Tuesday Tots ~ Pasta Salad Pickups

Pastaforbab

1 bag of tri-color pasta

1 C chopped fresh broccoli

1/4 C sliced black olives

1/2 C baby Carrots, julienne

1/2 C zucchini, sliced thin

1/2 red onion, sliced very thin

2 T olive oil

Black pepper and lemon juice (low-fat salad dressing of your choose)

Boil pasta until it is al dente. Sauté broccoli, carrots, zucchini in olive oil until crisp yet tender. Drain & rinse pasta. Combine pasta and vegetables in large bowl, and add parmesan cheese to lightly coat. Add black pepper and lemon juice if you wish. Serve warm or cold. Easy for little fingers to pick up!

Foodie Friday ~ Creamy Alfredo Pasta

creampastasauce

1 (16 ounce) package mostaccioli pasta (or elbow pasta, if desired)

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

Combine heavy cream and butter in a Dutch oven or large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Heat until butter melts, stirring occasionally; be careful not to bring mixture to a boil. Stir in Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Toss with cooked pasta and serve immediately.

Foodie Friday ~ Pesto Chicken Florentine

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into strips

pestopastachicken

2 cups fresh spinach leaves

1 (4.5 ounce) package dry Alfredo sauce mix

2 tablespoons pesto

1 (8 ounce) package dry penne pasta

1 tablespoon grated Romano cheese

Directions

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic, saute for 1 minute; then add chicken and cook for 7 to 8 minutes on each side. When chicken is close to being cooked through (no longer pink inside), add spinach and saute all together for 3 to 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare Alfredo sauce according to package directions. When finished, stir in 2 tablespoons pesto; set aside.

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Rinse under cold water and drain.

Add chicken/spinach mixture to pasta, then stir in pesto/Alfredo sauce. Mix well, top with cheese and serve.

Foodie Friday ~ Easy Alfredo Sauce Pasta

alfredopastasauce

1/4 cup butter

1 cup heavy cream

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. Add cream and simmer for 5 minutes, then add garlic and cheese and whisk quickly, heating through. Stir in parsley and serve.

Thursday Crafts For Kids ~ Pasta Pictures For Toddlers

PastaPic

What You’ll Need:

pasta

strong wood glue

cardboard or gift box

Activity:

There are so many great ways to get your pasta working for you!

Animal cut out – let your child draw a large animal or similar on the cardboard.

Help them to cut it out and then squirt or paint glue all over the cut out.

Position the pasta on the glue before it dries.

Name plate – write your child’s name in large block letters on the cardboard, help your child to cut this out and then cover with glue.

Position the pasta to cover it completely before it dries.

Draw and fill in – encourage your child to draw something that will be fun to fill in with pasta shapes.

For example – a huge race track or a big pond with surrounding plants and flowers.

Next position the pasta to cover it completely before it dries.

Foodie Friday ~ Delicious Vegetable Lasagna

lasagna

1 (16 ounce) package lasagna noodles

1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced

3/4 cup chopped green bell pepper

3/4 cup chopped onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 (26 ounce) jars pasta sauce

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 (15 ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese

4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

2 eggs

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Cook the lasagna noodles in a large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes, or until al dente. Rinse with cold water, and drain.

In a large saucepan, cook and stir mushrooms, green peppers, onion, and garlic in oil. Stir in pasta sauce and basil; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes.

Mix together ricotta, 2 cups mozzarella cheese, and eggs.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread 1 cup tomato sauce into the bottom of a greased 9×13 inch baking dish. Layer 1/2 each, lasagna noodles, ricotta mix, sauce, and Parmesan cheese. Repeat layering, and top with remaining 2 cups mozzarella cheese.

Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Foodie Friday ~ Macaroni & Cheese Goodness

knok_homeswap_comfortfood

1 (16 ounce) package elbow macaroni

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon white pepper

3 cups milk

1 pinch ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

1 tablespoon butter, melted

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the macaroni, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is cooked through but still slightly firm, about 8 minutes. Drain well.

Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When the butter starts to foam and bubble, stir in the flour; cook on medium heat until flour just begins to turn pale yellow, 3 to 4 minutes. Add thyme, cayenne pepper, and white pepper; cook and stir another minute, then whisk in 1 cup of milk until smooth. Pour in remaining milk and whisk again. Bring the sauce just to a simmer.

Stir in nutmeg, Worcestershire sauce, and salt; simmer on medium-low heat until thickened, about 8 minutes, whisking often. Turn heat off, then add 2 1/4 cups of Cheddar cheese; stir until melted and combined. Add Dijon mustard.

Transfer the macaroni into a casserole dish, then pour in the cheese sauce; stir to thoroughly combine sauce with pasta. Mix panko bread crumbs and 1 tablespoon melted butter in a small bowl, and sprinkle crumbs on top of macaroni and cheese. Sprinkle remaining 3/4 cup of Cheddar cheese on top.

Bake in the preheated oven until bread crumbs and Cheddar cheese topping are golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Foodie Friday ~ Amish Macaroni Salad

pic1mOhLO

2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni

3 hard-cooked eggs, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

3 stalks celery, chopped

1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

2 tablespoons dill pickle relish

2 cups creamy salad dressing (e.g. Miracle Whip)

3 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard

3/4 cup white sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons white vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon celery seed

Directions

Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add macaroni, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender. Drain, and set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, stir together the eggs, onion, celery, red pepper, and relish. In a small bowl, stir together the salad dressing, mustard, white sugar, vinegar, salt and celery seed. Pour over the vegetables, and stir in macaroni until well blended. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour before serving.

Foodie Friday ~ Lime-Shrimp Avocado Pasta

lime-shrimp-avocado-pasta-salad

2 pounds uncooked shrimp – peeled, deveined, and chopped

1/4 cup lime juice

1 (16 ounce) package uncooked cellentani (corkscrew) pasta

4 avocados – peeled, pitted and diced

1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered

1 large red onion, chopped

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup lime juice

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon dry mustard

salt and ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

Marinate shrimp overnight with 1/4 cup lime juice in a large bowl covered with plastic wrap. Drain shrimp.

Heat shrimp in a microwave-safe bowl until they are bright pink on the outside, about 6 minutes. Allow shrimp to cool.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook cellentani in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until cooked through but firm to the bite, 12 minutes. Drain, then rinse with cold water until cool.

Mix shrimp, pasta, avocados, grape tomatoes, red onion, and cilantro in a bowl.

Whisk olive oil, 1/4 cup lime juice, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, salt, and black pepper in a bowl until dressing is well mixed.

Pour dressing over shrimp mixture; toss to coat. Chill before serving.

Foodie Friday ~ Lemon Garlic Caprese Pasta Salad

pasta with asparagus

1 pound mezze (short) penne pasta

1 bunch fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into thirds

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons butter

2 teaspoons lemon juice, or more to taste

1/2 large shallot, minced

2 large cloves garlic, minced

1 large grilled chicken breast, sliced thinly and halved (optional)

1 roma (plum) tomato, diced

8 leaves fresh basil, torn

Directions

Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a boil. Stir in penne and return to a boil. Cook pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cooked through but still firm to the bite, about 11 minutes; drain.

Place asparagus into a saucepan, add a little water, and place over medium heat; cover pan and let asparagus steam until bright green and tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain.

Heat olive oil with butter and lemon juice in a large saucepan over medium-low heat until butter melts; cook and stir shallot in hot oil and butter mixture until it just begins to soften, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir garlic into shallot mixture and cook until shallot and garlic are opaque, 3 more minutes. Stir asparagus and chicken into mixture; cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Toss pasta with chicken and vegetables to combine; mix tomato and basil into salad and serve warm.