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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Pasta Shells, Peas, Ham and Homemade Cheese Sauce

I know kids like the boxed macaroni and "cheese," but I can't help but be concerned of the ingredients and chemicals that are in those foods.  I figured I could make something better and hopefully they'll still like it!  My 11 month old does, hopefully all of your kids will!

Serves 6-8 meals (for kids) plus leftovers to freeze, or 4-6 adults.


1 Box Medium Pasta Shells
1/2 Stick butter
4-5 Tbsp flour
3 Cups skim milk
1 1/2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 Cup frozen thawed peas
1 Slice thick-cut sweet ham (from Deli)


In a large pot, boil water and cook pasta shells.  Drain and set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt butter on low heat.  Stir 4 Tbsp flour, stirring constantly until it forms a paste.  Add milk all at once, and stir constantly getting the lumps out.  If you feel you need more flour to thicken, add more.  If you think you need more milk, add more.  It should be a creamy texture.  Add cheese a little at a time and stir to blend.

Stir in peas and ham.  Add a dash of salt and pepper.

In the large pot used to boil the noodles, return the drained noodles and pour cheese sauce over, stirring to mix.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Arugula, Pear and Pancetta Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

Sorry, no picture.  This was light and tasty and the crispy pancetta was delicious!  Peppery arugula, salty crispy pancetta, and sweet pears.  Yum!

Serves 4 (as a side dish)


4 Cups arugula
1 Medium pear, sliced into 1" pieces
4 Slices pancetta (get from the deli at grocery store)
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp champagne vinegar
1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp olive oil
Salt Pepper
Pecorino Romano cheese

For vinaigrette:

Mix honey, vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper.  Set aside.

For salad:

Brown pancetta in medium skillet over medium heat, about 4-5 minutes, turning once.  Turn off heat, let cool.

Toss arugula, pear, crumbled pancetta with vinaigrette and top with fresh shaved pecorino romano cheese.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Good Ole' Fashioned Meatloaf

Well, I have never made meatloaf before, nor have I ever eaten it.  My dad always wanted it but my mom wouldn't make it.  So, Adam requested this for Father's Day, and I made it.  Let me tell you that he enjoyed it for 3 nights straight, the baby liked it, and I actually liked it, too!  The flavor of bacon really makes it delicious!

This is something I'd make on a cold rainy winter night (few and far between here in sunny South Florida).

Serves 6 - 8


1 Cup dry breadcrumbs
1/3 Cup whole milk
1 Medium onion, finely chopped
3 Garlic cloves, minced
1 Celery rib, chopped
1 Carrot, chopped
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp worcestershire
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1/4 Tsp allspice
2 Slices raw bacon, chopped
1.5 Lbs ground beef chuck
1/2 Lb ground pork
2 Large eggs
1/3 Cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped


Preheat oven to 350.

Soak breadcrumbs in milk.

Cook onions, garlic, celery, carrot and butter over medium heat until tender.  Remove from heat and stir in worcestershire, vinegar, allspice, salt and pepper.  Add to breadcrumb mixture.

Add the onion mixture to bacon, beef, pork, parsley and eggs in a large bowl and mix with your hands.

Pack mixture into a 9x5" oval loaf in a 9x13" shallow baking dish.  Bake about 1 1/4 Hours, or until meat thermometer reads 155F.  Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Suggest serving with ketchup.  And mashed potatoes.  Or cheesy potatoes.  ;)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Carrot and Zucchini Muffins

We're at that stage where my child has decided he doesn't like vegetables.  So now I'm having to get sneaky with adding them to recipes.  I made these muffins with carrots and zucchini. They are delicious!  More quick snacks/meals to add to the freezer!

Makes about 16 muffins


1 Cup flour
1 Cup whole wheat flour
1 Cup sugar
2 Tsp baking soda
2 Tsp baking powder
2 Tsp cinnamon
1/2 Tsp nutmeg
1/2 Cup coconut oil
1/2 Cup unsweetened applesauce
4 eggs
2 Cups grated carrots
2 Cups grated zucchini
1/2 Cup raisins


Preheat oven to 350.  Line a baking pan with muffin cups.

Mix all dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl, beat eggs and oil.  Combine dry ingredients with egg mixture and fold in zucchini, carrots and raisins.

Bake 22 minutes.