Lasagna Rolls

Lasagna is the perfect dish for any holiday. My mom makes the absolute best lasagna. She made it for every holiday. We all loved it and would enjoy it for weeks later. She’d have leftovers and then a whole tray in the freezer for another night. It is the ultimate comfort meal.

I love lasagna, but I’m not a big fan of making it. It always looks a little messy when I make it. I would prefer to make a tray of stuffed shells, baked ziti or lasagna rolls! It looks better and I like that it has less ricotta cheese.

I love spinach in my lasagna rolls because I love veggies. If I put spinach, I don’t serve meat with it. If I leave the spinach out, I serve it with a side of meatballs or meat sauce. Either way lasagna rolls are delicious and comforting and presents beautifully.

Of course double the recipe for a bigger crowd or to put one tray in the freezer for a later date.

A basic marinara sauce should be made first. You can find the recipe here. 👇🏼

Marinara Sauce

If you decide to leave the spinach out and do meat sauce, you can find the recipe here👇🏼

Meat Sauce 

or Meatballs!

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Lasagna Rolls

Ingredients

  • Marinara sauce
  • 10 oz package of frozen spinach(optional)
  • 1 box of lasagna noodles
  • 32 oz container of ricotta cheese
  • 2/3 cup of grated pecorino romano cheese
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350.
  2. Boil a large pot of salted water and cook noodles per directions on box. Drain and set aside to dry.
  3. Put about 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of a baking dish.
  4. In a mixing bowl combine the spinach, ricotta, pecorino, and egg.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Lay the noodles out flat and spread about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture evenly on the noodle.
  7. Roll and place seam side down in baking dish.
  8. Cover with sauce and sprinkle with with some more pecorino Romano cheese.
  9. Cover tightly with foil.
  10. Bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly.

Enjoy!

Other pasta dishes that are perfect to feed a crowd…

Baked Ziti with Sausage

Rigatoni with Roasted Eggplant and Ricotta

Ravioli with Crushed Tomato Sauce

Orecchiette with Sausage, Mushrooms, and Tomatoes

 

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Strawberry Apple Pie🍓🍏🥧

This is such a light, delicious pie. It is so easy and you can make it year round. Strawberry season in Florida is from November to April. It would be great to pick some fresh strawberries and use them for the pie. 😋 It reminds me of spring because it’s so light and refreshing. This would be a perfect desert for Easter or Mother’s Day. I got the recipe from my sister, who got the recipe from her friend. I believe she got it from Taste of Home. So now I’m passing it on to all of you. It tastes amazing paired with cinnamon whipped cream. It’s a must.

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Strawberry Apple Pie

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups of thinly sliced peeled tart apples(I used Granny Smith this time which I think are more sweet than tart, but it tasted yummy)
  • 1 1/4 cups of sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of all purpose flour
  • Pillsbury pie crust(you will need one for bottom and one for top)
  • Cinnamon sugar for sprinkling on top

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to bake 450.
  2. In a large bowl combine the apples and strawberries.
  3. Drizzle with lemon juice.
  4. Combine sugar and flour. Sprinkle over fruit and toss lightly.
  5. Line a 9 inch pie plate with bottom pastry. Trim it even with the edge of the plate.
  6. Add the filling.
  7. Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pie. Place over filling.
  8. Trim, seal, and flute edges.
  9. Cut slits in the top.
  10. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the pastry. I put a generous amount.
  11. Cover the edges loosely with foil or even better a pie crust shield.
  12. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350; remove foil and bake an additional 35-40 minutes. It is done when the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.
  13. Cool and top with cinnamon whipped cream!

Enjoy!

If you like this recipe you will love:

Annie’s Crumb Cake

“Crowd Pleasing” Rice Pudding

Apple Cake🍎

BBQ Chicken and Cabbage Steaks

By Alexandra Salvatore

Tonight I wanted a healthy and simple dinner. That’s exactly what this is.  It literally took 5 minutes to prep!

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BBQ Chicken & Cabbage Steaks

Ingredients


Cabbage Steak Ingredients:

  • 1 cabbage
  • EVOO
  • salt and pepper

BBQ Chicken Ingredients:

  • Boneless chicken thighs
  • your favorite BBQ Sauce
  • 2 bunches of chopped scallions

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Wash and remove the outer leaves of the cabbage.
  3. Cut the cabbage into 1 inch steaks.
  4. Brush both sides with olive oil.
  5. Salt and pepper both sides of the cabbage.
  6. Place on a baking sheet.
  7. Cover the chicken thighs in BBQ sauce
  8. Top the chicken with chopped scallions.
  9. Place on a separate baking sheet.
  10. Bake both the cabbage and the chicken for 40 minutes.  It will be perfect!

Enjoy!

If you like this recipe, you will love…

Irish Soda Bread

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

 

 

 

Irish Soda Bread

Every year when St. Patrick’s Day comes around my husband (he’s mostly Irish, 83% to be exact based on his 23 & Me results) says we better celebrate. We are not big drinkers, so cheers to one beer🍻. And green is not my color, so you won’t see me wearing a green shirt. I did make corned beef and cabbage a couple of times and no one really enjoyed it but me! A couple of years ago I mentioned that my mom used to buy Irish Soda Bread every year from the bakery when St. Patrick’s Day came around. That was how we celebrated; of course with food. My husband casually mentioned how his mom and Grandma make it every year. And it’s a recipe of his Great Grandma’s in Ireland! 🙀So we got to baking. And we sat and ate a loaf of bread. Be prepared! Make this your carb day for sure!

This is best hot out of the oven with salted butter. You can heat it in the oven or toaster the next day for breakfast with a cup of coffee☕️.

Enjoy! And Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

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Irish Soda Bread

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of flour
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter(1/2 cup), softened
  • 3/4 cup of raisins
  • 1 more egg to brush on the top before you bake

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to bake 375(use convection if you have it)
  2. In a large bowl mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. Add the buttermilk, sour cream, 1 egg, and butter.
  4. Mix well until combined.
  5. Add the raisins(use more if you like it sweeter)and mix them in.
  6. Place all the ingredients in a greased loaf pan.
  7. Make an X on the top with a knife.
  8. Beat the remaining egg with a drop of water.
  9. Brush it on the top.
  10. The original recipe says to bake for one hour. This will vary depending on the size of the pan you cook it in and your oven. It should be brown on the top when it is done. Check it after 40 minutes to see how it looks.

If you like this recipe, you will love…

“Crowd Pleasing” Rice Pudding

Annie’s Crumb Cake

 

 

 

Italian Salad(Pasta or no Pasta)

Let’s face it, I love all pasta.  I love it hot, cold and leftover!

When I think of pasta salad I think of summer. But this Italian Pasta Salad can be served all year long hot as a main dish, cold as a side dish, and packed in the lunchbox the next day for a yummy lunch your kids will love!

pasta salad

Don’t want the pasta? Put it over Romaine lettuce instead! I love making an Italian Salad for a crowd because sometimes I don’t want to make an antipasto and a salad. So, I combine them and there you have it! Like everything else this recipe can be adjusted depending on what you have in the house.

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Italian Salad

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

With Pasta:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of small elbow pasta(or any type you prefer)
  • 1 packet of Good Seasons Italian Dressing
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 of a red onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of black olives, halved
  • 1/2 cup of Giardeniera Italian mix, drained
  • 7-10 oz pack of mozzarella balls(the little pearl ones)
  • 1/4 cup of pepperoni or salami, chopped into small pieces
  • big bunch of parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Boil a pot of salted water.
  2. Cook pasta per directions on box.
  3. Drain and set aside.
  4. Prepare the dressing per directions on box.
  5. Put the pasta in a large bowl.
  6. Add all the ingredients except for the dressing.
  7. Toss together. Make sure you added enough salt and pepper. It needs a good amount.
  8. Drizzle with a little bit of dressing and mix again.
  9. Add enough dressing so that everything is coated and tasty.
  10. Before serving you may need to add more dressing to moisten the pasta.

Without Pasta:

Ingredients:

  • 2 heads of romaine lettuce, rinsed, drained and chopped
  • 1 packet of Good Seasons Italian Dressing
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 of a red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of black olives, halved
  • 7-10 oz pack of mozzarella balls(the little pearl ones) or shredded mozzarella
  • 1 can of hearts of palm
  • 1 can of marinated mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup of pepperoni or salami, chopped into small pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Prepare the dressing per directions on box.
  2. Lay your lettuce on a platter.
  3. Top the lettuce with all the toppings except for the dressing.
  4. Season with salt and pepper salt and pepper.
  5. Drizzle with a little bit of dressing.

Enjoy!

Listed below are some of my other favorite salads…

No Romaine, No Problem

Shoepeg Corn Salad

 

 

Rockin’ Ramen

So, my boys recently said the words I thought I’d never hear. “Mom, everyone else at school eats Ramen Noodles. Why can’t we have it?”

My response of course was, “It’s gross and has way too much sodium.”

But of course my next trip to the supermarket I left with some Ramen noodles. I figured they would hate it. Well, guess what? They liked it. And they wanted it every day after school.

That is what led me to making my own homemade version. It was good, but simple. There was something missing though. Then it came to me… MITA! Of course my friend Mita will have a recipe she can share. I texted her asking if she has a homemade Ramen noodle recipe. Five minutes later she had a picture and recipe for me.

I’ve mentioned my friend Mita in several other blogs. We met when our kids attended pre-school together. I joke that I stalked her, but it’s the truth. She was so sweet and I wanted to be her friend. Lol. Then she baked me peanut butter blossom cookies and we were friends from that point on. I grew up in an Italian Catholic household in the suburbs of Long Island. Mita grew up in an Indian Hindu household in the city of San Francisco. But we raise our boys very similar and have the same values. I’ve learned a lot of different things from Mita. She taught me about different spices and how to use them while cooking. She also taught me how to eat slow, especially when we are out to eat. I am still working on that one! Mita also taught me how to listen. She’s so patient when other people talk. Another thing I am still working on…

BTW, she moved to Texas and I am not happy! 

So, I followed her recipe and it is amazing! It takes a half hour and is a big bowl of comfort.

IMG_2741

 

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Your Ramen Soup essentials:

Reusable Chopsticks

Soup Spoons

Soup Bowls

Rockin' Ramen with Optional Chili Bomb

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. of sesame oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Tsp. of grated ginger
  • 1 carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 1 package of shiitake mushrooms (sliced thin)
  • 2 Tbsp. of low sodium soy sauce
  • 64 oz. of beef or chicken broth (Mita prefers beef, I love either)
  • 1 Tsp. of rice vinegar
  • 1 Tsp. of chili sauce or sriracha
  • 2 cups of bean sprouts
  • 3 chopped green onions
  • 8 oz. package of Chinese noodles (I use KAME)

Optional: Chili Bomb (goes in the center of the bowl on top of everything else for an extra explosion of flavor)

  • Chili Sauce
  • Garlic, sliced
  • Scallions, chopped
  • dash of soy sauce

Directions

  1. In a large pot, heat the sesame oil.
  2. Saute garlic and ginger for about 1 minute. (Do not brown)
  3. Add carrots and soy sauce. Stir.
  4. Add broth, vinegar, and mushrooms.
  5. Bring to a slight boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Add chili sauce or sriracha. Stir.
  7. Taste and add more soy sauce or chili sauce if needed.
  8. Add noodles to the pot, and cook per directions on the package.
  9. Serve in individual bowls. Top each bowl with a bunch of bean sprouts. Submerge them into the broth.
  10. Top with green onions and the optional Chili Bomb if you like it spicy!

Enjoy!

If you like this, you will also enjoy:

Salsa Salsa

Mita’s Slow Cooker Chicken

Holy Guacamole

Soup Season

 

 

 

Cheesecake Bites

Happy Valentine’s Day!

This is the perfect dessert to make for that special someone in your life. They will appreciate it and your love will shine through. I got this recipe from my mom’s recipe book. She used to make these when she entertained. I loved them as a kid and I love them now. This is one of those simple recipes that looks like you spent hours preparing.

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Believe it or not, the only kitchen essentials you will need to get started with this recipe are:

A simple hand mixer And A mini muffin pan

 Mini Muffin Pan

Cheesecake Bites

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • Mini cupcake liners
  • 2 (8 oz. packages of cream cheese), leave out to soften
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • Nabisco MINI Nilla Wafers
  • Optional Toppings: mini chocolate chips, blueberries, strawberries, etc…

I whipped up a batch of homemade whipped cream, without the cinnamon, vanilla and sugar. Just plain whipped cream. I added a dollop to the top of each cheesecake bite. My favorite topping is a can of cherry pie filling. I scooped out one cherry and placed it on top of the whipped cream. It presents beautifully for Valentines’s Day. 

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Fill the mini cupcake pan with the cupcake liners.
  3. Put one MINI Nilla Wafer in the bottom of each cupcake liner.
  4. Add the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract and eggs to a large mixing bowl.
  5. Mix until all the ingredients are fully combined.
  6. Carefully top each wafer with a spoonful of cream cheese mixture.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool completely.
  9. Top with your favorite toppings!

Enjoy!

My favorite dinner to serve on Valentine’s Day is Ravioli with Crushed Tomato Sauce.