Tuesday, July 29, 2014

One Pot Wonder with Andouille Sausage

Pintrest seems to be becoming everyone best friend or addiction.  I once again started a new board called “One Pot Wonders” because my life as a Wife, Mother to 3 yr old twins and a full time teacher (among of titles and roles) doesn’t leave much time to prepare 5 course meals, etc. 

I made a “One Pot Wonder” last week from Dam Delicious and picked another one from there to try – it was a HIT with everyone again. 

Note: We did deviate from the recipe a tad and I will make note of it below

“One Pot Wonder”

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 (12.8-ounce) package smoked andouille sausage, thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups halved grape tomatoes (I just bought a carton and used that without measuring)
  • 2 cups basil leaves (I didn’t measure this out just added what I thought was enough)
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (I have pre-minced garlic and I used 2 heaping spoonfuls)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan (I used shredded and more than a cup)
  • 2 tbsp of butter (This was my own addition)*
  • Sliced Baby Portabella Mushrooms (This was my own addition)*

  1. In a Dutch Oven over medium high heat, combine spaghetti, sausage, onion, mushrooms, tomatoes, basil, garlic and 4 1/2 cups water; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until pasta is cooked through and liquid has reduced, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in Parmesan and butter.

  • We added the butter to add some creaminess to it.  We were going to had about ¼ cup of heavy cream but ours had gone bad
  • We wanted some more veggies and we love mushrooms
  • Adapted from Dam Delicious

Monday, July 21, 2014

Easy Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole

When you are trying to clean out your house to put it on the market in about month you can't keep buying tons of staples and groceries at the store - you have to clean out the cabinets because who wants to move can goods and a freezer full of items????

I am fortunate to be a stay-at-home mom during the summer with my twin boys since I am a teacher.  With twin toddlers lunch (and dinner too) can be interesting be cause how how choosy they can be about meal.  I hate to say picky because fortunately they do eat just about nay thing and love International cuisine.  They choosy part is the mood they are in and if they are in the mood for what you make.  One day they love something and want multiple servings but the next time you make it they refuse to eat it.

Back on track to what I made.  I was going through the cabinet and looking at what we had because I wash't in the mood for a hot dog, chicken nugget or fish sticks.  I noticed a had a couple cans of cream of mushroom, about 3/4 box of elbow noodles, few cans or tuna fish and BOOM why not Tuna Noodle Casserole which I hadn't had in a while.  I normally like to add brad crumbs on top but we had none.

Easy Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole


  • 1 6 oz can of tuna fish, drained
  • 1 box of elbow noodles (I had just a little under 3/4 box)
  • 1 10.75 oz can of Cream of Mushroom (I used Fat Free)
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cups of frozen peas 
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese (I like cheesy so I use heaping cups)
  • Garlic salt (optional)
  • Oil (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil (optional: add oil to the water to prevent sticking). Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. 
  3. In skillet add 1 TBSP butter and sauté chopped onions.  I sprinkle some garlic salt on mine.  If using frozen peas I toss them in once onions are soft so they can thaw quickly
  4. Over medium heat, combine the cream of mushroom soup, peas, canned tuna, and 1 cup of the cheddar cheese. 
  5. Gently fold pasta into the soup mixture and mix thoroughly. 
  6. Pour pasta and soup mixture into a baking dish. (I spray mine with Pam pray)
  7. Sprinkle remaining cup of cheese on top.
  8. Bake until cheese is warm and bubbly

Note:  You can edit this recipe for what you have on hand.  If I was adding breadcrumbs I would shake them on top of the cheese before placing it in the oven.  

Thursday, July 17, 2014

One Pot Wonder - Zucchini Mushroom Pasta

Life as a mother of 3 yr old twin boys and a full time teacher (plus a full time working husband) is busy!  Yes I know I am "off" during the summer but really I am not because then my job is a stay at home mom.  When it comes to feeding the family we don't have time to spend forever in the kitchen making meals.  Yes sometimes we like to have elaborate and labor intensive meals, but thats not very often.

A slower cooker/crock pot can be your best friend but I also discovered that a One Pot Wonder can be too!  There are many times I have tried a recipe from a magazine or from a website and honestly they can be hit or miss!!!

Besides the grill and my crock pot the Dutch Oven is my friend in the kitchen.  After surfing pint rest I noticed a new popular item people are pinning are some One Pot Wonders.  We love using fresh and seasonal ingredients when possible so the Zucchini Mushroom Pasta recipe I found on the blog Damn Delicious was the one to try. (The blog has other One Pot Wonder recipes to try!)

For the most part I followed the recipe except I slightly made some minor changes which you will see in my notes.  We all agreed we enjoyed this dish!!!


My picture of isn't as spectacular as the one at Damn Delicious

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 zucchini, thinly sliced and quartered
  • 2/3 cup peas (I used frozen since I the store I was at didn't have fresh)
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (I ALWAYS have a large jar of minced in my fridge and I used more than it called for since I am a big garlic person)
  • 2 sprigs thyme (I used 3-4 sprigs)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan (I used more and its was a bag of shredded)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Grill pan chicken breast seasoned and then cut up (I added this) 

  1. In a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium high heat, combine spaghetti, mushrooms, zucchini, peas, garlic, thyme and 4 1/2 cups water; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until pasta is cooked through and liquid has reduced, about 8-10 minutes. 
  3. Add chicken and then stir in Parmesan and heavy cream. (The chicken was my addition to the recipe)

My tweaks for next time:
  • My husband suggested using more of a blanked style chicken and more veggies 
  • The zucchini and peas (especially the zucchini) was over cooked and very squishy.  Next time i may wait a few minutes to add it
  • It was a lot of food (my son J did eat to helpings of it)
excuse the messy plate

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Rosy Cooler - refreshing drink with strawberries and basil

One thing I love about the summer is the refreshing cocktails with fresh ingredients you can make.  When I dine out I am always looking at the cocktail menu (even if I am not drinking for some inspiration) for the restaurants seasonal offerings.

As I was surfing the Internet and magazines I came across the drink called the Rosy Cooler by Angry Orchard.  It is refreshing and has great flavor.  The first drink I made I followed the recipe exactly (except the simple syrup – I just eye balled it).  The second time I made it I used more of the vanilla vodka and I enjoyed the drink even more.

Rosy Cooler
                2 medium strawberries, quartered
                2 basil leaves, torn
                2 wedges of lime
                1/2 oz. simple syrup
                4 oz. Angry Orchard Crisp Apple Cider
                1 oz. regular or vanilla vodka (optional)

In a pint glass, gently muddle together strawberries, basil, lime and simple syrup. Fill glass with ice and top with cider and vodka.

My picture isn't the best but you get the idea!


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