Monday, November 30, 2015

Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo

This delicious pasta dish comes from Damn Delicious, and it sure is! I love pasta, my kids love pasta, the whole family loves pasta, even my hips love pasta….but we won’t go there. ;-)

What did I change in this? The original had cream and goat cheese. I decided I could just use milk, and I switched out the goat cheese for feta. I didn’t have any goat cheese, and even if I had, I probably would have paid too much for it, and one goal I have at TMMF is to present really good recipes for the average family who doesn’t have a heck of a lot to spend.

That’s not to say I don’t ever use something expensive in my recipes; I’m just choosy about what I will pay more money for. Most of the time you can switch some ingredients out for something less expensive and still have a fantastic dish.

So, let’s get cooking!

Set a large pot of water to boil for the linguine. When the pasta is cooked al dente, drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

And while that’s happening on a back burner, dice the onion and mince the garlic.

In a large skillet, sauté the onion and garlic in the oil a few minutes until tender.

Add the milk, feta cheese, and parmesan cheese, stirring with a whisk. Cook over medium heat about 4-5 minutes.

Throw in the drained roasted red peppers. Well okay, no sense in making a mess. You know as well as I do you’ll be the one that has to clean it up. “Place” the drained roasted red peppers, ever so delicately, into the sauce which is in the skillet. Better? ;-)

Now you need to puree the sauce. If you have a handy dandy immersion blender, like I do, you’re way ahead of the game. If you don’t, well then you’re SOL, sorry-outta-luck. Kidding, KIDDING!

If you must be so difficult as to not have an immersion blender, find yourself a regular blender, puree it, then transfer it back into the skillet.

Now add the drained linguine to the sauce and mix in, cooking just a couple of minutes to heat the pasta. And you’re done!

Enjoy! ~TMMF

Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo

12 oz linguine
2 Tbl oil
1 med onion
2 cloves garlic
1 c milk
4 oz feta cheese
½ c parmesan cheese
1 14 oz can diced
   roasted red peppers, drained

Friday, November 27, 2015

Brownie Protein Truffles

The holidays are upon us, and with all the parties, gatherings, and special occasions, most of us are going to be cooking and baking like nobody’s business. This recipe is not only easy and fun to make with the kids, it’s also a healthy snack for a holiday to-do amongst all the fat-laden, empty calorie goodies out there.

This no-bake recipe is from Busy But Healthy, and it’s pretty adaptable to suit your family’s dietary needs. It uses whey protein powder, but soy protein powder stands in perfectly fine. The nuts and dried fruit possibilities are endless with this one, and make for some interesting combinations.

My daughter and I used peanuts, almonds, cashews, raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries, peanut butter chips, and chocolate chips. In order to make this an affordable recipe for our family, we purchased a 5 oz package of Great Value Dried Mixed Berries for $2.98. It had cranberries, cherries, and blueberries. We also bought an 8 oz can of mixed nuts for $2.00. If you’ve ever looked at the bags of individual dried fruits, and the selection of nuts, you know how expensive they are. Doing it this way gave us a variety of fruits and nuts, saved us money, and gave us plenty left over for other recipes.

The kids loved this snack, and I just know you will too.

So, let’s get "cooking!"

Pick out a variety of nuts, dried fruits, chocolate chips, coconut, seeds, and seasonal cookie/cake decorations. Chop the nuts and larger dried fruits. My Chief Assistant, my daughter Megan, loved helping with this. She wanted to do all of the nuts, but then I wouldn’t have had much to do!

Mix together the dough for the truffles. It starts out looking like it’ll be too dry, but have faith, it does come together. ;-)

Scoop out using a 1 ¾ oz scoop.

We scooped a bunch out onto our cutting boards, then rolled them. We then took the balls of dough and rolled them into nuts or pressed dried fruits or chocolate chips into them, then rolled them into nuts.

Some combinations we made: cherry chocolate chip, cherry almond, and raisins and peanuts (like a Chunky candy  bar). Others we rolled in plain cashews or peanuts, and peanut butter chips. Oh, and we rolled some in assorted Christmas jimmies and sprinkles.

Place on parchment paper on a sheet pan. Store in a container in the fridge. If they make it that long. ;-)

Enjoy! ~TMMF

Brownie Protein Truffles
    (makes about 30)

1 c whey protein, chocolate
1/2 c baking cocoa
1 c natural peanut butter
1/2 c honey
2 Tbl milk

Nuts, dried fruits, coconut, chocolate chips, jimmies, seeds

Each unadorned Truffle has approx.: Calories: 49, Fat: 2.7 g, Saturated fat: 0.5 g, Carbs: 5 g, Sugar: 0.3 g, Sodium: 12 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 4 g.

Check out for some other healthy snacks and recipes for this holiday season, including vegan and gluten free.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

One Pan Enchilada Pasta

One pan, cheese, and Mexican to boot? I’m in! This great recipe comes from No. 2 Pencil. For veggies, it only had ½ a small onion, and you just know I’d up that somehow. I used more onion and added in green bell pepper. I could have added diced carrots or zucchini, which would have gone well in it, but I didn't have any on hand. I also threw in a can of black beans and some red pepper flakes, and left out the 2 Tbl oil. It didn‘t need that extra fat and served no purpose. It came our awesome!

So, let’s get cooking!

Dice the onion and green pepper, and mince the garlic.

In a large skillet, sauté the ground turkey, onions, peppers, and minced garlic with the packet of taco seasoning.

When thoroughly cooked, add the chicken broth, enchilada sauce, red pepper flakes, pasta, and drained, rinsed black beans. Bring to a boil on high heat, then turn heat down and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.

While that's cooking, slice the scallions and black olives, if you're using them.

Uncover and cook an additional five minutes. Stir in 1 c of the Colby jack cheese, then top with the rest of the cheese and the scallions and black olives. Um, I may or may not have thrown in a big handful of shredded mozzarella cheese, too….. ;-)

Serve and watch the smiles. Enjoy! ~TMMF

One Pan Enchilada Pasta

1 lb ground turkey
1 sm onion
1 sm green bell pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 pkt taco seasoning
½ tsp red pepper flakes
1 19 oz can enchilada sauce
2 c chicken broth
8 oz rotini
2 c shredded Colby jack cheese
1 can black beans
scallions and black olives (optional)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Spicy Southern Chicken Spaghetti

Okay, this is a recipe from Delightful-Delicious-Delovely. I’ve heard of Chicken Spaghetti, but I had never made it before now. I was attracted to this particular recipe because it has cheese, diced tomatoes with green chilies, and more cheese. The only changes I made were to use a little less pasta and a little more cumin, use cream of celery soup instead of cream of chicken, and I used regular bread crumbs instead of Panko. This recipe is oh-so-good! I’m sure you’ll like it too!

So, let’s get cooking!

Get a pot of water boiling to cook the spaghetti. When done, drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.

While that’s happening, sauté the chicken breast in a tiny amount of oil in a skillet. I sliced it up to make it cook faster. When it’s done, set it aside on a plate to cool.

And in the meantime, cube the Velveeta.

In the same skillet (don’t clean it out), mix together the cream of celery soup, milk, sriracha sauce, cumin, pepper, and salt with a whisk. Add the Velveeta and cook over medium heat to melt and blend.

While the cheese is melting, cube the cooked chicken breast into ½ inch pieces.

Add the cubed chicken and the can of diced tomatoes and chilies and heat through.

Turn the heat off and add the mozzarella cheese, melting it. Mix in the spaghetti. A set of tongs made it easier to do. Turn the whole mess into a greased 11X15 baking dish.

In a bowl, melt the butter and add in the bread crumbs, mixing together with a fork. Sprinkle over the casserole. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. And it’s done! Look at the cheesy yumminess bubbling up!

Enjoy! ~TMMF

Spicy Southern Chicken Spaghetti

12 oz pasta
1 lb chicken breast
1 can cream of celery soup
1 c milk
12 oz Velveeta
1-2 Tbl sriracha sauce
1 tsp cumin
¾ tsp pepper
½ tsp salt
1 10 oz can diced tomatoes & chilies
1 c shredded mozzarella
1 c bread crumbs
2 Tbl butter

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

One Pot Wonder Southwest Pasta

I love One Pot recipes, whether you throw it all in and just cook, or you use the same one pot or pan several times for the recipe. This one is from The Wholesome Dish, and since I love anything remotely Mexicanny, I had to try it. It came out soupier than many of the One Pot pasta recipes I’ve made, but that’s not a bad thing. I *love* soup, and this was SO good that my daughter Megan and I ate leftovers for breakfast the next day. Yup, we’re weird like that. ;-)

The only changes I made to this recipe was adding some chicken breast and a couple cloves of garlic. You know how I love garlic, and it keeps me safe from vampires, too. ;-)

So, let’s get cooking!

First cut the veggies. Slice the pepper and onion into strips about an inch long. Mince the garlic.

Measure out the two cups of frozen corn. Or if you’re like me and froze a huge bag of it without thinking, use a butter knife and hammer to hack off 2 cups of frozen corn. ;-)

Place the peppers, onions, tomatoes, corn, garlic, and pasta in a large pot.

Cut the chicken breast into cubes. This recipe would be fine without the chicken too, but I have a little carnivore named Timmy who asks for meat all the time. ;-)

Add the cubed chicken to the pot, along with the taco seasoning, oil, and broth.

Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to simmer, covered, for about 12-15 minutes.

Drain and rinse the black beans and add to the pasta mixture along with the cheese. Mix in until heated through, and serve it up.

Enjoy! ~TMMF

One Pot Wonder Southwest Pasta

1 green bell pepper
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes & chilies
14 oz pasta
1 chicken breast (optional)
1 packet taco seasoning
2 tsp oil
4 c chicken broth
1 15 oz can black beans
1 c fiesta blend shredded cheese

Monday, November 9, 2015

Salted Caramel Candy Corn Bark

This recipe comes from I Heart Naptime. It could have been made for Halloween, but also during the Fall, especially with Thanksgiving coming up, it could be a nice treat to set out for gatherings. Since I always try to make recipes more affordable for the average family, I switched some ingredients out for others that were still suitable and yet cost less.

The original recipe called for a 16 oz bag of white Candiquik coating, which was $3.74, so I substituted a 12 oz bag of Wilton’s white candy melts, which was $2.47. The difference in weight didn’t matter; the price per ounce was still less for the Wilton’s and I had plenty of them left for another recipe, making it even more thrifty.

Also, the recipe called for an 11 oz bag of Kraft caramel bits, which were $2.86, so I bought an 11 oz bag of Kraft caramels for $2.00. They were individually wrapped, but get the kids cooking with you. Even a toddler can sit and unwrap them to help.

The original recipe also called for a bag of M&Ms candy corn, which are white chocolate inside. I purchased a bag of M&Ms that were all yellow, orange, and brown and used those instead. I wanted the chocolate flavor because it would go well with the caramel. Doing it my way saved $2.13, and I had plenty of the candy melts and M&Ms left for another recipe I made, plus leftover caramels and the rest of the pretzels for the kids.

So, let’s get cooking!

Put parchment paper on a sheet pan. Line up the waffle pretzels. Melt the Kraft caramels in a saucepan on low heat, stirring frequently to help melt and prevent burning.

Spread the melted caramel over the pretzels.

While the caramel is cooling on that, use a double boiler to melt the candy melts. I just rigged up two pots that could go together with enough space in between and added some water to the bottom pot.

Spread the melted white chocolate over the caramel. I did half and then my lovely daughter Megan helped me press the M&Ms into the melted chocolate. This is another fun step for the kids, a great job for little hands.

I did half at a time because I didn’t want the melted chocolate setting up too firmly for the M&Ms to press in. Let it cool completely and cut with a knife to break up into pieces.

And you’re done! Enjoy! ~TMMF

Salted Caramel Candy Corn Bark

1 bag waffle pretzels
1 11 oz bag Kraft caramels
1 12 oz bag Wilton candy melts, white
1 bag M&Ms, Fall colors

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Philly Cheese Steak Casserole

So…..we meet again…. ;-) This is another of my original recipes that had been rolling around in my head for a while until I finally made it. It was delicious the first time and equally as heavenly the second time when I tweaked and perfected it. One thing you can count on with me is that I will not release a recipe on TMMF until I’m satisfied with it. Sometimes that can mean making it twice, or sometimes it can mean making it four or five times.

With this recipe, I was trying to create a casserole based on the all-time favorite Philly Cheese Steak sub. I wanted it to be loaded with delicious peppers and onions, have a creamy, cheesy sauce, and be easy to make. While this recipe does take a little more time than most of the ones I share, they are all easy steps, and the best part: you use ONE pan to do all the prep work! That means one pan to clean. You are welcome. ;-)

So, let’s get cooking!

Set a pot of water to boil for the pasta and when it’s done, drain.

Meanwhile, sauté the frozen shaved steak in a large skillet until cooked through, stirring and separating as necessary. When done, set aside in a bowl.

And while those two things are working out on the stove, mince the garlic. Slice the onions by cutting the onion in half, then place it cut side down, and slice. Cut the slices into thirds: simply hold the sliced half onion together and make 3 quick cuts.

Slice the peppers and then cut each slice into thirds or halves, depending on how long they are. What you want is pieces about an inch long. I loved using red, orange, and yellow bell peppers for this to make the color really stand out.

Now, in the same skillet you cooked the steak in, sauté the onions, peppers, and minced garlic. No need to clean it, just go ahead and use it. If you have some grease left from the steak, great. If not, use the 1 Tbl of oil. Only cook the veggies until al dente, about 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Set aside in a bowl when done.

And in the same pan, pour in the cream of mushroom soup and milk, mixing thoroughly. Cook on medium heat to help blend. Add the salt and pepper, then the cream cheese, cut into chunks, whisking frequently to melt and blend in.

While that’s cooking, you can place the pasta in a large baking pan, and add the cooked veggies.

Mix in the cooked shaved steak.

Turn the heat off for the sauce, and whisk in the mozzarella until thoroughly melted. You just know this is going to be good, don’t you?

Mix the sauce into the pasta mixture in the baking dish.

Next, in the same skillet, which you will wipe out easily with a paper towel, melt the butter and add the panko bread crumbs, browning. If you want to do it quicker, turn the heat up higher, but don’t walk away, and stir continuously. If you step away, they can burn *very* easily.

Place the round slices of provolone cheese on top of the casserole. There were ten slices (I think, haha) in the package I bought, so I laid four end to end on each side, then cut the last two to fill in the middle.

Top with the browned panko crumbs.

Bake in a 350° oven for 30 minutes. Omgoodness, can you see how bubbly and yummy it looks?? And when you dish it up, look at the cheesy strings from the mozzarella!

Now, serve and listen to the moans of gastric delight. Enjoy! ~TMMF

Philly Cheese Steak Casserole

See the sauciness and the colorful veggies?
12 oz rotini
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
   (or a combo of red, yellow, etc)
1 Vidalia onion
1 lg clove garlic
1 14 oz pk frozen shaved steak
1 Tbl oil
1 10 ¾ oz can cream of mushroom soup
2 soup cans milk
8 oz cream cheese
1 c mozzarella
1 8 oz pk provolone cheese
1 tsp salt
¾ tsp black pepper
1 Tbl butter
1 c Panko bread crumbs

Monday, November 2, 2015

My Ham & Black Bean Soup

This soup is so easy to make, and such a good hearty meal for a cold rainy night. It’s very easy, and I just threw it together one night, putting in whatever I thought would go good together. The result was a hit that we also had for lunch the next day. Then there was no more, and we were sad. But it’s quick and easy, so I can make it again! ;-)

So, let’s get cooking!

First dice the onion and celery, and mince the garlic.

Peel and slice the carrots.

In a large pot, sauté the onion, celery, and minced garlic in the oil until tender.

Add the beef broth, liquid smoke, and carrots. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes or so, until carrots are cooked.

Cut the ham into chunks. Drain and rinse the black beans.

Add the ham and beans to the soup, heating through about ten minutes.

See how quick and easy that was??

Enjoy! ~TMMF

My Ham & Black Bean Soup

1 Vidalia onion
2 stalks celery
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbl oil
6 carrots
4 c beef broth
2 tsp liquid smoke
3 15 oz cans black beans
1 lb ham