Garlic Bread Duo

Garlic Bread Duo

I know what you’re thinking, both garlic bread and pasta recipes, are you crazy? No I’m not carbo-loading for a marathon, just trying to feed a hungry boyfriend. I was nervous when I decided to try the caprese version of this garlic bread duo. Bill always jokes that mozzarella, tomato and basil are “Lauren flavors,” so I wasn’t sure how much he’d appreciate all those “Lauren flavors” taking over his beloved garlic bread. Good news folks—he loved the Caprese garlic bread more than the classic version. Yep, me and my flavors are definitely sitting on our high horse tonight. I’m not sure when or even if I’ll ever win another flavor victory as big as this one.

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Classic Garlic Bread:
½ Loaf of Ciabatta
2 Tbsp Butter, softened
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Large Cloves of Garlic, minced
Basil, to top
Black Pepper, to top

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Caprese Garlic Bread:
½ Loaf of Ciabatta
8 oz Sliced Mozarella Cheese
2 Tbsp Butter, softened
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Large Cloves of Garlic, minced
2 Roma Tomatoes, sliced
Fresh Basil, chopped
Trader Joe’s Balsamic Glaze

Garlic Bread Duo

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice Ciabatta loaf in half sideways. Place bread cut side up on a foil lined baking sheet. Combine softened butter, olive oil and garlic in a small bowl. Spread garlic butter mixture on the cut side of the bread.

For classic garlic bread, sprinkle with basil and cracked black pepper. Bake for 7-8 minutes, until bread is crispy and slightly browned.

For Caprese garlic bread, cover the bread with slices of mozzarella cheese. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until bread is crispy and mozzarella cheese is melted. Top with sliced tomatoes, basil and drizzle with balsamic glaze.

Slice and serve with your favorite Italian dish.

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Double Turkey Lasagna

Double Turkey Lasagna

I’m a huge fan of comfort food- mashed potatoes and gravy is definitely my go to when I need a warm homey meal. But there’s also something about Lasagna… Maybe it’s the layers of yummy goodness or the ooey gooey cheesiness. I can’t quite pin point it, but it’s a meal that just makes me happy inside.

My go to lasagna recipe utilizes my crockpot—which has never let me down. But being a Monday night after work and being unprepared, I knew I wouldn’t have enough time to make my usual recipe. A quick google search led me to the perfect answer—I could use my same recipe {although I did end up tweaking it a bit} and just bake it in the oven for 30 minutes. It’s the perfect alternative for those days when the crock pot timeline seems a bit too long.

Double Turkey Lasagna

Ingredients:
2 Hot Turkey Sausage Links
1 lb Ground Turkey
1 Onion, diced
2 14.5 oz Cans Tomato Sauce
1 tsp Basil
1 tsp Oreano
½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes
½ tsp of Cayenne Pepper
½ tsp Garlic Powder
3 Cups Mozzarella Cheese, divided
8 oz Ricotta Cheese
9 Lasagna Sheets

Double Turkey Lasagna

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Over medium high heat, cook the onion and turkey until the onion is tender and the turkey is no longer pink, about 7-8 minutes. Add tomato sauce and spices to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine ricotta cheese and 2 cups of mozzarella cheese in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Spray a 9×13 glass baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and begin layering lasagna. Start with one fourth of the meat sauce, layer 3 lasagna sheets. The sheets will expand while cooking, so don’t worry if there is empty space between them. Layer ½ the cheese mixture on top of the noodles and top with the second fourth of the meat sauce. Add a second layer of noodles, the remaining cheese mixture and another fourth of the meat sauce. Top with the final layer of noodles and meat sauce. Sprinkle one cup of mozzarella cheese evenly across the top of the dish.

Bake for 30 minutes until cheese is melted and lasagna noodles have fully cooked.

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Pasta with Chicken Apple Sausage & Broccoli

Pasta with Chicken Apple Sausage & Broccoli
Costco is one of my favorite places to go grocery shopping- hello deals! But one of the hardest things for me is coming up with recipes to utilize the impulse buys I made on my latest big box trip. The last couple times, Bill and I have bought different types of chicken sausage- we opted for the chicken apple sausage this time! We’ve enjoyed them as an easy protein addition in chopped salads as well as on a simple bun during a BBQ. I decided to get a little creative and actually incorporate the sausage into a recipe I know and love, instead of using it as lazy meal option. The creamy, yet light sauce balances the sweet and savory from the sausage. Sneak in some broccoli and cauliflower and you’ve got a nutritious and delicious meal. Enjoy!

Pasta with Chicken Apple Sausage & Broccoli

ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound sweet chicken or turkey sausage (I used Chicken Apple Sausages), sliced into rounds
1 medium yellow onion, diced
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound broccoli or cauliflower, stemmed and cut into 1-inch florets
1 pound Penne or other short pasta
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup tightly packed, finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

Pasta with Chicken Apple Sausage & Broccoli
directions:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage slices and cook, until nicely browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside in a large bowl.

Reduce the heat to medium, add onions, seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, so the onions don’t burn. Once onions have softened and are just starting to brown, turn off the heat.

Once the water has come to a boil, add the broccoli and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Set broccoli aside with the sausage.

Return the water to a boil, add pasta, and cook according to the package directions or until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, drain and rinse pasta with cool water.

Bring the pan of onions back to medium heat, add the cream and milk and stir, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sausage, broccoli, pasta and Parmesan cheese. If the sauce is too creamy add reserved pasta water. Gently stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve topped with freshly grated Parmesan.

Pasta with Chicken Apple Sausage & Broccoli

Bruschetta

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Housewarming parties might be my favorite kind of “adult” gathering. In adult life, there are few opportunities for gift giving, but housewarmings are the perfect opportunity to solicit gifts from your friends. Whether it’s a bottle of wine or a new serving dish or even just the company, nothing says home sweet home like a housewarming.

We finally hosted our housewarming this weekend, only three months after we moved in, oops! Better late than never? I opted to dish up some tasty bruschetta as a quick bite for our party goers. Since our party was several hours long, I did not toast the baguette
for fear of it becoming rock hard before being eaten. But on a normal day, buttery toasted baguette is the way I go!

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ingredients:
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic, Minced
5 Roma Tomatoes, Chopped
1/2 Yellow Onion, Chopped
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
16 whole Basil Leaves, sliced in ribbons
Salt And Pepper To Taste (don’t Oversalt!)
1 French Baguette
8 Tablespoons Butter

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directions:
Over medium heat, sauté garlic in olive oil until golden brown. Set aside and allow to cool. Add tomatoes, onion, balsamic vinegar, basil, salt and pepper. Combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Slice the french baguette diagonally. Melt half the butter in a large skillet and grill half the bread on both sides, until golden brown. Repeat with the second half of bread.

Spoon tomato mixture over the slices of bread.