Category Archives: Pasta

Pickle Pasta Salad

Pickle Pasta Salad

I love salads of all kinds and am always looking for creative, new ways to make salad. I love pickles and always put pickles (dill or sweet) in my pasta salads and in my potato salads. So, when I saw this salad I had to give it a try – it is yummy!! Enjoy!


1/2 lb dry pasta (about 3 cups) – you can use shells, elbow, corkscrew or whatever pasta you think will work for this…

3/4 cup sliced dill pickles

2/3 cup cheddar cheese, diced

3 tablespoons finely diced white onion

2 tablespoons fresh dill

1/2 cup pickle juice


1/3 – 2/3 cup mayonnaise – depending on how thick you like your dressing

1/3 cup sour cream

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

4 tablespoons pickle juice

salt & pepper to taste

I didn’t have any onions so I added a stalk of finely chopped celery instead and just added onion powder to my dressing 

Add pasta to boiling water and cook al dente. Run under cold water to stop cooking.

Toss cold pasta with about ¬Ĺ cup of pickle juice and set aside for about 5 minutes. Drain & discard pickle juice.

Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.

Toss all ingredients in a large bowl. 

– I didn’t have enough cheddar so I also added what cheese I did have (don’t be afraid to experiment ūüôā 

Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving

Serve as a side with your favorite meat or sandwiches – I’m serving mine today with Salmon fillets. 

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Posted by on September 18, 2016 in Pasta, Salads, vegetarian, Yummy


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Spaghetti Bake and Apple Crumble Bars 

It’s finally fall and that’s when I really feel like cooking. The smells of fall are so good, the cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg…couldn’t be better. 

Today the house smells so good and because of that I’m in the mood to give you two recipes! 

First is a Spaghetti bake that I’ve adapted somewhat from the Taste of Home cooking site. 

Here’s the recipe:

1 package (16 ounces) spaghetti

1 pound ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped

1 jar (24 ounces) meatless spaghetti sauce

1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt

2 large eggs

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

5 tablespoons butter, melted

2 cups (16 ounces) 4% cottage cheese

4 cups (16 ounces) part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese

Spices I added were: Italian Seasoning, Dried basil (from my garden), oregano and salt & pepper. I also sprinkled in some red pepper flakes…

Note:  I am pescatarian  (meaning a vegetarian who eats fish) so I substituted the ground beef for chopped mushrooms and 3 large gloves of chopped garlic. Also, I didn’t have any cottage cheese, so I substituted some leftover homemade Alfredo sauce that I had. 


Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef (or mushrooms – or both) and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce and seasoned salt; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, Parmesan cheese and butter. Drain spaghetti; add to egg mixture and toss to coat.

Place half of the spaghetti mixture in a greased 3-qt. baking dish. 

Top with half of the cottage cheese, meat sauce and mozzarella cheese.

 Repeat layers.

Cover and bake at 350¬į for 40 minutes. Uncover; bake 20-25 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Yield: 10 servings.

Then either for dessert – or earlier for breakfast that morning and dessert later, I made an Apple Crumble that is kinda like apple crumble bar cheese cake – so good!! I wish I could share with you how wonderful these dishes are making the house smell!! Oh my…welcome Fall!!

Sour Cream Apple Crumble Bars


2 cups quick-cooking oats

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon allspice


2 cups apples, peeled and shredded

1 cup sour cream

3/4 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Note: again, I didn’t have something (really need to go shopping) – I was out of walnuts…I never run out of walnuts…so I substituted finely chopped peanuts. 


Preheat oven to 350¬ļ F and line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper.

Cream together butter and sugars in a large bowl or mixer until fluffy and lightened in color.

Add in oats, flour and walnuts, then mix in baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and allspice until combined.

Pour 1/2 crust mixture into lined baking dish and use your hands or a flat-bottomed surface to press crust into an even layer.

Bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

While crust is pre-baking, mix together sour cream, sugar, egg, honey and vanilla extract in a large bowl, then mix in shredded apples.

Pour mixture over baked bottom crust and spread into an even layer, then top with remaining crumble mixture by dropping pieces until it is completely covered with a thin layer.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until topping is golden brown. Cover with aluminum foil if topping is browning too quickly.

Remove from oven and let cool completely before serving.

Enjoy and enjoy the tastes and smells of Fall!!

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Posted by on September 17, 2016 in breakfast, Comfort Food, food, Pasta, vegetarian


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Jenny’s Create a Pasta Dish…

Jenny’s Create a Pasta Dish…

This was a dish that Jenny created one night when we didn’t have much food in the house. She created it using what we had in the cabinet and leftover veggies in the frig. It is one of our favorite dishes.

The really cool thing about this dish is that you can use it as a main course by adding a meat, or you can use it as a side dish by eliminating the meat and cooking the meat on its own.

You can also adapt it to your own taste…and add whatever veggie you want to experiment with.

Well, here’s your ingredients…

or a pasta or your choice…

First Step….

– Boil your pasta to the the softness of your choice…drain.

Second Step…

– Cook your bacon…

Then just start dumping it all together…

While the pasta is still piping HOT (very important), stir in the raw spinach. The heat from the pasta will wilt the spinach perfectly. (However, if you prefer to saute your spinach first – go for it! :))

Heat the jar of rosa alfredo in the microwave before you dump it in

(that will help to wilt the spinach as well)…

Bacon, Bacon, Bacon Baby!! If you don’t like bacon (whoa, is there anyone that doesn’t like Bacon?) … ūüėČ Then you can pick another meat (Chicken, ham, beef…probably even Tuna, shrimp or crab)…. we LOVE the bacon!!

or you can just skip the meat all together ūüôā

Parmesan cheese….yum…mix in..

Here’s the final product….

Oh Yum!!

Now Eat! Enjoy ūüôā

Thanks for coming up with this recipe meine kleine Liebchen Jenny), it’s one of our favorites!! I love you! ‚̧


Posted by on February 7, 2012 in Bacon, Comfort Food, Jenny's dish, Pasta, Yummy


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Mac N Cheese with a Twist…

This recipe is from Rachel Ray’s new Cooking Show entitled “Week in a Day”.

She calls it Crab Cake Mac N Cheese and it’s soooo good that I had to share the recipe with you here. Here is the recipe online ūüôā

I really didn’t plan to share it, so I didn’t take pictures of the process of cooking, just of the end result….but the directions aren’t hard and it will be well worth your time :). I made just a few adjustments, simply because I couldn’t find a couple of ingredients that Rachel listed, but the changes were still wonderful :).


  • Salt
  • 1 lb. elbow pasta with lines¬† (I couldn’t find, so used Shell pasta with lines)
  • 2 TBLS extra-virgin olive oil (I used Virgin Olive oil)
  • 2¬†TBLS butter
  • 3 stalks celery with leafy tops, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 small red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • About 2 TBLS¬†freshly chopped thyme leaves, several sprigs (use fresh if you can get it – wow, it’s worth it!)
  • About 1 TBLS grated lemon zest
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 lb. fresh lump crabmeat, flaked
  • 1 TBLS seafood seasoning (recommended: Old Bay)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium heat, then salt the water. Add the pasta and cook for 3 to 4 minutes (it will be undercooked). Cool, drain well and add to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat 2 TBLS. extra virgin olive oil, and 2 TBLS of the butter over medium to medium-high heat. Add the celery, onion, red bell pepper, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, lemon zest, salt and pepper, to taste. Cook to tender, 6 Р8 minutes. Add the crabmeat to the vegetables (flaking it as you add it) and sprinkle liberally with seafood seasoning. Stir to combine, then remove from heat.


  • 3 TBLS all-purpose flour
  • 3 TBLS butter
  • 2 1/2 cups milk (I used Skim Nonfat milk)
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste (I used powdered nutmeg ~ 1/4 – 1/2 tsp)
  • 1 TBLS Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 lb, about 1 rounded cup grated sharp white cheddar
  • 1/3 lb. about 1 rounded cup shredded Gruyere¬†or Swiss cheese (I used Asiago cheese because I couldn’t find Gruyere.)

In a medium sauce pan, over low heat, melt 3 TBLS butter and whisk in the flour. Cook for 1 minute, then whisk in the milk and bring to a bubble. Season the sauce with salt, pepper and nutmeg, to taste, and cook for a few minutes, until the mixture coats the back of¬†a spoon. Add the mustard and the cheeses and stir. Add the vegetables/crab mixture and the sauce to the bowl with the pasta. Stir all ingredients and transfer to a casserole dish (9×13).


  • 3 TBLS hot sauce (I used 1 tsp because not everyone in my house loves it that hot – but you can always add your own later :))
  • 1 cup panko¬†bread crumbs (make sure you use Panko!!)
  • A generous handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese (I used grated Parmesan here)
  • 3 TBLS butter

preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Melt a 2 Р3 TBLS butter in a small skillet, over low heat and add 3 TBLS (or adjusted to your taste) hot sauce. Warm through, then add the panko crumbs and toss to evenly coat the crumbs in sauce mixture. Cool the crumbs, then toss in the parsley and 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Top the mac n cheese with the spicy crumb mixture. Put the casserole on a baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake until brown and heated through, about 10 minutes.

Yum….complement with a salad or some fruit and Enjoy!

This Dish is seriously yummy … ya gotta try it! What a flavor combination … Lecker!!


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Posted by on March 21, 2011 in Comfort Food, Crab, Pasta, Yummy


Garlic Cream Sauce Pasta & Chicken

This is a fairly quick, easy yummy sauce to make that you can serve over chicken and pasta both.

Boneless Chicken Tenderloins or Boneless Chicken Fillets

2 TBLS Olive Oil

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper


2 shallots, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup white wine (your choice, dry or white)

1 1/2 cups chicken broth (not bouillon)

1/2 tsp tumeric

1/2 cut heavy whipping cream

3 TBLS chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1/2 cup parmesan cheese – shredded

Cook your boneless chicken filets or tenderloins in Olive Oil over high heat for 3 – 4 minutes on each side or until cooked through and golden. Salt and Pepper the chicken while cooking. Once cooked, remove the chicken to a plate and cover to keep warm.

Turn the heat down to medium and add the chopped garlic and the chopped shallots to the fry pan and cook until tender ~ 2 to 3 minutes.

By the way…. this is a shallot:

it comes in a package that looks like this: ūüôā

Then add the white wine….with a wooden spoon, scrape all the brown bits from frying the chicken from the bottom of the pan.

Cook until the wine is partially¬†evaporated. Add the chicken broth and tumeric. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes (or until liquid is reduce by about half.) Add the cream, salt and pepper. Add the parmesan cheese. Simmer for a minute or two to blend the flavors. Stir in the parsley….

Spoon some of the sauce over the chicken…

Mix the rest of the sauce into your favorite pasta (along with a little extra parmesan ūüôā

Serve with your favorite vegetable…

we just opened some cans tonight ūüôā but if I was more ambitious, I might have steamed some broccoli & cauliflower or stirfried¬†some veges like squashes and such….but I was in a hurry to watch American Idol… ūüôā

Enjoy ūüôā


Posted by on March 2, 2011 in Chicken Dishes, Pasta


Roasted Vege Pasta & Sesame Chicken

First let’s start by getting our chicken tenders marinating.


1/2 cup balsamic vinegar               5 fresh rosemary sprigs

1/2 cup honey                               5 garlic cloves (cut in half)

1/2 cup dark brown sugar               2 TBLS toasted Sesame Seeds

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce      1/4 cup fresh, chopped, flat-leafed parsley

8-10 chicken tenderloins (no bone)

Add all ingredients (except chicken) &¬†(except toasted sesame seeds)¬†to a large zip-lock bag. Squeeze the bag to combine the sugar/honey and liquids together….then add Chicken and¬†refrigerate for 2 hrs.

While the chicken is marinating we can work on making the pasta dish…

Combine the following into a large mixing bowl…(this amount makes 4 – 6 servings)

1 medium eggplant (unpeeled), chopped into 1-inch cubes

1 pint cherry tomatoes whole or cut in half

3 whole garlic cloves

3 TBLS Olive Oil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp freshly gr. black pepper

1 tsp. red pepper flakes (or 1 fresh cayenne pepper cut into thin slices)

I added poblano¬†peppers, but I like the flavor of peppers, if you don’t, then you can leave that out. I didn’t list it in the ingredients.

(other ingredients you need that are mixed in later are: 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves & 3 TBLS extra-virgin Olive Oil & 1/4 cup pine nuts)

Mix together in a bowl so all vegetables are coated with the Olive Oil, then spread vegetables on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees F. for 35 minutes or until vegetables are tender and the eggplant has turned golden.

While the vegetables are roasting, spread 1/4 cup pine nuts on a small baking pan and place on the rack just below the vegetables….roast until golden (about 8 minutes). Note: If you’re really ambitious, you can roast the vegetables on an outdoor grill which will add a whole different set of wondeful flavors to this dish!!

Start the Penne pasta by getting some salted water boiling….once boiling, add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm. Drain the pasta, but reserve 1 1/2 cups of the boiling liquid. Transfer pasta to a large bowl.

Once the roasted veges have cooled a little, you can add them to a food processor along with 1/4 cup torn fresh mint leaves &  3 Tbls. extra-virgin olive oil. Pulse the veges until pureed, but not too smooth. you should still be able to see chunks of veges in the mixture.

Mix the pureed mixture with the pasta, adding enough of the reserved liquid to make the mixture saucy. Mix in 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and sprinkle the roasted pine nuts on top.

Cooking the Sesame Chicken:

Place a small amount of Olive Oil in a large frypan, heat….

Remove chicken from bag…reserve the marinade!!

Cook the chicken until just cooked (no pink) … do not overcook….approximately 5 minutes on each side…

While your chicken is cooking, place the marinade in a small saucepan…bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer to thicken (about 15 minutes).

Place cooked chicken on a serving platter, brush each piece with the cooked marinade and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Serve….Enjoy!

**Recipes adapted from Giada’s Kitchen Cookbook New Italian Favorites …


Posted by on February 26, 2011 in Chicken Dishes, Eggplant Dishes, Pasta