Butternut Squash Alfredo

So last night I made this amazing pasta with leftover fettichini alfredo. It was way to late to blog about it, but now that I have had some coffee in me, I think I am up for a quick blog post. I had a butternut squash on the counter that I barely remember buying, so I figured I should probably do something with it. I also had a few mushrooms that were on there last leg and half and onion that was begging for attention. Delicious vegetarian meal! Super easy!

Butternut Squash Alfredo

butternut squash, peeled and chopped into cubes
mushrooms, sliced
onion, sliced
alfredo sauce
fettuccini

Directions

Add a few tablespoons of oil into a large pan. Cook down your veggies until soft, stirring every few minutes. About 15-20 minutes.
I used leftover pasta and sauce, but you can boil and cook your pasta while the veggies are cooking. You could make your sauce or buy one from the store =)
Add in your alfredo and noodles.

Told you it was easy!

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Shrimp Fettuccine Sorrentini

Good evening, foodie friends! Hope you had a great weekend and did something grand! The other day, my husband requested a pasta he had at a local Italian place. He had this dish that had chicken, cherry tomatoes, garlic, basil, and cubed mozzarella cooked in olive oil. So tonight I made this except with shrimp, since we just ate chicken last night.

Sorrentini is the name for pasta made with tomatoes, garlic, basil, and mozzarella cooked in olive oil. It was a big hit for my husband and me. This would be a perfect date night meal! The only thing that would have made it better would be a couple pinches of red pepper flakes for a bit of spice to heat things up =)

The girls don’t like tomatoes. Well, except mashed up in my sauces or in ketchup. So they ate fettuccine alfredo with shrimp. Except Becca. She just ate the noodles and sauce, because she hates shrimp. I know this because I have seen her try it over and over and still spit it out each time. I don’t even bother anymore. You could totally make this with chicken or leave out the meat and make it vegetarian.

So here is how I made my Sorrentini…

Shrimp Fettuccine Sorrentini

Ingredients

10-15 shrimp, peeled and deveined (just pay the extra money to have someone else do it, especially the deveining part)
1 package of fettuccini (use any pasta you have)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 container of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 bunch basil, finely chopped or julienned
1/2 cup-1 cup of really good olive oil
1 cup fresh mozzarella

Directions

Salt heavily and bring your water to a boil. Drop your pasta. Stir occasionally.
Meanwhile, heat a large pan to med and add a good glug of olive oil. Enough to coat the bottom plus a little extra.
Add in your garlic and tomatoes. If you wanted to add some heat, a pinch or 2 of red pepper flakes would be amazing! Cook for about 4 minutes. Add your shrimp. Cook until pink, about 4 minutes. Add in your basil.
Add in your al dente pasta. Mix well. Add in a bit of starchy cooking water. Mix well. Add in your cheese. Add more olive oil in if needed.
Plate. Top with fresh basil and parmesan cheese. PERFECTION!!!!!

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Silver Dollar Pancakes

Happy Sunday morning, ya’ll! I have been promising Becca I would make her blueberry pancakes all week. I had to hold true to my promise when she came in to wake me up at 8:45 and asked if I was going to get up soon and make some blueberry pancakes. My kids have always been good about sleeping late and letting us sleep late on the weekends. Some weekdays they will even go downstairs and pour their own bowl of cereal. It is a beautiful thing when they are finally able to do that, so on occasion, usually one weekend day, I try to whip up a super yummy breakfast. Today it was pancakes, bacon and scrambled eggs. This recipe is super easy and next time I am going to double the recipe and make some pancakes to freeze for breakfast during the week.

Silver Dollar Pancakes

Ingredients

2 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1 3/4 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons veg.oil
fresh blueberries (optional- I used on half the pancakes and half I left plain)

Directions

In one bowl, beat your eggs and your milk for a few minutes until they are incorporated and the mixture begins to bubble and foam.

In a separate bowl, add all your dry ingredients- flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar.Whisk together.

Stir your dry mixture in to your milk and eggs mixture. Lumpy batter is fine. Add in your oil and stir.

If you want all pancakes to have blueberries, you can fold them in the end gently. Or, if you have some people who want plain, or other add-ins (other fruits, chocolate chips, etc.), you can add them to each pancake individually after you pour in your batter.

I cooked mine in my cast iron skillet, but you could use a cast iron grill pan or griddle if you have one. I melted some butter on med heat. I cooked 3 pancakes at a time. When you start to see them bubble on top, they are ready to turn. Nice and golden on each side, light and fluffy, and a nice sweetness to them.

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Family Favorite: Montery Chicken and Skillet Potatoes

Becca had her last football game today. Cheer is over for the year. I am happy and sad. While we will still probably take a night or two tumbling class in a few weeks, we are not having to go to practice 2-3 times a week and a game every Sat. anymore. Becca LOVES cheering, so I am a bit sad that she doesn’t get to strut her stuff and cheer her heart out each week.

Meal planning has been pretty M.I.A. Our life is unpredictable. Full time working parents (sort of), 3 kids (one is VERY ill), and many other life challenges thrown our way…
But family dinner is still important; the girls, hubby, and I still love a nice home cooked meal.

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http://funfoodiefamily.com/2014/06/09/copy-cat-montery-chicken/

Spicy Chicken and Veggie Risotto

It seems lately I have been on a spicy kick. I have been adding hot sauce, red chili flakes, and jalapenos on just about everything. Maybe it is the cool weather rolling in that makes me want to spice it up? In any case, I felt like adding a punch to my dinner last night. Everyone was doing their own thing and going in different directions, so it was either have straight up leftovers or create something out of the leftovers from the fridge. I decided to create something new from something old.

Spicy Chicken and Veggie Risotto

Ingredients

1/2 rotisserie chicken, finely chopped or shredded
3 tablespoons butter or oil
half a can of tomato paste
3/4 opened stock in a box
half an onion, chopped
handful of mushrooms, quartered
can of green chilies
about 1/2 cup rice
1 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup parm cheese

Directions

Heat 2 tablespoons butter in medium sized pot over medium heat. Add onions and mushrooms and sauté until beginning to soften and brown around edges, about 5 minutes. Add 1 more tablespoon of butter. Add rice and stir 1 minute. Add in tomato paste and green chilies. Mix together well. Add 1 cup broth and simmer until absorbed, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes. Add remaining broth by 1/2 cupfuls, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding next, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Continue to cook until rice is just tender but still very creamy, stirring gently and often, about 10 minutes longer (about 25 minutes total cooking time). Remove from heat. Stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and chicken. Stir to warm the chicken through, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to large bowl and serve with additional Parmesan cheese. You could make this vegetarian by leaving out the chicken and using veggie stock or water.

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Crockpot Pork Ragu

I have made pork ragu a few times on the blog. I have made it with different forms of pork and varied the recipe each time to what I had in the cupboard with what I thought I should buy and add in it. It is a really special meal. It is not hard, but it still takes time and love to create. I recently found a nice pork butt in the freezer and wanted to use it in a new and creative way. I had wanted to cook it yesterday, but we went to the zoo and didn’t get home until late in the afternoon. No time to cook it for dinner, so I thought maybe I could make it in the crock pot instead. I wasn’t sure I could pull it off, but it was a big hit at the house. Tons of leftovers, so that is a plus. Seriously, you have to try this!

Crock Pot Pork Ragu

Ingredients

1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
large handful of mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon sugar
1-2 cups beef broth
red wine-optional

Pork Butt seasoned with…
1 1/2 teaspoon of salt, pepper, italian seasoning, fennel seed,

Directions

The night before, I brown the pork on all sides (seasoned with the herbs and other seasonings) in a dutch oven. I had to cut my pork in half so it would fit. I actually cooked all the veggies and sauce for just a bit so they could cook down a little to fit in the crock pot. Then I put the meat in the crock pot and covered it with the sauce. I refrigerated it over night. Then I cooked it on low all day. When I got home, my house smelled amazing! Serve over pasta, rice, polenta, mashed potatoes… Always serve with crusty bread for dipping and sopping up all the meaty sauce!

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Steak Tacos

Hey guys! Hope you all had a great weekend! Here is a super fast meal that was a bit hit with the family.

Steak Tacos

1 flank steak (you could use this rub on any steak)

Steak Rub-
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

Rub your steak with the mixture. Grill the steak on a screaming hot cast iron grill pan. Cook for 8 minutes on the first side. Flip over and finish cooking for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on your desired doneness. Remove from the grill to a cutting board and let rest, lightly covered, for 5 minutes.

Add your meat to some tortillas and add your favorite toppings!
Plenty of leftovers for another meal or two.

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Spicy Veggie Pasta

Last night we had a whatever you want/clean out the fridge/breakfast for dinner kind of night. I made this for myself using leftover veggies, less than half a container of thin spaghetti, and the end of the parmesan cheese. I even had plenty of leftovers to bring to work for lunch and share with a couple of work friends.

Spicy Veggie Pasta

1/3 package of thin spaghetti
1 onion thinly sliced
1 container mushrooms, quartered
handful of baby carrots chopped
1 container of spinach.
1 teaspoon, or more, of red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
tablespoon or more of parm. cheese
1 cup white wine
2 tablespoons of olive oil
salt and pepper

Directions

Heat your olive oil and add onions, mushrooms, and carrots. Cook down until tender. Add your spices. Mix well. Add in your wine. Reduce. Add in your spinach and a little more olive oil. Cook the spinach down and mix with the rest of the veggies.

Meanwhile, cook pasta. Add your pasta to the veggies when the pasta still has a bit of a bite to it. Add in about a cup of pasta water- a little bit at a time to your desired consistency. Add in your cheese and mix well! Enjoy!

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Sesame Garlic Fish with Sesame Bacon Brussel Sprouts

Evening kids! Hope everyone had a great weekend. We went out to Mexican Friday night, out to lunch at our favorite Chinese spot on Sat., followed by a super fun time at the Pumpkin Patch. Today we slept in until 9:30!!!! Then I made bacon, eggs, and cinnamon rolls. Always a hit! We pretty much sat around being lazy, watching TV, and snuggling together on the couch. Pure bliss! I also went to one of my favorite places; the grocery store. I know lots of people who hate going, but I adore it. I mostly bought stuff to make lunches, a few staples, and a couple of quick and easy dinner ideas. Here is the one I made tonight.

Sesame Garlic Fish with Sesame Bacon Brussel Sprouts

Sesame Garlic Fish-

Ingredients

3 tablespoons of butter, melted with 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large piece cod, cut in to 3-4 sections (or other white fish, like Tilapia)
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons sesame oil.

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional- I only used it on half, since my girls would be eating this. It just adds a peppery kick, which they don’t like.) If you have a lemon or some citrus, it would be great with a bit of juice or zest in the pan cooking with it.
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Heat pan on high.
Melt butter and add your olive oil
Add the garlic and turn down heat to medium
Add your sesame oil and stir in with butter and garlic.
Add your fish filets- salt and pepper, but use with caution. The sesame oil is very salty. Add red pepper flakes if you wish.  If you have a lemon or some citrus, it would be great with a bit of juice or zest in the pan cooking with it.
Turn over when fish changes color one-quarter of way up and seared side has turned brown, 3 min.
Once you turn over, cook one minute, then take the pan off the heat. Let it sit for a minute or so, then take out of the pan to rest.

Sesame Bacon Brussel Sprouts

Ingredients

3 slices bacon, chopped
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot or half an onion, chopped
1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed, small spouts left whole, larger spouts halved
2 tablespoons sesame oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Brown bacon in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Add extra-virgin olive oil to the pan. Turn pan to make sure olive oil coats pan.
Add shallots/onions to the pan and saute 2 minutes.
Add sprouts and cook 3-4 minutes cut side down. Add your sesame oil in a circular motion in the pan. After they start to smoke, stir your sprouts. Cook until fork tender. Again, if you have a lemon or some citrus, it would be great with a bit of juice or zest in the pan cooking with it.

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