Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Upside Down Fettuccine & Sausage Bake

I've had this recipe saved for awhile, and honestly I am not even sure what the source is. I liked how the pasta was layered on the bottom with the sausage and sauce on top, different than other baked pasta dishes. I wouldn't say it was an amazing dinner, but it was a tasty meal.

Upside Down Fettuccine & Sausage Bake


8 ounces fettuccine noodles, freshly cooked
1/2 pound Italian turkey sausage, casing removed
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 - 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons parsley flakes
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


Brown sausage in a medium skillet. Add onion during the last few minutes,. Drain off excess fat. Cook the fettuccine according to directions. Add entire can of tomatoes (including liquid) to the sausage mixture. Add the oregano and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese over tomato mixture.

Mix the eggs, 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, butter, parsley and garlic powder together in a separate bowl. Toss the noodles with the mixture. Spread noodle mixture in a 10-inch quiche or cake pan. Pour the sausage mixture over the top. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with additional cheese, if desired. Cut into wedges, serve.
Saturday, November 27, 2010

Caramelized Butternut Squash

First apples, then pumpkin, and now squash. Its my third fall cooking obsession. I made this last week with chicken cutlets. They were so good, I could eat them like candy. I popped one in Cecily's mouth before she had a chance to argue and she ended up eating a whole serving.

Caramelized Butternut Squash
Recipe from food.com, by way of Beantown Baker


1 lb butternut squash
1.5 tbsp butter, melted
1 Tbsp brown sugar
salt and pepper


Heat oven to 400°F.

Peel squash and chop into large pieces.

Combine squash, butter, sugar, salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss.

Pour squash out onto a rimmed baking sheet.

Bake for about an hour or until browned.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Butternut Squash and Spinach Bake

I usually make a dessert for Thanksgiving but this year I decided to contribute a side dish. I came across this recipe on the Beantown Baker and had to try it. I love spinach and I love squash, how could I go wrong?

It was really unique and delicious. I will definitely be making this again. It was a lot of prep work, but easy to put together once all the chopping was down. The only change I would make next time is to add more pecans, possibly double what the recipe calls for.

Butternut Squash and Spinach Bake
Recipe from
Beantown Baker


3 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut in 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 6 cups)
10 oz fresh spinach, washed and stemmed
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 large yellow onions, trimmed, peeled and chopped (about 3 cups)
1 cup whole or low-fat buttermilk
2 large eggs, beaten
2 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1/2 cup bread crumbs, toasted
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup pecans, toasted
2 cups coarsely grated cheddar cheese (about 6 ounces)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9-x-13-inch baking dish or 4-quart casserole.

Place 3 quarts water in a large stockpot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the squash to the water, return to a boil, and cook for 5 minutes. The squash will turn a deeper orange. Add spinach to squash and boil one more minute. Drain squash and spinach and set aside.

Melt the butter in the stockpot and add the oil. Add the onions and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent and limp, about 8 minutes, stirring to prevent browning. Add the warm squash and the buttermilk, eggs, thyme, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, 1/8 cup pecans and 1 1/3 cups cheese. Blend with a wooden spoon or spatula until the ingredients are well combined.

Spread the mixture evenly in the baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining 1/8 cup pecans and 2/3 cup cheese. Bake 15 minutes more. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

And now some holiday pictures!

The table at my Aunts house, Thanksgiving #1 for 48!!

Me and the kids

Zach and I

Thanksgiving #2 at the Taylors

Family shotCecily and Finn in their matching PJs

Turkey Trot 5k

What a great start to Thanksgiving morning!! For the 2nd year in a row I ran the Turkey Trot in Morristown and this year I was joined by my sister Jillian for her first 5k!

It was a fun race with over 1,000 runners. It was a brisk morning, perfect for running. I was still slow, but felt much stronger than I did a few weeks ago in hoboken. I'm getting there! Jill and I finished in 38:10, crossing the finish line together.

Cecily wasnt too thrilled that we woke her up at 6:30 for this

Waving at the start
Coming down the home stretch

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Crockpot Lasagna

I'll admit I was skeptical, but this was awesome!!! I doubt I'll make it the regular way ever again!

Crockpot Lasagna
Recipe from
Christina Cooks

1 pound bulk Italian turkey sausage
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
45 oz. homemade spaghetti sauce
2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 ounces)
1 container (15 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
15 no boil lasagna noodles

1. Cook sausage and onion in 10-inch skillet over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sausage is no longer pink; drain. Stir in tomato sauce, basil and salt.
2. Mix 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese and the ricotta and Parmesan cheeses. (Refrigerate remaining mozzarella cheese while lasagna cooks.)
3. Spoon one-fourth of the sausage mixture into 6-quart slow cooker; top with 5 noodles, broken into pieces to fit. Spread with half of the cheese mixture and one-fourth of the sausage mixture. Top with 5 noodles, remaining cheese mixture and one-fourth of the sausage mixture. Top with remaining 5 noodles and remaining sausage mixture.
4. Cover and cook on Low heat setting 4 to 6 hours or until noodles are tender.
5. Sprinkle top of lasagna with remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Cover and let stand about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Cut into pieces.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Caramelized Green Beans

This awesome side dish from Our Best Bites was a big hit tonight. My friend Ryan who doesn't like green beans cleaned his plate and thought they were awesome. Can't wait to make them again!!

Caramelized Green Beans
Adapted from
Our Best Bites


1 lb. fresh green beans
4 oz prosciutto, thickly sliced and cubed
1/2 red onion, sliced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
olive oil
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt


Begin frying the prosciutto in a large skillet. Start boiling a large pot of water. Place beans in a colander and rinse them well. Then snap the ends off and snap them in half.

Prepare the sauce by mixing sugar, soy sauce, and salt in a small bowl

Add onions and garlic to skillet

Add beans to boiling water. Place colander in a clean sink. Boil for one minute; you're not cooking them until they're done, just blanching them to take the edge off. Meanwhile, stir the onions and garlic so they don't scorch. After one minute, drain beans in the colander in the sink.

Once beans have been drained, add them to the onions and garlic. Stir fry 2-3 more minutes.

Give your sauce a quick stir and then pour on top of the beans. Keep stir-frying until the beans get kind of glazy. Stir fry for another 2 minutes. Keep stir frying until the sauce sticks to the beans and the prosciutto. Transfer to a serving dish and allow to stand a few minutes so the beans cool down a bit and the glaze thickens up a little.

A closer look at the beans

Served with grilled flank steak that I marinated in Wegman's Teriyaki marinade. SOOO good.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Salsa Chicken

Seems like everyone has their own version of this recipe, here's mine! Easy and delicious!

Salsa Chicken


3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 jar mild salsa
1/2 onion thinly sliced
1 packet low sodium taco seasoning
2 cups frozen corn
Cooking spray


Coat crockpot in cooking spray. Place chicken breasts on bottom and cover with salsa. Mix in the remaining ingredients and cook for 6-8 hours on low. Shred chicken. Serve with yellow rice or tortillas with your favorite toppings.
Monday, November 8, 2010

Homemade Baby Food

I have decided that I would like to make Finn's baby food at home instead of buying it since it is healthier and much less expensive! I have been reading up on it and started today with a batch of peas. Even though he isn't old enough yet, we have a deep freezer so I want to start making it now so that I have a jump start on it.

I have my eye on the Beaba Babycook but in the meantime I used my small crockpot and blender. 1 cup of fresh peas and 1/2 cup water for 4 hours on high. Puree in the blender and its done! I am freezing small portions in this tray I got at babies r us back when Cecily was a baby.

I've been using wholesomebabyfood.com as my guide.

And now for some cuteness!

My little prince

My two kiddos

Me and my little man

Aunt Lenora's Banana Bread

For my bridal shower, I received a beautiful cookbook with recipes submitted by my friends and family. This one is from my Aunt Lenora. Since we had exactly 3 bananas that would have gone bad and a gloomy fall day, Cecily and I made banana bread. I loved that this recipe is really healthy, have to get back on the wagon after stuffing myself full of Halloween candy!!

Banana Bread


1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup wheat germ
3 med very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup skim milk
1/4 cup applesauce
4 egg whites


Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix in wheat germ. Add all remaining ingredients and beat until well blended. Place in pam sprayed 8x4 loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sausage and Broccoli Penne Skillet

For dinner tonight I had planned on making sausage and spinach penne skillet, but realized that I didn't have a few of the key ingredients. My spinach wasn't good anymore and I didn't have any sundried tomatoes. I still used the same process, but changed it up a bit to suit what I had on hand. Turned out really good!

Sausage & Broccoli Penne Skillet


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound Italian-style turkey sausage, casings removed
3 medium garlic cloves, minced finely
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 ounces (about 3 1/2 cups) penne pasta
2 broccoli crowns, florets removed and steamed (I used microwave)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

Heat the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot and add in the sausage. Cook until lightly browned and no longer pink about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in the diced tomatoes, broth, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, then add in the pasta. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook at a strong simmer, stirring often, until the pasta is tender and the liquid has thickened, about 15-18 minutes (if you find the liquid is absorbing too quickly and the pasta is still undercooked, add a bit more water in small amounts until the pasta is cooked thoroughly).

Stir in the broccoli. Take off the heat, stir in the cheese and pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

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