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Showing posts from April, 2013

Creamy Garlic Pasta

Pasta can be a very easy side dish, but it can also be a very boring side dish when you get stuck in a rut.  Sadly, I've seen quite a few ruts and I can be tempted to buy the super cheap pasta and rice side packets from the grocery store.  They're cheap, quick and easy and what's not tempting about that?  But, these dishes are definitely something that can be made from scratch just as cheaply, quickly and easily!  And not to mention - so much better.

Gotta love homemade convenience food!


Creamy Garlic Pasta
Ingredients:
8 oz. short pasta of choice (I used shells)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons flour
3/4 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup milk
salt & pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons parsley flakes

Directions:
Cook pasta according to packaged instructions, drain and set aside.

In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, melt olive oil and butter.  Add minced garlic and saute until golden brown…

Salted Caramel Frosting

When choosing between dessert flavors at a bakery, ice cream shop, etc., if there is salted caramel, there is a good chance that I will be giving that a try (unless there is mint oreo/cookies & cream - then there would be a tough decision to make!).  I just love salted caramel flavors.  I'm sure I've said it before that while I like sweets, I don't necessarily crave them (give me chips and cheese please!), but what I may not have said is that if it's a salty sweet - well, that's a whole new ballgame there!

Sadly, I haven't made many salted caramel flavors before... but I'm hoping that will change.  Starting with this amazing, yet simple, frosting.

Salted Caramel Frosting
Ingredients:
2 sticks butter, room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup salted caramel (homemade or store bought*)
3 1/2 - 4 cups powdered sugar
*If you can't find store bought Salted Caramel sauce simply add about 1 teaspoon of sea salt to the caramel)

Directions:

Taco Calzones

One of my favorite go-to meals is Calzones.  They are so quick and easy, tasty, and the possibilities are endless.  That being said, I always made the same ones over and over again.  Pepperoni, Sausage or Ground Beef/Bacon - just like we like our pizzas.  
Recently I purchased a Groupon for a discounted subscription to emeals.  Emeals is a service that sends you a weekly meal plan, complete with shopping list, based on your preferences (vegetarian, portion control, paleo, etc.) and preferred store.  I admit that I don't use emeals to the full purpose of it, but for the price I purchased a subscription for, it's a good jumping off point to plan my weekly menu.  Honestly, I just have so many recipes I want to try, so many favorites, etc. that meal planning for the week can get difficult.  I cannot survive without my meticulous meal plans though, so emeals helps me narrow it down - they tell me to make burgers, OK then I'll make one of the 10 recipes I want to try out! 
So, …

Slow Cooker Chicken Teriyaki

I have a love-hate relationship with my slow cooker.  I love it, I really do, but I hate that there are too many recipes out there that require the exact WRONG amount of cook-time.  For me, a working mom, the ideal recipe would take like 10 hours.  Yes, that's a long time, but I'm out of the house for a long time.

However, I recently discovered something life altering.  I tend to forget that I'm one of the few people in the world that works out of the house, but lives close enough to run home for lunch.  Crock-pot/Slow Cooker meals just got a lot easier for me!  Some that are more "labor intensive" I can start prep work the night before and keep everything ready to go in the fridge, but others that require very little prep work I can go when I get home, while I have my actual lunch heating up.  Believe you me that I will be looking for more crock-pot recipes to try and hopefully share.

In the meantime, I know I will always have this Chicken Teriyaki as a go-to …

Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars

There are some recipes out there that you try and immediately wonder "where has this been all my life"?  Well, this is definitely one of those recipes.  I've heard of sopapilla cheesecake, but it always seemed "too simple" to impress anyone.  I mean, it's just a handful of ingredients, what's impressive about that?  But, simple to make doesn't mean simple tasting.  A cheesecake to please a crowd is what I found when I made this.

In reality, this might be one of the easiest desserts I've ever made.  It's literally crescent roll dough, cream cheese, sugar, butter and a cinnamon sugar topping.  I love everything about that list, but the cinnamon sugar topping is what hooked me in to finally trying this recipe.


Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars
Ingredients:
2 tubes Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (I used the Recipe Creations ones, no pre-cut triangles to deal with!)
2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cup sugar (divided)
1 tablespo…