Baked Tortellini Casserole

Baked Tortellini Casserole

I remember cooking this back in 2013, wow feels like a lifetime ago! I made this for my husband, Kenny, when we first met! I’ve kept the recipe hidden in my recipe book and finally decided to make it again, not sure why it took me so long. But anywaysss.. This is a comfort food, and a food every family member or house guest will LOVE! Cook up & enjoy 
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Servings: 8

Equipment

  • 1 13×9 Casserole Dish
  • 1 Large Deep Skillet

Ingredients

  • 1 Lb Ground beef or Ground Turkey
  • 20 Oz Tortellini (I use spinach and ricotta tortellini)
  • 28 Oz Stewed Tomatoes Canned
  • 8 Oz Tomato Sauce Canned
  • 4-5 Galric Cloves Fresh, Smashed
  • 1 Yellow Onion Small
  • 5 Oz Baby Spinach (About 2 handfuls)
  • 1 Zucchini Medium
  • 2 Cups Shredded Mozerella
  • 1 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Basil Dried
  • Parmesan Garnish

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  • Oil up or spray glass pan. Set aside.
  • Add oil to large skillet on stove on medium heat. Chop yellow onion, and garlic cloves (take your whole cloves of garlic and smash them then chop chunky) ad dthem to your large skillet and sauté. About 3-5 mins after, add in your zucchini and let cook for 5 mins. Once aromatic add in beef or turkey and season with salt, pepper, and chili powder.
  • Once beef/turkey is cooked through -drain any liquid/extra oil if too much is in the pot. You don’t want mixture to be super runny. Then stir in stewed tomatoes and tomato sauce.
  • Stir in uncooked fresh tortellini, baby spinach and 1 ½ cup mozzarella. Continue to stir for about 5 minutes.
  • Transfer all to casserole dish and sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese on top and dried basil. Cover tightly with foil and place in oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. It should be bubbly when done. You can also broil for the last 3-5 mins for crispy top! Let cool. Add parmesan on top, serve & enjoy!

Holiday Mulled Wine

Crock pot Mulled Wine

Holiday Mulled Wine

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Course: Drinks
Servings: 10

Equipment

  • 1 Crock Pot

Ingredients

  • 1 Package Crown Mulling Spices™ (Spices specifically include: Sugar, Clove, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Lemon and Orange.)
  • 1 Bottle Red Wine (Cherry flavored)
  • 4 Cups Cranberry Juice
  • 2 Cups Apple Juice
  • 1 Orange Sliced
  • 6 Oz Cranberries Fresh
  • 2 Whole Cinnamon Sticks
  • 2-3 shots Bourbon (ex. Knob creek, Maker's Mark, Buffalo Trace…) Optional

Instructions

  • Add your bottle of wine, seasoning mix, cranberry juice, apple juice, orange slices, cranberries, cinnamon sticks and shots of bourbon to your crock pot. Mix together. Cook on low for 4 hours. Do not let boil, check/ stir every hour.

Your Own Mulling Spice Mix:

  • To make your own mulling spices: 1/4 cup Allspice, 1/4 cup Cloves (whole) 1/4 cup Granulated Sugar, 2 TBSP Nutmeg, 1 TBSP Cinnamon, 1/3 cup dried orange peel, 1/3 cup dried lemon zest. Mix well.

Homemade Garlic Bread w/ Oven Roasted Garlic

Homemade Garlic Bread

Homemade Garlic Bread made with Oven Roasted Garlic
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Servings: 10
Cost: $10

Ingredients

  • 1 Loaf of Italian or French Bread
  • 1 stick Unsalted Butter room temperature
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan
  • 1 tbsp Chives Fresh
  • 1 tbsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Salt

Oven Roasted Garlic

  • 2-3 whole heads Garlic
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil Extra Virgin
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°
  • Using a sharp knife, cut the tops of the garlic heads about 1/4 inch
  • Drizzle your olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper on top
  • Wrap them up in foil and place in baking pan- put in oven for 35-40 mins
  • While the garlic is roasting, make your spread. In a small bowl add your room temp butter (I even microwave for about 10 seconds to get it to a liquid base) add chives, oregano, black pepper and salt. Set aside.
  • After garlic is done, squeeze the garlic in the mixture and mash up and stir all together. Garlic will be hot- use gloves or wait a few minutes to cool.

Assembling Bread

  • Keep oven on at 400°. Opening your bread, cut in half. Brush your spread on to the bread.
  • Sprinkle parmesan and fresh chives on top.
  • Place on baking sheet and put in oven for 10-12 minutes. Enjoy!

Butternut Squash w/ Brown Butter and Sage

Ingredients:

  • 9 oz Butternut Squash Ravioli
  • 1/4 lb. Fresh Spinach
  • 1/4 Cup Almonds or Walnuts
  • 5 tbsp Butter, unsalted
  • 2 tbsp Sage, fresh, and 2 fully leaves
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 2 TBSP Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil (about 6 cups). Once boiling add in your raviolis and cook until tender. Follow instructions of ravioli packaging as they can differ on size. Once cooked, reserve 1/4 of the water and drain the raviolis in a colander, set aside.

Mince your garlic and chop your nuts (almonds or walnuts), set aside.

Add the butter to a large skillet and melt it over low to medium heat, continue stirring. When butter becomes bubbly/sizzle (about 2-3 minutes) and in your garlic and chopped nuts. Stir until everything is browned, about 3-5 minutes. Reduce heat to simmer and add in the sage.

Once that is all mixed together, add in your spinach and the 1/4 cup reserved water. Spinach should be wilted, add salt and pepper. (About 2 tsp of each)

Add in your cooked raviolis. (At this point all ingredients should be together in the large skillets.) Mix and add your parmesan cheese. Taste, and add salt/pepper to your liking.

When serving garnish with parmesan and basil.

Enjoy 🙂

Homemade Bone Broth (Turkey Carcass)

  • 4 quarts water
  • Turkey Carcass
  • 2 carrots, large
  • 2 celery stalk, can add leaves for flavor
  • 1 yellow onion, with skin on for color
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 5-6 peppercorns
  • tsp salt

Directions:

Remove as much meat as possible from bone (to help reduce fat)

Chop carrots, celery and onion in to large chunks.

Place bones in large stock pot and add 4 quarts water over.

Add all chopped veggies in right after water. Turn heat to medium/high.

Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer for 1-2 hours.

Put broth in mesh strainer to get clear broth and discard all bones. Sine the veggies will be very soft- you can use veggies for a puree if you’d like or just toss with the bones.

Let cool and skim any excess fat. (We actually left in fridge overnight and did this the next day.)

We used the bone broth to make a barley veggies soup and will post that recipe soon!

But with bone broth you can: make a soup (ramen especially mmm), freeze it for later, or even drink it straight up! I drink chicken bone broth almost every morning! It definitely brings a lot of health benefits. I always make sure mine is warmed up (I definitely cannot drink it cold.)

Enjoy!

Cranberry Pumpkin Pancakes

For this recipe I used Trader Joes Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancake mix and put my little spin on it.

Ingredients :

For the pancake mix you will need the following ingredients:

  • Trader Joes Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancake mix
  • 1 Cup pancake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 Cup plus 2 TBSP water
  • 2 TBSP unsalted butter, melted

For the cranberry filling you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 Cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1 Cup granulated sugar
  • 1 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 1/2 Cup water (if you don’t want it as thick add more water)
  • 2 TBSP fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1TSP cinnamon
  • 1/2 TSP nutmeg
  • 1/2 TSP ground cloves

Directions:

In a medium saucepan add butter, let melt. Then over medium heat add cranberries, water, lemon juice, sugar, and spices. Stir occasionally to prevent burning (sugar can stick). Cover and reduce to low heat. Continue to stir and muddle every 2-3 mins. Leave on low heat for about 10 mins or until mixture is thickened. You want to muddle to crush cranberries as they soften.

Remove from heat and let sit to cool. Once it is cool and if you want filling to be smoother you can then add it to a blender.

Now for your pancake mixture! You are going to follow the instructions on the pancake mix box. All I do differently is once the mixture is on your skillet drizzle your cranberry mix on top of your un-cooked batter.

Once plated, drizzle more cranberry mixture and maple syrup.

Enjoy 🙂

Lentil & White Bean Veggie Crockpot Soup

It is officially crockpot season! Which means I will be focusing on all things soup, stews and even trying something new by making some crockpot beverages/ciders! I recently went to the beautiful Smoky Mountains and was very inspired after a wine tour we did! They made the most delicious hot spiced wine and I cannot wait to make it for our friends and family! And cannot wait to post that recipe once I make it!

As we were leaving our trip I was craving soup- minestrone soup to be exact. But with this I wanted to hold off on the noodles and add in lentils instead. So that is exactly what I did! I have to admit- I don’t have the best experience with cooking with lentils so I did take the easy route and bought Trader Joes Steamed Lentils. All I had to do was puncture 3 small whole in the packaging – threw it in the microwave for about 3 minutes and then added them to the crock pot with about 45 minutes left to go. I will keep trying with lentils in the future and hopefully one day be able to use them without turning to premade! Anyways, enjoy this cozy hearty soup!

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 Lb. Lentils (About 8 oz)
  • 15.5 oz can of Cannellini Beans (Drained)
  • 15.5 oz Diced Tomatoes
  • 6 oz Tomato Paste
  • 1 Zucchini, medium
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • 2 Carrots, large
  • 1 Cup Sliced Mushrooms (I used Baby Bellas)
  • Baby Spinach
  • 1 White Onion, medium
  • 2 Stems of Green Onion (Scallion)
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic
  • 32 oz Chicken Bone Broth
  • 4 Cups water
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • about 5-6 stems of Parsley, fresh

For Seasonings I eye ball a lot! This recipe I tried keeping track! You can definitely adjust and add more as you go to get the perfect taste you enjoy!

  • 1 TBSP Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 TBSP Oregano, dried
  • 1 TSP Garlic Powder
  • 1 TSP Black Pepper
  • 1 TSP Salt
Few of the ingredients I used

Directions:

Per usual, if you have used any of my other recipes then you know first thing first: CHOP YOUR VEGGIES! It is honestly so nice to just have everything chopped so when you are ready to use and throw in they are already prepped and ready to go!

Chop your zucchini, red bell pepper, carrots, white onion, green onions, garlic and parsley. Set aside.

Pour your 32 oz Chicken Bone Broth and 4 cups water into your crock pot (remember, if you want more broth you can add another cup or two of water but you will want to tweak/add more seasoning as well.)

Add all ingredients, including seasonings- except baby spinach. Stir.

Cook on low for 5-6 hours

The last 45 minutes I added the Trader Joes Steamed Lentils as stated above. Add spinach and cook for the last 15 minutes.

Serve, add fresh parsley for garnish.

How To Cook Hard Boiled Eggs

So yes, this blog is on “HoW tO CoOk HaRd BoILeD eGgS”… Seems so simple, but it took me an embarrassing lengthy amount of time to figure this one out. It literally came down to science for me to fully understand how that egg gets perfect in that hot hot water- (once again, embarrassing I KNOW! Don’t judge…)

But anyways… I want to leave this here so if anybody is struggling with how to cook the perfect hard boiled egg- it’s here.

First tip: Try using eggs that have been sitting in your fridge for about a week or two. They peel easier when they are older. I also use large eggs, if you use a different size you might need to adjust your timing by a minute or so.

Tip 2: Peel them cold! The shell comes right off (or does when I do this!) Trying to peel them at hot or room temp will keep the whites adhered to the shell -ya want them bad boys COLD. Best is when you soak them in a cold bath and pop them in the fridge for an hour or so before peeling.

Directions:

Place your large eggs in a medium saucepan and fill with water about an inch over your eggs. Turn your burner to medium/high heat and wait for a rolling boil.

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Once it comes to a full boil turn heat off and cover your eggs. Now this is where it can be tricky. I like my eggs Medium boiled so I let them sit in the covered pot for 6 minutes. If you want a soft boil they should sit for about 3-4 minutes. If you want a hard boiled 7-8 minutes. I prefer mine medium because I like my yolk a bit more moist but not too soft!

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After the time is up, place your eggs in a large bowl filled with cold water, let sit for about a minute or two. The first pour will turn warm so dump out and refill one more time with ice and water. Let sit in fridge for an hour before peeling. Hope this was helpful 🙂 ! Enjoy <3

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