Monday, September 19, 2011

One-Pot Penne with Turkey Meatballs

Last month in Runner's World there was an article about chefs that turned into runners and some of their favorite pre-race foods. This one immediately caught my eye. I really like feta cheese and thought it would be a great combo with the sauce and turkey meat. I was right! Delish! And the sauce was really yummy and light. Although I am not running any big races this year I will definitely be making this again, healthy carbs and low fat protein = great meal!

One-Pot Penne with Turkey Meatballs
Pam Anderson from Runner's World Magazine
Serves 6


8 garlic cloves (3 whole, 5 minced)
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
3/4 crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup crumbled saltines
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 large egg
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup olive oil
4 slices prosciutto, chopped
1 cup red wine
2 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
1 pound penne pasta


Heat skillet on medium-high (I used my Dutch Oven). Add the whole garlic cloves; toast 5 minutes. Remove, then smash and mince. Break up turkey in a bowl. Mix in feta, saltines, oregano, 3/4 teaspoon salt. Combine the egg, toasted garlic, and tomato paste; mix into the meat until thoroughly combined. Form into 24 meatballs. Heat oil over medium in a large pot. Heat meatballs and brown on two sides; transfer to a plate. Add minced garlic and prosciutto to the pot; sauté until garlic is golden. Add wine; reduce by half. Add tomatoes and enough water (about 1 cup) to thin the sauce. Bring to a simmer; add meatballs and cook (loosely covered) 15 minutes. Add 6 cups of water and remaining 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a simmer. Add penne; cover loosely and cook, stirring frequently, until pasta is tender (15 minutes). Uncover and simmer until sauce thickens. Serve, sprinkling each portion with feta. Serves six.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Aileen and Matty P's Engagement Cookies and Cupcakes

My sister Aileen is getting married next year and she and her fiancé Matt chose to go with a yellow and green color scheme for their wedding. So instead of just making cookies for their engagement party a few weeks ago I wanted to try something new. I made small cookies with their initials and wedding date, in alternating colors, then placed them on the cupcake with the opposite color. I used buttercream icing on all so the colors would match the cookies well, and I made two different flavor cupcakes; vanilla and chocolate.

Baby Madeline decided to come a little early so instead of just having a shower Christina had a sort of welcome party for her. The Mom had registered for bedding with little ladybugs on them in all shades of pinks and purples.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Jenn's Baby Shower Airplane Cookies

I made these cute cookies to match this soon to be Mom's shower invites. Her friends and family planned an airplane themed shower for her little boy that was on the way!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Oreo and Fudge Ice Cream Cake

For dessert (on Father's Day) I wanted to go simple and make something that I knew everyone was going to love and enjoy. As I was searching for an easy no-bake recipe I came across this one on It was so yummy and great for a summer dessert (really anytime this was so good). I didn't make this to be low fat but you could swamp the higher fat and calorie ingredients for lower ones. Also I added a some extra Oreos on top for a little decoration, presentation is everything! This is a kid friendly recipe too, there isn't any baking involved and it would be fun making all the layers. After I made the cake I froze it for a little over 4 hours and it froze perfectly. I was able to make clean slices so everyone could enjoy some. They were decent portions and I even had some leftovers.
Serves 12

  • 1/2 cup hot fudge ice cream topping, warmed
  • 1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
  • 1 pkg. (3.9 oz.) JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding
  • 8 OREO Cookies, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 12 vanilla ice cream sandwiches

Pour fudge topping into medium bowl. Whisk in 1 cup Cool Whip. Add dry pudding mix; stir 2 minutes. Stir in chopped cookies.

Arrange 4 ice cream sandwiches, side-by-side, on 24-inch-long sheet of foil; with half the Cool Whip mixture.

Top with remaining sandwiches. Frost top and sides with remaining Cool Whip. Bring up foil sides; double fold top and ends to loosely seal packet.

Freeze for 4 hours or until firm.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Gina's Cheddar and Herb Biscuits

I have tried a few different roll and biscuit recipes and this one is hands down the easiest. I am by no means afraid of yeast but I liked how this recipe didn't call for it, I've found that biscuits don't usually but other dinner rolls have. These almost reminded me of Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay Biscuits! Since we were entertaining I was able to make these in advance and hang out with our Dad's for Father's Day. I bake them right before we ate so they were nice and warm when served!
The Neelys
Makes 12 to 15 ( I made 12)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley leaves
  • 3/4 cup grated sharp yellow Cheddar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cayenne together using a whisk. Add the herbs, cheese and buttermilk. Stir together until dough forms.

Once dough has formed, using an ice cream scooper, scoop out dough onto baking tray. With a brush, lightly butter tops. Bake for 15 minutes.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Father's Day Menu

So I know Father's Day was in June but Denis and I have been really busy because we bought our first house (YAY!!! and plenty of pics to come as I decorate) and the busy-ness of summer just got in the way! But we were lucky to be able to host and cook a great dinner for our Dads. It's still a little tight in our small apartment but we make it work! Once we move we will have a dining room, I can not wait, so many new tablescapes capes and dinner parties!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

2011 Beach Cookies

This year for our annual beach vacay to Ocean City, NJ I made some nautical color themed cookies in a variety shapes. I bought new cookie cutters this year so I was also testing out designs and patterns. I'm kind of obsessed with nautical and with stripes (half of my closet is navy blue and white stripes) so that's why I went with those colors this year. Vacation was a blast as always so I'm already looking forward to next summer!

The whole group...

Hawaiian Shirts...


Board Shorts...

Bathing Suits and Bikinis...

Lifesaving rings...


and all together again with navy ribbons and baggies!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Mushroom and Turkey Casserole

As I have mentioned in past posts I'm always looking for new casserole or one pot dinners. Denis and I just bought our first house so we have been really busy going back and forth trying to get painting done and other little odds and ends before we move. So meals that I can make ahead of time are really necessary. I found this one on It tasted like all the flavors of Thanksgiving mixed together, super delish! I was able to make it in the morning and keep it covered in the fridge all day, without the breadcrumbs. Since I didn't want the breadcrumbs to get soggy I added them right before I put it in the oven. I served it with a little cranberry sauce on the side to finish it off.

Note: One short cut I took to make this even easier was buying Butterball pre-cooked Turkey. They are usually 2-3 servings so it was the perfect amount of Turkey. They usually have them near the pre-packaged salads.


1 (6-ounce) package long-grain and wild rice (such as Uncle Ben's )
1 ounce French bread or other firm white bread, cubed
1 tablespoon butter, melted and divided
3/4 cup (3 ounces) created fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (8-ounce) packaged pre-sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked turkey
1 cup turkey gravy
1/2 cup 2% low-fat milk
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3/4 teaspoon minced fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
3/4 cup cranberry sauce


Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Prepare rice according to package directions, omitting fat and seasoning packet. Set aside.

While rice cooks, place bread in a food processor; pulse 15 times or until fine crumbs measure 1/2 cup. Add 1 teaspoon butter to processor; pulse until combined. Add cheese to processor, and pulse until combined.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons of butter, onion, garlic, and mushrooms; sauté 7 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in turkey and next 7 ingredients (through pepper). Add cooked rice; stir.

Spoon rice mixture into a 1 1/2 quart casserole coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs mixture.

Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with cranberry sauce.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Mimi's Baby Shower

I made these cute little carriages for a baby shower a few weeks ago. The color theme was pink and brown, so I used brown ribbons to bag the pink, white and brown baby carriages.