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Slow-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore Over Rice – #SundaySupper

When our wonderful host Em Beitel at Sunday Supper started asking for rice recipes, this recipe for Slow-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore Over Rice was the first thing to hit my brain! I absolutely love this dish over rice. I know it’s mostly a chicken dish, but it just wouldn’t be the same without rice in my opinion.  I love rice, and especially in a dish like this. This dish has a delicious sauce, but it’s a thin sauce. It’s not thick like a spaghetti sauce. That’s where the rice is a beautiful thing! It soaks up all that sauce and you don’t miss a single delicious drop.

Just a few days ago, I shared an easy Individual Baked Ziti recipe that is full of flavor yet low in fat. Well guess what folks? So is this Slow-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore Over Rice. Just look at all those pretty veggies! This dish is full of bell peppers, mushrooms and onions. Lots of tomato going on in there, and lots of seasoning. Great thing about cooking at home, you get to control how much seasoning. Want less salt? Use less salt. Super easy and fast for busy families. Prep  your veggies the night before and store in the fridge. In the morning, put it all in the slow cooker, turn it on low and let it cook while you’re at work, or running errands or otherwise busy. Or  heck… take a nap!

These are a few reasons why I love my slow cooker so much. In the market? This is the slow cooker I  have, and absolutely adore it! Some recipes, usually soups and stews, will say to stir occasionally, but to do that you have to open the lid, and that’s taboo when slow cooking. You’re not supposed to open the lid. Plus, the entire idea behind a slow cooker is to dump dinner in it and forget about it. You can’t do that if you have to stir every now and again. So…this slow cooker, has an auto stir system. Problem solved!

End result, you are left with a beautiful dish of deliciousness. No one would ever guess that this dish, is healthy, and since I’m a Weight Watchers girl, I calculated this recipe at only 3 SmartPoints per serving. SmartPoints aside, even if you just want to add more healthy meals to your rotation, you’re going to love this.

Of course, in my house, there’s usually a salad involved. This recipe pairs very well with a nice crisp Caesar salad. I hope you enjoy this healthy and delicious recipe as much as we did, and it brings your family together around the table too!

Simple Rice Recipes for Dinner #SundaySupper

What’s for dinner?

Rice is for dinner!

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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Slow-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore over Rice Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of your slow cooker (5-6 qt), add crushed tomatoes, wine, tomato paste, Italian seasonings, salt and black pepper. Whisk together to thoroughly combine. Add chicken thighs, onion, garlic, mushrooms & bell peppers.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high 3 1/2 – 4 hours. Mine took 4 hours.
  3. Serve over hot cooked rice, and garnish with black olives.
Recipe Notes

You can serve this over anything you like, mashed potatoes, noodles, whatever you prefer. I chose rice because the sauce is thin, and the rice soaks up all that deliciousness.

Per Serving: (1 thigh and about 3/4 cup vegetables): 3 SmartPoints. (Does not include rice)

Adapted from Weight Watchers The SmartPoints Cookbook

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Individual Baked Ziti

We’ve probably all had baked ziti at least once in our lives, or any kind of baked pasta with a tomato sauce, and usually those dishes are quite heavy. If you’re trying to lose weight, or watch your waistline and keep it trim, pasta is probably the last thing you’re going to want to fix. Well, folks, I have a secret. What I have here, is a delicious, healthy, filling, and not so heavy pasta dish you CAN have and eat with pride if you are like me and are watching those calories. Or, in my case, watching points. Yea, I’m one of those Weight Watchers girls. In any case, these cute little Individual Baked Zitis lack no flavor.

Another big plus, the family will love it too. They’d never know they were eating something healthy and low in fat. My kids just LOVE individual, personal sized foods, they’re fun! For me though, I love this because it’s already portioned out. I don’t have to think about it. Just scoop it right out of the pan, and you got yourself a serving!

To make these cute little things, you’re going to need a couple of jumbo muffin pans (6 oz cups) or you can use cute little 6 oz ramekins.

Don’t eat it alone though, you don’t want to forget your veggies! For us, I decided on a simple tossed salad with low-fat Ranch dressing. Steamed broccoli would be another great choice to serve alongside these cute little ziti muffins.

However you decide to serve it up, you’ll be happy to know, if you’re a weight watcher, that this recipe is only 4 SmartPoints per serving. That number was calculated by using Barilla ProteinPlus Penne pasta. I know the recipe is Ziti, but you can use Penne. Keep in mind, depending on the brand of your ingredients, that SmartPoints number can go up or down, but not usually by very much.  I hope you and your family enjoy, as much as my family and I did!

Print Recipe
Individual Baked Ziti Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente; drain.
  3. Meanwhile, coat twelve jumbo (6 oz) muffin cups with cooking spray. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon Parmigiano-Reggiano in bottom of each and tilt ramekins or muffin pan to evenly cover bottoms.
  4. After draining pasta, return to pot. While Pasta is still warm, immediately stir in 3/4 cup of mozzarella and the ricotta. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, dried basil, oregano, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix to combine.
  5. In a small bowl, mix together egg white and water until smooth. Add egg mixture to the pasta and stir to thoroughly combine all ingredients.
  6. Evenly divide pasta mixture into prepared muffin cups. Press down lightly with spoon to pack it. Sprinkle each with about 1 tbsp remaining mozzarella.
  7. Bake, uncovered, for 12 minutes or until cheese is melted and noodles begin to brown at edges. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes, perfect time to toss together a salad!
  8. Just before serving, sprinkle remaining 2 tbsp Parmesan over the top. Remove each ziti from the pan using a spoon; sprinkle remaining 2 Tbsp Parmesan over top. Remove each ziti from muffin pan with a spoon. Garnish with fresh basil, if desired.
  9. Yields 1 ziti per serving.
Recipe Notes

Slightly adapted from Weight Watchers The SmartPoints Cookbook.

1 serving = 4 SmartPoints

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Dad’s Glop – #SundaySupper

Oh my we have been busy with back to school lately haven’t we?! Speaking of busy, things just get busier once school is in full swing. Before you know it there’s sports, and band, and fundraisers, and just all sorts of things going on all year to keep the kids and the parents busy! Thanks to #SundaySupper and our gracious host Em from Life Tastes Good for this back to school dinner event, we’ve got some fresh ideas for those busy weeknight dinners.

This one, is one of my favorites, and my family’s favorite too. Some people call it Goulash, others may call it American Chop Suey, but around here, we call this Dad’s Glop. Doesn’t sound appetizing does it? Well I can assure you it’s amazing. Not just amazing, but it’s quick and perfect for busy dinner nights.

There’s a reason for the unappetizing name though. There were occasional times when my dad would be in charge of dinner. I grew up with both of my parents working, so sometimes mom had to work late, or maybe wasn’t feeling well, or whatever the case that kept her out of the kitchen, and so it was up to dad. I remember asking him what was for dinner, and his answer was…. “Glop!” No joke. That’s what he said. He’s a funny guy, and apparently, this is Glop. My father isn’t just a funny guy, he’s a very simple guy, and folks, cooking doesn’t have to be a gourmet feast. It doesn’t have to be difficult. Simplicity can be so wonderful. Just like my Dad’s Glop. My brother still makes this from time to time for his family. I remember him calling me and asking me “what’s the recipe for Dad’s Glop?” I had to stifle a giggle before I told him how to make it. His response, “That’s it?!” Yea… that’s it.

So how simple? Well, let me show you how simple my dad likes to keep it, and hopefully you’ll give it a try yourself, and enjoy it as much as my family and I do.

First, grab a large pot and get some salted water started on the stove to boiling. While you are waiting for the water to boil, you’re going to want to chop up a small – medium onion and about 4 or 5 medium-large garlic cloves. I have a little hand chopper I use for both the onion and the garlic, which saves time for me because I’m really no good with a knife. I can’t do what I see Chefs on TV do. So anyway, you’ll want to brown your ground beef with the onion and garlic until the beef is no longer pink.

Drain your meat if necessary. Depends on how lean your beef is. Then add your favorite pasta sauce (homemade if you can your own would be great!) I like to  use a Tomato & Basil pasta sauce. Just 1 jar will do ya. Then add some black pepper to taste, and about 1-2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning. I just sprinkle it in until it looks like that (above). It’s really just to your taste.

Stir that all up in the pan real good and heat it just until it starts to bubble. Then cover it with a lid and lower the heat to simmer. Stir occasionally. By this time, your water should be boiling, or about to. Just dump your elbow noodles in the boiling water and cook as per the directions on the package; drain.

Now combine everything together in that same large pot. Mix it all up really good. Now you are ready to serve!

You can serve this with some cheesy garlic Texas toast, and a quick tossed salad like I did and you have a very family pleasing, quick weeknight meal!

I hope you give this a try, and enjoy Dad’s Glop!

Here are some more idea’s from my #SundaySupper friends!

Back to School Dinners

Beef and Pork

Pastas, Soups, Rice and Stews

Poultry

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Print Recipe
Dad's Glop Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus Inspired by my Father, John Soden
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet brown ground beef with onion and garlic until beef is no longer pink; drain and return to skillet.
  3. Add pasta sauce, pepper, and Italian seasoning to beef in skillet. Mix thoroughly. Bring just to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low and let simmer, stirring ocassionally.
  4. Add elbow macaroni to boiling water and cook according to package directions; drain and return to large pot.
  5. Add beef mixture to macaroni and stir to combine. Serve with Parmesan cheese, if desired and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

To round out this meal, serve with garlic bread and a tossed green salad with your favorite dressing.

From time to time, I add sliced black olives to the beef mixture when I add the sauce. I also like to use ground Italian sausage in place of the ground beef, or half sausage and half beef for a different twist.

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Lighter Three-Cheese Pasta Bake

Happy Friday everyone! Wow did this week go flying by, or is it just me? I’ve been so busy with back to school stuff that it just seems like it flew by! Can you believe it’s time for back to school already?! I managed to get all of the school supplies, sports physicals are done, we’re working on clothes, and more paperwork for the schools. It hardly leaves time for anything else it would seem.

However, if you are a planner like I am, you probably plan ahead your meals. Or at least your dinners. One thing I have been doing lately is planning budget friendly meals, mostly because of the expenses of back to school. With budget friendly meals, it always helps to have at least 1 meatless dish a week, and lets not forget to keep it healthy! Budget friendly doesn’t have to mean “bad for you”.

So, I’ve got a great meatless casserole for you today! Originally I found this casserole over on Krystin’s blog, Lil Luna. Her recipe is phenomenal! Don’t get me wrong! In fact I love it so much, I really wanted to make it a bit healthier so I can enjoy it more often. Plus I made a few other minor changes to make it more of a meal. By the way, if you don’t want this to be a meatless dish, you can always add some chopped cooked chicken, turkey or ham to it as well.

So here’s what I came up with to lighten it up, and twist it a smidge. First of all, you want to get your ziti pasta cooking. Cook that according to the package instructions until it’s al dente. While that’s boiling away, heat your broccoli cuts according to package directions. Now I bought frozen steamable broccoli cuts, so I just had to plop the package down in the microwave and nuke it according to what the package said. Drain  your pasta, put it back in the same pot, add your broccoli.

Now, take your Alfredo sauce and sour cream and mix that together real good.

Then dump that sauce into the pot with your ziti and broccoli. Toss that together until it’s all evenly coated.

Spread half of the noodle mixture into a lightly greased 13×9 dish.

Now combine together your ricotta, eggs, Parmesan, salt & pepper.

Spread that evenly over the pasta mixture in the baking dish. Spoon the remaining pasta mixture on top of the ricotta mixture.

Sprinkle the top with mozzarella cheese.

Bake it at 350 degrees F. until bubbly and the cheese has melted.

Just look at that cheese! Using light roasted garlic Alfredo sauce, light sour cream, ricotta cheese made with part skim, and reduced fat mozzarella cheese, you’re still left with a rich, creamy, delicious pasta casserole. By the way, no one in this house had a clue I used light or reduced fat anything in this recipe. Now I can enjoy this casserole more often with reduced guilt!

One last note, to make it a bit more healthier, and if you wish, you can replace regular ziti pasta with whole grain or whole wheat ziti. We are just not fans of whole wheat pasta, but that doesn’t mean  you aren’t! Enjoy!

 

Print Recipe
Lighter Three-Cheese Pasta Bake Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Prepare ziti according to package directions until al dente; drain and return to pot.
  2. While ziti is cooking, heat broccoli cuts according to package directions. I used steamable, so just used my microwave.
  3. Once ziti is drained and returned to the pot, add the broccoli
  4. Stir together Alfredo sauce and sour cream; toss with ziti and broccoli until evenly coated. Spoon half of mixture into a lightly greased 13x9-inch baking dish.
  5. Stir together ricotta cheese, eggs, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Spread evenly over pasta mixture in baking dish. Spoon remaining pasta mixture evenly over ricotta cheese layer; sprinkle evenly with mozzarella cheese.
  6. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
Recipe Notes

Feel free to add meat to this dish if you want! Just throw in some chopped cooked chicken, turkey or ham with your pasta and broccoli.

Substitute whole grain or whole wheat pasta if you like.

Adapted from lilluna.com

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Penne Marinara Casserole with Brown Sugar Bourbon Smoked Sausage

Ever find yourself without a plan for dinner? I’m a planner, it’s what I do. I have to have a plan for just about everything and that includes dinner. Sometimes though, plans fall through, or I forgot a minor detail that turns out to be a huge big deal! This is how this Penne Marinara Casserole with Brown Sugar Bourbon Smoked Sausage was born. My plan for dinner fell through because of a few forgotten ingredients and so I found myself at the last minute digging into my freezer and cabinets saying to myself “Now what?!” Since I live way out in the countryside, just jumping in the car and going to the store for forgotten items just isn’t all that feasible, or appealing. 😂

This turned out to be great though! It wasn’t a disaster at all. My kids gobbled this casserole up, and I gotta say, I enjoyed it too. You can use any variety of sausages in this casserole, but the Brown Sugar Bourbon Smoked Sausage is what I had on hand. I really liked the subtle sweetness it gave the dish. It’s not overpowering at all, just a background sweetness. You’ve just got to try it! Here’s how to make it! It’s easy peasy!

First you want to get your water going for your pasta, and cook your pasta according to the directions on the package. Just until al dente (cooked, but firm to the bite). While that’s doing it’s thing, you can brown up your ground beef (or turkey if you prefer) along with your onion and garlic. Once the beef is cooked, then just slice your sausages into coins, like above. Toss that in the skillet with the beef.

Toss your pasta sauce and seasonings in along with your sausage and stir it up to combine. Then just let it simmer and heat through while your pasta finishes cooking. Once the pasta is done, drain it and return it to the pot.

Take your meat mixture, and dump that in with your pasta and give it a good stir.

Transfer the pasta to your prepared casserole dish, and top with the cheeses. It is now ready for the oven!

Pop that in a 350 degree oven, and in about 10-15 minutes (or until the cheese is melted and the casserole is heated through) you have a delicious dinner.

Full of two different kinds of meat and cheesy goodness, what more do you need?! Perhaps a fresh, crisp green salad to go along side it wouldn’t hurt. 😉

 

 

Print Recipe
Penne Marinara Casserole with Brown Sugar Bourbon Smoked Sausage Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2 1/2 – 3 quart baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions, until al dente.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef with onion and garlic until beef is no longer pink and vegetables are tender.
  4. Slice sausages into coins, and add to the skillet along with pasta sauce and seasonings. Stir to combine, and let simmer to heat through while pasta finishes cooking.
  5. When pasta is cooked, drain thoroughly and return to pot.
  6. Stir meat mixture into pasta and transfer to prepared baking dish.
  7. Top with Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
  8. Bake for 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese melts and heated through.
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Simple Ravioli Casserole

Happy Friday everyone!

I don’t know about you guys, but my whole week was full of frustration and technical difficulties, so I’m really really happy it’s Friday. Have you ever heard that song from Brad Paisley called Crushin’ It? Yea, that’s my theme song currently! LOL!

So enough with things being difficult! Lets do something simple! I love simple. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m all about simplicity. Keeping things simple, means you don’t have to rush. It means more time with those you love, less stress, and maybe even make space to relax with your feet up while enjoying your favorite wine. So lets keep it simple.

We’ll start with this Simple Ravioli Casserole.  All you need to round out this delicious dish, is a nice crisp green salad, and some crunchy garlic bread. In fact, that’s what I did. I tossed together a quick Caesar salad and baked up some of that garlic Texas toast you find in the freezer section at the store. Talk about simple eh?

First of all, you want to take that frozen ravioli and cook it in a big pot. Which takes almost no time. I mean, seriously. Takes longer to boil the water than to cook these suckers.

Now, spread a little bit of your pasta sauce on the bottom of your 13×9 dish.

Then we simply start layering. Start with half of your ravioli.

Then the rest of the pasta sauce from the first jar, and then sprinkle with some Italian seasoning. Just sprinkle to your own taste.

Spread on the cottage cheese. Oh yea, did I mention that this dish is loaded with cheese? You got the cheese filled ravioli, the cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese and some Parmesan cheese. Cheese cheese everywhere cheese!!! YUM!

Here comes more cheese. Put some of your mozzarella on, and then some of your Parmesan. Now… are you ready for this? Repeat the layers one more time. The rest of your ravioli, all of the pasta sauce from jar #2, Italian seasoning, cottage cheese, mozzarella and Parmesan. Now you’re ready for the oven!

Isn’t she a beauty?! Just about half hour in the oven, uncovered, at 350 and there she is! Let her rest for about 5-10 minutes while you toss together a salad and warm up some bread.

I hope you all enjoy and have a marvelous weekend!

 

Print Recipe
Simple Ravioli Casserole Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Spread 1/2 cup of pasta sauce in an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish.
  2. Layer half of the ravioli on top of the pasta sauce. Then spread remainder of first jar of pasta sauce evenly over the ravioli. Sprinkle pasta sauce with Italian seasoning, to taste. Next spread 1 cup cottage cheese, and 2 cups mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle 1/4 cup Parmesan over mozzarella.
  3. Repeat the layers 1 more time. Ravioli, all of pasta sauce from jar #2, Italian Seasoning, cottage cheese, mozzarella and Parmesan.
  4. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.
  5. Yield: 8
Recipe Notes
  • This dish makes a lot and is perfect for potlucks or big families. You can also split it up between two smaller casseroles to bake one now, and freeze the other. To freeze, just assembled casserole up to baking. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and then add a layer of heavy duty aluminum foil. Mark and date it, and freeze. When you're ready to eat it, thaw in the fridge, bake as directed.
  • This also reheats really well for lunches the next day.

Adapted from Taste of Home

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Simple Antipasto Skewers

I gotta tell ya, folks. There is nothing like living out in the country where it’s peaceful, neighbors aren’t sitting on top of you, lots of wide open spaces. My favorite part though, the awesome parties and gettogethers! Particularly this time of year, Spring and on into Summer. Not that Fall is boring. Oh good grief no. Fall is when most of the bonfires get lit, those are really my favorite. Speaking of which, we were invited to our “neighborhood” friend’s home for the last fire of the season. Not the last shin-dig, but the last fire anyway. These gatherings are always fun and always a “pitch-in” or potluck, which in my opinion, makes it a lot more fun because I absolutely LOVE sharing food with good friends and family.

And of course a raging fire always adds entertainment.  Sometimes someone or a few someones will pull out their instruments and start playing music. This has been known to happen from time to time.

As the sun goes down, the fire burns on, and it gets more relaxing and more enjoyable than ever. Plus by this time, I’ve sampled everything on that buffet table and am so full I can hardly move! It’s tough when everything is so darn good, and then they have to bring out 4 or 5 different desserts 😂. But it sure is a hoot and I’m looking forward to more. As the weather heats up we’ll all gather at one of the two swimming holes, and usually  have a potluck afterwards. Good times!

So… what did I bring? I’ve been dying to share this with you! It’s so simple but everyone loved it.

Yes! Simple is even in the title! These are so cute, and such a perfect size appetizer. Awesome for potlucks because they don’t need any utensils. Not for serving and not even for eating! They travel well too. I piled them in a 13×9 foil baking pan. You know, those throw-away kind, then just covered the top with aluminum foil. Easy, delicious, and a crowd pleaser to boot! So here’s what you need:

A package of cheese tortellini, black olives, salad tomatoes, Pepper Jack cheese and Mozzarella cheese, 4-inch bamboo skewers, and a light house Caesar dressing. Don’t get confused with the creamy Caesar dressing. That’s all there is to it! Just cook  your tortellini according to the package directions, drain and rinse in cool water and set aside.

While that’s cooking, you can cut your cheeses into cubes.

Then just toss everything together in a bowl. I mean everything, including the dressing. I used about 1/2 cup of dressing, I’m not really sure honestly. You want everything coated really well. This is your marinade. So if you feel like you need to add more than 1/2 cup, please do so. You won’t hurt it, I promise. Cover that with plastic wrap, and tuck it into the fridge for an hour to let it get happy.

Once it’s happy, you can start threading it all onto skewers. I made mine about 2 hours before I had to leave, so in that case, you’ll want to cover your skewers and store in the fridge until it’s time to serve, or take them somewhere. That’s it. You’re done!

See, crowd pleaser! Even the kiddos loved them! Happy entertaining folks!

A few of my favorite things used in this recipe:

  • 4-inch bamboo skewers – I always keep these on hand. They’re perfect for last minute appetizers, or to make cute snacks or lunches for the kids.
  • 13×9 foil baking pans – I also like to keep these on hand. They’re perfect for taking a dish to potlucks, also for doing some freezer cooking.
  • Pyrex Mixing Bowl – I love that these do not cost a lot of money, and they don’t break quite as easy as other glass mixing bowls. They are also preheated oven, microwave, fridge, freezer and dishwasher safe.
Print Recipe
Simple Antipasto Skewers Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Appetizers
Cuisine Italian
Servings
skewers
Ingredients
Course Appetizers
Cuisine Italian
Servings
skewers
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cool water; set aside.
  2. Cut cheeses into cubes.
  3. In a large bowl combine the olives, tomatoes, tortellini and cheeses.
  4. Pour dressing over and stir to coat well.
  5. Place in the refrigerator for an hour to marinate and get happy.
  6. On each skewer, stick on there a pepperjack cube, olive, tortellini, mozzarella cube, and top with a tomato. Repeat for each skewer.
  7. You can make long skewers if you prefer if you have enough ingredients, and also depending on how many people you are feeding. I really like the small appetizer size for a large crowd.
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Baked Spaghetti Casserole + Wine Pairing

I know, I’m a bit late for Wine Pairing Wednesday. But to make it up to you, I’ve got a two-fer! Not only are we going to talk about wine, and maybe call this Thirsty Thursday 😂, but I have a great recipe to share with you that pairs perfectly with this beautiful wine!

Meet Los Andicos. A red wine, Malbec,  from Mendoza, Argentina. I found this at Aldi to be honest with you. If you have an Aldi nearby, you should really check out their wine and beer selection. They have some interesting things there and I love trying new wines. Not to mention they’re cheap too. I paid about 6.99 for this bottle. This is the third bottle of wine I have tried from off of Aldi’s shelves, right in this price range of 6.99 – 9.99 and I have not been disappointed. So lets talk about the Malbec a little bit. I have seen it labeled as a full bodied red and also a medium bodied red. I think both might be true. I am not a full bodied red fan. When I hear full bodied red, I instantly think of Cabernet Sauvignon which is my “cooking” wine and I don’t care to drink it. I was a little hesitant about trying the Malbec since the bottle says it’s a full bodied. However, this tastes like a medium. Odd, but whatever. It’s delicious! Most full bodied reds pair well with heavier meats like the Cabernet. For the Malbec, it’s softer with less tannins than other reds. “What the frack is a tannin” you ask? Good question cause I had no idea either. I had to look that one up. According to vinepair.com, “Tannins are naturally occurring compounds that exist inside grape skins, seeds and stems. The scientific word for these compounds is polyphenols. Polyphenols release from the skins, seeds and stems when they soak in the grape juice just after the grapes have been pressed and are what give certain wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, their characteristic dryness or astringency. You experience the effect of tannins any time you drink a wine that creates a drying sensation in your mouth. Depending on how dry your mouth feels, you can determine whether a wine is high or low in tannins. We say a wine that is high in tannins is tannic.” So now we know! With that said, since the Malbec has less tannins, you’ll want to pair this with leaner meats like barbecue beef, ribs, rich red sauce pastas. I hear it also pairs very well with duck. For cheeses, you might consider mild cheeses like Gouda, Gruyere or Provolone.

I paired this with pasta. Which brings me to the recipe! Yes! Baked Spaghetti Casserole. This recipe comes out with layers of texture and flavor. The pasta is rich and creamy, and the meat sauce is saucy, and the cheese is so cheesy! I Served this up with some Garlic Texas Toast and it was out of this world! Especially when paired with this lovely Malbec.

Grab your ingredients! Lets get started!

You’re going to want to get your pot of water for your pasta on the stove first and cook your spaghetti according to the package directions. While that’s going on, you can go ahead and brown your ground beef right along with your chopped onion and minced garlic.  Once that’s all cooked through, drain any fat if necessary, then dump your spaghetti sauce into the skillet, along with about a tablespoon of Italian seasoning and combine it with the meat.

Once your spaghetti is cooked, drain it, but don’t rinse it. Put it directly back into the warm pot and add your cream cheese. Stir until it’s melted and combined, then add your sour cream and combine that.

Now just spread your noodle mixture in a greased 13×9. You can also split this up into two 8×8 casseroles and have one to freeze.

Then, spread on your meat sauce.

Top with a ton of mozzarella, and a sprinkling of freshly shredded Parmesan cheese, and it’s ready for the oven. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-35 minutes.

Once it’s finished, let sit for about 5-10 minutes before serving, which is the perfect amount of time to bake up some of that Garlic Texas Toast, and open that bottle of Malbec. Enjoy!


Print Recipe
Baked Spaghetti Casserole Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions. Drain, do not rinse, and return to warm pot.
  3. Add cream cheese immediately to the spaghetti, stir together until the cream cheese has melted. Add in the sour cream, and stir to combine.
  4. Put spaghetti mixture into a greased 13x9 baking dish.
  5. In a large skillet, add ground beef, onion and garlic. Cook and stir until the meat is no longer pink. Drain if necessary.
  6. Add the pasta sauce and Italian seasoning to the meat and combine.
  7. Spread meat sauce over pasta in the dish.
  8. Top sauce with Mozzarella and then the Parmesan.
  9. Bake at 350 for 30- 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly and cheese has melted.
  10. Let it stand for 5 or 10 minutes before serving.
  11. Freeze Option:
  12. You can make this, and instead of using a 13x9, divide it up between two 8x8 baking dishes. Assemble casserole as per the directions. Do not back, but instead, wrap in plastic wrap, and then a layer of heavy duty aluminum foil and freeze. When ready to bake, let casserole defrost in the fridge, then bake as directed.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from food.com

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Cheesy Garlic Crescents

I’ve got a real treat for you folks today! You’re gonna love these! I was fixing some kind of tortellini skillet for my family for dinner one night, and I had decided I wanted to serve some kind of bread to go with it. I really really didn’t want to do the standard Texas Toast Garlic Toast. You know, the box buy in the freezer section? Not to poo poo on the product, we love the stuff, but I really wanted something different. Something my family would oooooh and aaaahhh over. So naturally, I visited one of my very favorite food blogs, plainchicken.com. Stephanie has a lot of recipes that will make anyone oooooh and aaaahhh over, and the cool thing is, is that they’re easy! Here’s where I found her recipe for Cheesy Garlic Crescent Rolls. So I set out to make that. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find Garlic Bread Seasoning. So, I ended up changing her recipe a little bit to fit what I had on hand. I shouldn’t really say “unfortunately” because this turned out so flippin’ flantastic! You’re really going to want to try this! It’s a great accompaniment to any Italian meal, or it would even be an awesome app to serve while watching the game. Serve it up with some heated marinara sauce for dipping. Your fans will love you! This is insanely easy, here’s what you do….

Gather up all of your ingredients. I really did use 4 tbsp of butter, so, never mind that little stack there in the picture. You’ll want your can of crescent dough, your mozzarella string cheese, butter, oregano, and what I’m starting to call my house seasoning, Garlic & Wine Seasoning from The Melting Pot. I swear, everyone should have some in their kitchen. I always make sure I have at least two bottles of it. I don’t want to run out! It’s good on veggies, baked potatoes, I’ve used it for seasonings in salad and casseroles. Heck we’ve even used it for popcorn seasoning. Anyway, on with the recipe… So you got your stuff. Lets move on.

Separate your dough into 8 triangles. Combine your melted butter and seasonings, then heavily brush that on top of the dough. Don’t be shy about it. I mean paint it on there good! We want flavor! Now, take half of a mozzarella stick, and place that on the long end of your triangle dough, and roll it up. Repeat with the rest.

Place them on a baking sheet. I foil lined mine for easy clean up, and I also gave the foil a little spray of cooking spray. I am not sure if they would stick otherwise, and didn’t want to take the chance. A little cooking spray won’t hurt them! Now, take the rest of your butter mixture, and pain the tops of your rolls. Pop them in the oven at 375 and bake until golden brown. Then sit back and enjoy the praises from your loved ones. Oh by the way, I’ve been told I need to double the batch next time. These flew off the plate so fast, I was lucky to get a picture, and they still wanted more! Eeesh! Next time, I will double it. 😂😂😂😂

 

 

 

Print Recipe
Cheesy Garlic Crescents Yum
Recipe by Christine Titus
Course Breads
Cuisine Italian
Servings
rolls
Ingredients
Course Breads
Cuisine Italian
Servings
rolls
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine melted butter, garlic & wine seasoning, and oregano.
  3. Separate crescent dough into 8 rolls. Cut string cheese in half.
  4. Heavily brush half of the butter on top of crescent rolls. Place one half of string cheese on the long end of each crescent roll. Roll up and place on baking sheet. Heavily brush rolls with remaining butter mixture.
  5. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until rolls are golden brown.
Recipe Notes

slightly adapted from plainchicken.com

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