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Ideas, suggestions and thoughts on my favorite topic.

Sirloin Marinara with Garlic Mashed Potatoes June 19, 2009

Filed under: Entrees,Pasta,Side Dishes — lindsayrose @ 2:23 am

I put this in my online recipe box months ago but never made it.  This week when I was searching for recipes, I needed a red meat meal in the mix, so I decided we’d try it out.  I read through the reviews and one of them mentioned serving it over garlic mashed potatoes, which I thought sounded really good.  Plus, it seemed like a nice alternative to pasta.

The basic idea is to saute some onions in olive oil, add some strips of steak and cook thoroughly.  Drain.  Add 2 cups (it was close enough to a whole jar, so I just added the whole thing) of spaghetti sauce, 1/2 cup of red wine and 2 cloves of garlic.  Let it simmer for about 15 minutes. 

For the mashed potatoes, I peeled and boiled 3 large potatoes.  I added about 1/4 of an onion and 2 cloves of garlic to the pot while it boiled.  When tender, I whipped them up with a few tablespoons of butter, some milk, about 1/2 cup of sour cream and maybe 1/4 cup of cream cheese – whatever I had left in the fridge!  Threw in some salt and papper and mashed the onions and garlic right in with them.  Super tasty, and they tasted great with the sirloin marinara on top!  We had some roasted broccoli on the side and it turned out to be a great meal.


Here’s the link to the recipe if you want the official one:


We both had thirds. June 16, 2009

Filed under: Entrees,Pasta — lindsayrose @ 1:43 am

This was super, super good.  And oh so easy.  I am glad it tasted as good as it did, because I looked forward to it all day.  When I was planning meals for the week, I checked my online recipe box on  I saw a pasta primavera recipe, and that made me crave that dish.  However, this recipe was a brothy sauce and had Italian turkey sausage.  Neither of those reall appealed to me, so I went back to allrecipes to look for another recipe.  I found this one, added to the website by Philadelphia cream cheese.  It sounded delish, so I added it to my list.


All that you have to do is boil some penne.  While doing that, heat some Italian dressing in a skillet and saute some chicken with chunked zucchini, asparagus and red bell peppers.  Mix in 4 oz cream cheese (I used 1/3 less fat and it tasted great), a cup of chicken broth and some Parmesan cheese.  Toss it all together.  I had no Parm, but a bunch of mozzarella, so I added some of that.  We both loved this.  I can’t wait to make it again, and it is great for a night when you need something quick!


Stuffed Shells June 10, 2009

Filed under: Comfort Foods,Entrees,Pasta — lindsayrose @ 3:27 am

Tonight’s dinner was made last night, which made it perfect for a night that we were getting home late.  It was also perfect seeing as though Ross has been working on building a fence in our yard all week, so I was able to get all of the other stuff done without feeling too overwhelmed and having to cook, too (ok, well, I still felt overwhelmed all night, but I shouldn’t have!).

Last night, I boiled a box of jumbo shells.  While they were boiling, I sauteed a clove of garlic and about 1/2 onion, diced, in some olive oil.  I added a pound of ground beef and let it brown until cooked through.  I then drained the meat and set it aside. 

Meanwhile, I mixed together a medium sized container of cottage cheese and about 1/2 cup of sour cream.  I’ve used cottage cheese before in baked ziti, but never in stuffed shells.  The cottage cheese/sour cream combo was very tasty.  And I HATE cottage cheese.  Anything with the name curds in it just should not be edible to me.  But I actually really like it baked in Italian meals instead of ricotta.  Adding the sour cream to it made it a little thicker, a little creamier and just a tad richer, while still tasting a little lighter.  Along with the cottage cheese and sour cream I added 1 egg and about a teaspoon of dried basil and a teaspoon of oregano as well as some salt and pepper.  I mixed in a cup of mozzarella cheese and a little Parmesan.  The meat mixture was added to the cheese mixture and all was stirred well. 

I coated the bottom of a 9×13 dish with sauce, stuffed each shell with the cheese mixture and set them down, seam side up, in the pan.  I poured the remainder of the jar of sauce over the shells, sprinkled another cup of mozzarella on top and sprinkled with Parm, salt and pepper.  Last night I just covered it and put it in the fridge.  Tonight when I got home, all I had to do was preheat the oven to 350, uncover it and bake it for about 35-40 minutes (probably only 30 or so if you weren’t just taking it out of the fridge).

We both loved it made this way!  I think this will be my new standard for stuffed shells.  Although, I realized as I was eating them that I forgot to add a dash of nutmeg to the cheese mixture, which my aunt always did and I love that.  I will be sure not to forget it next time, it definitely adds a nice, subtle flavor.  We had our shells with some garlic bread and green beans.


A Great Day with Summer Deliciousness April 17, 2009

Filed under: Entrees,Grillin',Life,Pasta,Salads,Side Dishes,Vegetarian — lindsayrose @ 1:44 am

Today was a great day.  “Spring Break” this year hasn’t felt like much of a Spring break since I’ve had some work to do everyday so far.  Today was the first day of the week that I didn’t have any work to do (well, I had to clean the bathrooms, but that’s just life).  I had a good morning at home getting things cleaned and organized.  I got 4 bags of clothes to Haven which I have been meaning to do for months.  They are so appreciative there, it makes you feel like you’ve really done something helpful!  After that small errand, I headed to Emily’s to meet up with her and her girls.  We had a great lunch at Fresh Choice.  Hailey and Leah were little ladies and entertained me with their napkin artwork and silly stories.  After lunch we headed to Dairy Queen.  Emily and I have been taunted for weeks by the ad for the Midnight Truffle Blizzard.  It was sooooooooooo good, but very, very rich!  After dessert, we all headed to get our hair cut which was so much fun and felt so good after 5 months without one!  On the way home, we stopped at Consign Design Boutique and I purchased my first 2 maternity outfits, for just $37!  I can’t wait to wear them!

After a busy but wonderful afternoon, I headed home to fix dinner.  Last week at the grocery store, I grabbed a pork loin roast just because it looked good.  I figured we’d throw it in the crock pot with something or other and call it a meal.  Well, when Ross suggested grilling it, there was no way I was turning him down!  I started my morning with searching for a good marinade recipe and starting the process.  The recipe I found was on and is called Grilled Marinated Loin of Pork.  We loved it.  The honey and cinnamon add just the right amount of sweetness, and it came out perfectly tender.  Along with it we had a pasta salad that we first made and blogged about last summer, Spicy Vegetarian Peanut Noodle Salad.  It was even better that we remembered, and went perfectly with the pork. 

Today was a fun, beautiful day, and the sunshine, the carefree schedule and the awesome summer meal made me feel like summer is finally on its way.  I am so happy!


Lots of Good Food! January 7, 2009

Filed under: Entrees,Life,Panini,Pasta,Side Dishes,Vegetarian — lindsayrose @ 2:22 am

I’ve been lazy about blogging this week!  I have a few great meals to catch up on.


On Sunday, I went to see Marley and Me.  It was a great movie, but I sobbed.  A lot.  It was worth it, though.  Being the wonderful guy Ross is, he made me a great dinner.  Homemade manicotti!  ALL homemade!  He found a recipe in the Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine for them using crepes as the pasta.  Here’s the recipe.  He claims it was easy.


Three Cheese Manicotti

2 c ricotta cheese

1 3/4 c shredded mozzarella cheese

3/4 c grated romano cheese

1/3 c flat leaf parsley

2 tablespoons  milk

3 large eggs

3/4 cup all purpose flour

3 c meat sauce (store bought or your own)


Preheat oven to 350.  In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, 1/2 cup romano, the parsley and milk.

In a bowl, whisk the eggs with 1 cup water.  Whisk in the flour.


Heat a greased 8″ nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Ladle 3 tablespoons batter into the skillet, swirling to cover the surface of the pan.  Cook for 1 minute, flip and cook for 1 minute more.  Repeat with remaining batter, greasing the skillet after each crepe.  Stack the crepes on a plate.


Spread half of the meat sauce in a 9×13 pan.  Spoon the cheese mixture down the middle of each crepe.  Roll closed; arrange in the baking dish.  Top with the remaining meat sauce and cheeses.  Bake for 25 min.


Ross used regular marinara sauce and added browned ground beef/sausage mixture in with the cheese.  He also sauteed onions with the meat mixture.  It was awesome!


Last night we wanted something quick and easy since we were both pretty tired.  I made chicken tenders, seasoned with some Mediterranean spices and drizzled with balsamic vinegar.  I put those on top of Rachael Ray’s Orzo with Chick Peas and it was delicious!  I love orzo and was excited to have a new recipe to use.


Today Ross found out that he got a promotion!  I told him he could pick if he wanted to go out to celebrate or stay home, and he decided to stay home and have… paninis!  He wanted something with ham. I searched for recipes, but couldn’t find anything too interesting, so I made one up.  I used French bread and Ross used honey wheat.  We put swiss cheese on the bread, honey ham, thinly sliced Granny Smith apples and some red onion slices.  I made up a sauce that I put on mine by mixing together some mayo, a little Dijon mustard and some honey.  We grilled them up and they were delicious!


As a side note, one of my best friends had a baby yesterday.  Richale gave birth to KJ very early and he weighs only 1.4 pounds.  They were out of town for his birth, so although they live in Washington state, they are in Nevada indefinitely.  She’s told me he’s a fighter and is doing well considering how tiny he is.  Please keep Richale, Kyle and KJ in your thoughts and/or prayers.  I know they would appreciate it and I would, too!




Smoked Mozzarella Meatballs December 31, 2008

Filed under: Entrees,Pasta,Uncategorized — lindsayrose @ 4:17 am

I’m back!  I don’t think I’ve ever gone for quite so long without updating my blog, and without cooking for that matter!  We’ve been spoiled rotten lately and have had meal after meal magically appear before us by one set of our parents or the other.  It’s been a wonderful treat, but I am happy to be back to cooking… I’ve got several new cookbooks and kitchen gadgets to test out!


Last night for dinner we made a recipe that we’ve made before and kind of forgotten about.  It is one that Ross found in one of his issues of Men’s Health magazine.  The recipe for Smoked Mozzarella Meatballs  is delicious, and easy to make.  Meatballs are delicious, but when there is a melted chunk of cheese awaiting you in the middle, now that is a real treat.  It is like a meatball truffle!


I made the recipe for the most part as directed with a few changes.

  • I didn’t have any fresh milk to soak the bread in, so I used it dry (we’ve been out of town and had to majorly clean out the fridge, so it’s pretty bare).
  • We didn’t have any smoked mozzarella, but we did have some mozzarella string cheese.  At first I thought this was a bit ridiculous, but it cut up into the perfect sized chunks.  I did miss the smoked flavor of the cheese, but it still had a nice creamy mozzarella taste and that was good enough for me.
  • After browning the meatballs, I added about 1/2 cup of red wine to deglaze the pan before adding the onions and garlic.
  • While the sauce was simmering I added about a teaspoon of sugar, some Italian seasoning and some rosemary, just because those are the flavors I like in my sauce.
  • We served it over linguine instead of polenta.

This recipe makes a quick, easy and cheap sauce, but you could just as easily add these meatballs (once browned) to your own favorite sauce.


We’re staying home for New Years, but I am excited about planning a super tasty meal.  It must involve some sort of a creamy soup, because I am dying to use my new immersion blender!!!


Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner December 7, 2008

Filed under: Breakfast,Comfort Foods,Crock Pot,Entrees,Life,Panini,Pasta — lindsayrose @ 12:26 am

I think today is the laziest day I have ever had in my life.  I am not one that finds it easy to sit around.  I can’t sit still for more than about 5 minutes, even to watch TV.  That is actually the main reason I started this blog, so that at night when I was attempting to sit down and relax but couldn’t, I would have something to occupy me. 


Well, it is after 5:00 pm and I am still in my pj’s.  I’ve only left the house to walk the dogs around the block, and I did that in my pj’s too.  I have been working on a Blackboard proficiency all day so that I can teach online classes next semester, but I have barely left the couch.  As much as I don’t do well with not having any plans, every now and then it is kind of nice.


During one of my breaks from my online work, I decided to put dinner together in the crock pot.  I bought ingredients last week to make Chicken Casserole with Swiss Cheese, a recipe out of  The Ultimate Slow Cooker Cookbook (on sale at for $10.36 if you are looking for a holiday gift!).  It is a great cookbook that I have used tons of times over the past few years.  I’ve been trying to do at least one crock pot recipe a week, just to make life easier and to make evenings a little less rushed here and there.  Well, here is what I put together this morning.  We haven’t eaten yet, but it smells super delicious and I think the ingredients are going to be very uniquely tasty together.


Chicken Casserole with Swiss Cheese

2 teaspoons olive oil

3/4 lb chicken breasts, cut into 3/4 inch cubes (I used about a pound and a half)

4 ounces mushrooms, sliced (as much as I love them, we were out and I wasn’t into going to the store, so no mushrooms tonight)

1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes

4 large garlic cloves, crushed

12 fresh basil leaves, minced (I used 1 teaspoon dried basil)

1 tablespoon minced onion (I’m out, so I used 1/2 of a medium sized onion, diced)

2 teaspoons sugar

1/8 teaspoon celery seeds (didn’t have any of those either, so I used 2 stalks of celery, chopped)

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon milk Louisiana style pepper sauce

3 oz Swiss cheese, cubed (it calls for reduced fat, but I think cheese is the only thing I cannot stomach reduced fat versions of… and I am definitely using at least 5 or 6 oz.  I love cheese.)

1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs, toasted

8 oz rotelle pasta


Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the cicken and mushrooms; saute, stirring, until the chicken is lightly browned, 5-8 minutes.  **Since I used fresh onions and celery, I added those here, too.

Combine the chicken mixture, tomatoes, garlic, basil, onions, sugar, celery seeds, nutmeg and pepper sauce in the crock pot.  Cover, cook on LOW until the chicken is cooked through, 6-8 hours (mine is done and on warm and it’s only been 5 hours).  Stir in the cheese and cook until melted, about 20 minutes. 


Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions.  Drain well and divide among 6 plates.  Top with the chicken-tomato mixture and bread crumbs.  **To toast breadcrumbs, place them in a non-stick skillet and cook over medium heat, shaking the skillet frequently until lightly browned, 5-10 minutes.
I can’t wait to eat this!!!!
Making food in the crock pot around noon made me hungry, so I had to fix something to eat. I finally decided on scrambled eggs, and figured I’d make it into a panini since I love them lately.  I just put cheddar cheese on one slice of bread, topped it with a slice of bacon broken up and scrambled eggs, then topped those with another slice of bacon, some monterey jack cheese and the top piece of bread.  I grilled it up and dipped it in ketchup (if you thikn that is gross, you just haven’t tried it yet.  So very good).  It was a perfect breakfast/lunch treat all in one!