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Baked Pasta with Turkey Meatballs

Okay, not to scare you off with more of the “T” word – we’re talking ground turkey here, and it doesn’t taste a thing in the world like Thanksgiving dinner. In fact, these little meatballs are so tasty, I wish I had made a double batch and stashed them away in the freezer. They’d be perfect stuffed in toasted rolls for subs, or tossed onto an impromptu pizza, or simply served over the obvious spaghetti. Maybe if you make this, you’ll have better forethought than I had. Double up on the meatballs, you won’t be sorry.

I hesitate to call this meal a casserole because of the bad rap such dishes get. I’ll just say it’s cozy, family friendly comfort food served up in one gooey, cheesy pan; I highly recommend it for picky toddlers, t’weens and teens.

Actually, I’d recommend it to anyone who’s just plain hungry.

Have a great week.

 

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Quick Dinner: Pasta with Smoked Sausage & Spinach

I cannot even tell you the number of times I fell back on this recipe during track season last spring. Have you ever been to a track meet? They’re kind of like swim meets except on dry land. There are approximately 12,000 events. And your own offspring is likely to compete in oh, let’s say … two. It’s awesome when this child becomes adept at narrowing down the window of time in which she will be competing, because then you’re able to plan your arrival to the asphalt venue accordingly. Not that it’s not 100% awesome to watch other people’s children run like they stole something. Because it is. For real.

 

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Clams and Shells

The DamFam vacationed in the Outer Banks of North Carolina for a week this past July. It was a family reunion of sorts with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins of all ages, all under the roof of one ginormous ocean front house. Grownups took turns making dinner for the crowd each night and one of the best meals was the one my Aunt Vicki made, which featured the delicious Clams & Shells I’m sharing with you now.

 

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Oven Toasted Ravioli

Sometimes the DamKids love what they order in a restaurant so much that they ask if I can duplicate the dish at home. Once in a while, I’m able to come close (this tortilla soup, for instance); other times (like when it comes to authentic Chinese food) … not so much. And I tell them simply that that’s why restaurants were invented in the first place.

 

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Roasted Red Bell Pepper Pesto and A Bunch of Great Ways to Use It

Since I’m all about learning new tricks and facing down fears in the kitchen, I taught myself how to roast bell peppers over an open flame this morning. Up until now, I’ve been a purchased-jarred-peppers-kinda-girl when I’ve needed them for a recipe, mainly due to the fact that roasted capsicums resemble pepper-shaped lumps of Kingsford briquettes, and I guess I was intimidated by the idea of charring anything that badly in my own home. Well, I’m here to tell you that it wasn’t at all difficult to do and although it makes a little bit of a mess, I had a great time and the results are delicious. I watched this video and got perfect results. Give it a try, don’t be afraid. It’s fun! : )

 

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Lightened Up Fettuccine Alfredo with Broccoli

I’m in a holiday rush. Maybe you are, too. Maybe you’re even too harried and hassled to read this right now and just want to cut to the chase. You want to know what to make for dinner and you want something snappy. You want to make a dish so delicious that no one at your dinner table will find anything to complain about. You’d maybe like some peace and quiet, too. If you want fast and easy and peace and quiet, then you should make this pasta tonight. Everyone will be so busy feeding their faces that they won’t have anything to say except maybe, “OMG Mom, YUM” or “Goooooooood dinner, Mom” or “MORE PLEASE” and you won’t even care that whoever fed you the compliments just did so with her mouth stuffed full of Alfredo. I’d take a compliment or two over quiet, wouldn’t you?

 

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Blogs & Featured & Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous

Cavatappi with Roasted Butternut Squash

Here’s the picture-perfect autumn dish: Cavatappi with Roasted Butternut Squash. It’s almost macaroni and cheesy in texture, although the only cheese involved is a smallish amount of good quality Parmesan. I absolutely love this pasta as a dinner party starter, or as a main course with a salad and some good bread, or served alongside roast chicken or pork.

Good luck dodging raindrops this week … see you at Sendiks! : )

 

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Pasta alla Carbonara

So I thought it was funny (not funny like haha) that the second news story on The Today Show this morning – second, of course, to the opening piece on the referee debacle from Monday’s Packer / Seahawk game – was that we are about to be faced with a global bacon shortage. Brace yourself. This summer’s drought is going to have an impact. So bacon lovers, carbonara is a great way to get your fill.

This is one of my go-to recipes and I always, ALWAYS, have all of the ingredients on hand. There was a period last spring where I probably made carbonara every ten days or so. The punks call it ‘eggs and bacon pasta.’ Everyone here loves it, and we fight over the leftovers. It’s rich, easy and filling. Although it’s rather rustic, I would absolutely serve it to company. But don’t even go here if you’re on a diet, because I guarantee you won’t be able to stop eating it, and I don’t want anyone’s carbonara-induced muffin top on my conscience. This dish is an exercise in self control. Enjoy! : )

 

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No-Cook Tomato Sauce

This no-cook sauce is is possibly the freshest tasting and most frugal recipe I’ve made all summer long. In this version, diced roma tomatoes marinate in their own juices along with good olive oil, fresh garlic, Italian parsley, and a bit of jalapeno for just a little punch. Toss it with a pound of cooked pasta, top it with a little good Parmesan, and serve some warm bread alongside. Yum. Dinner is served!

 

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Tuna and Shells

Let me tell you, the peanut gallery will be chiming in later on this afternoon when they discover what we’re having for dinner tonight. It’ll go something like this: “OMG Mom, whatever we’ve done, we’re sorry! Is it our bath towels? We promise to hang them up next time! We have no idea who left candy wrappers in the familyroom again! I didn’t wear your good shoes out in the mud, I swear! Please Mom! Don’t make us eat tuna and shells, we promise to be good!”

 

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