what we're eating as a family or they don't. But it is nice when dinner is something that they love and enjoy, and these were enjoyed by all.
If you love cheese, then these shells ... [Continue Reading]
This weekend we celebrated William's 1st birthday with a barbecue at our house, and I made this pasta salad to go along with our burgers and other side dishes. Pasta salad is always a hit with my family, and this time I wanted to try something new. Of course, I waited until Friday night to search for a recipe, but I found this one right away and knew it would be perfect. (I also waited until Friday night to decide on a birthday cake recipe, and that one turned out to be a great find as well. I'll be sharing it soon, along with some pictures from the party!) :)
Aside from being addictively yummy, pasta salad is a great entertaining dish because it's easy to make, and it's best made the ... [Continue Reading]
I try my best to make sure that our family eats plenty of fruits and vegetables. The fruit part is easy, but it's the vegetables that make this task a little more challenging. While William has enjoyed just about every vegetable we've given to him, Julia is a different story. She will eat a few bites of cucumber and broccoli, and that's about it (unless you count tomatoes, which are technically a fruit). I was hopeful that she would like this broccoli pesto pasta, since she does like broccoli (sort of), and she did!
Our whole family loved this pasta, and I know it is one of those recipes that I will make again and again. I made the full recipe, and we enjoyed the leftovers for dinner the ... [Continue Reading]
Pasta. Cheese. Breadcrumbs. Roasted red peppers. Eggplant. Do I have your attention yet? (Or did I lose you with the eggplant?) Even if eggplant isn't one of your favorite things, I'll bet you'll love this baked pasta. The eggplant is cooked perfectly and almost melts into the sauce, which is an amazing combination of roasted red peppers and fire roasted tomatoes. As we were eating this for dinner, we kept saying this is one of the best pastas we've made recently. And then we said it all over again the next night while eating the leftovers.
The original recipe calls for making this a one-pot dish by using an oven-safe skillet to brown the eggplant and cook the sauce and pasta. Then you ... [Continue Reading]
Today at lunch Julia declared, "I.do.not.like.tomatoes!" (dramatic pause in between each word), and then a few minutes later proceeded to eat about 20 or so orange cherry tomatoes, asking for seconds and then thirds. This is also the girl who will eat tomato after tomato straight off the vine in her grandmother's garden. Three years old is certainly an age when kids are asserting their independence, so she just needed to eat those tomatoes on her own terms, not Mommy's. :)
I'm with Julia on her love of fresh cherry tomatoes, whether they be eaten straight off the vine or roasted as in this pasta. This dish is reminiscent of caprese salad, as it combines tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil ... [Continue Reading]
Are you growing a garden this summer? We have a few tomato plants that are doing well, and some basil that's not doing so great. We also have a few strawberry plants that have produced about 5 strawberries total (so much fun for Julia even though we won't be making any strawberry pies with homegrown strawberries anytime soon). I really wish we had a bigger garden, and we're working on putting up a planter box on our side yard. In the meantime, we're lucky that my parents share with us. They've grown some delicious green and yellow squash, and they shared a few more with us this past weekend so I made them into this pasta dish.
My favorite way to prepare summer squash is grilling, usually on ... [Continue Reading]