Picnic Pasta Salad

All summer long I’ve been looking for the time to take a day trip to Dallas with my teens to have a picnic and see the history.  One thing or another always comes up. I hope we can get it scheduled in before school starts. My daughter is in color guard so she will be busy even before school soon. This little recipe will go along with us on our picnic. It’s a Picnic Pasta Salad which is super easy to stuff off into a jar and enjoy on the go. 

Picnic Pasta Salad - Mooshu Jenne #picnic #foodelicious

What I enjoy about picnic’s when it’s not 100 degree outside is the simplicity of the food. It can be leftovers from a big barbecue or fresh made sandwiches. My favorite picnic food is Italian pressed sandwiches paired with a good pasta salad. It’s easy to pack. Just wrap the sandwich in parchment and baker’s twine and put your pasta in any jar including recycled jars. We like to reuse pesto jars for pasta salad. The jar show here I bought at Dollar Tree for spices and it ended up being too large. I use them for everything now though. I like to keep left packets of mayo, ketchup, mustard or whatever you get from food places in a plastic baggy in the fridge. I use them for picnics and on the go food. 

Picnic Pasta Salad - Mooshu Jenne #picnic #foodelicious

Do you have a favorite picnic recipe? If so, I would love to hear about it below in the comments. One link is welcome!

Picnic Pasta Salad
Serves 6
A salad laced with broccoli, red onions, and roma tomatoes topped over pasta and viva Italian dressing.
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Prep Time
1 hr 30 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
1 hr 40 min
Prep Time
1 hr 30 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
1 hr 40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 bag of garden rotini pasta
  2. 4 roma tomatoes; small diced
  3. 1 red onion; small diced
  4. 1 crown of broccoli; chopped finely
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. 1 teaspoon pepper
  7. 1 bottle of Kraft Viva Italian dressing
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Cook pasta as directed on package. Drain pasta let cook for 10 minutes. Pour into a large bowl. Place bowl in freezer for 45 minutes.
  2. Diced tomatoes, onions, and broccoli. Place in medium bowl. Pull out pasta and top with vegetables. Add salt and pepper and fold to incorporate all the vegetables and seasonings. Shake dressing and pour over pasta. Toss until dressing covers pasta well.
  3. Refrigerate for a later time or serve immediately.
Notes
  1. Top with parmesan cheese for extra flavor.
Mooshu Jenne http://mooshujenne.com/
For other great recipes I have listed a few from other great #Foodelicious blogs. This is a recipe Picnic round up! Follow along with hashtag #Foodelicious on social media.

Save More Spend Less with Heidi – Ranch Seafood Rolls 

From Scratch – Creamy Cucumber Salsa 

Feed Me Seymour – Single Serving Lavender Lemonade

Touch of Modern Hospitality - Broccoli Salad

Mrs. Criddle’s Kitchen – Mango Kiwi Salsa

The Baking Fairy – Berry Panna Cotta

Summer Picnic Recipes #Picnic #Foodelicious

Meat Lovers Lasagna & Easter #NewFavorites

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for #CollectiveBias and its advertiser Stouffer’s & New York Texas Toast.

Spring always seems to be that time of year everyone is getting back into gear. It’s like wiping away that winter fog and getting things ready for a busy summer. What I enjoy about Stouffer’s Meat Lovers Lasagna is how easy it is to make for a springtime dinner. Even better when I am on the run trying to pick up eggs and fun decorations for my daughter to pop this in the oven allowing us more time to decorate.  It’s such an easy meal!
Stouffer's Meat Lover's Lasagna with New York Texas Toast for Spring Dinner #NewFavorites #CollectiveBias #shop via MooshuJenne.com

I love when she can shop herself and just run into Walmart and grab what I send to her on her phone. Generally, her and one of her brother’s will run in and grab a pasta dinner and Texas Toast for the perfect pairing. 

Stouffer's Meat Lover's Lasagna with New York Texas Toast for Spring Dinner #NewFavorites #CollectiveBias #shopYou can just hop on over to the next aisle and pick up your toast. It’s usually a 15 minutes store run. Easy dinner that’s done in less than 30 minutes without all the work. I enjoy that she can make it and I can prepare eggs and the stuff to decorate them.

Stouffer's Meat Lover's Lasagna with New York Texas Toast for Spring Dinner #NewFavorites #CollectiveBias #shopDo you have a go to meal or easy meal that you make when trying to have fun decorating for Easter? What plans do you usually have for Easter. We generally always try to make eggs in plenty of different styles. I think this year I would like to try eggs drawn on with markers. 

Stouffer's Meat Lover's Lasagna with New York Texas Toast for Spring Dinner #NewFavorites #CollectiveBias #shopLasagna is always a meal I think you need more of and really a little bit for each person goes such an absolute long way. This is the family size and it really is enough to feed all six of us with the Texas Toast on the side of course ;) 

Meat Lovers Lasagna and Texas Toast
Serves 6
Meat lovers lasagna with Texas Toast
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 package Stouffer's Meat Lovers Lasagna Family Size
  2. 1 box New York Texas Toast
Instructions
  1. Cook Stouffer's lasagna for 9 minutes on high in the microwave and then cook at 50% power for 20 minutes. For Texas Toast just cook as directed on the box. Serve while coloring eggs!
Mooshu Jenne http://mooshujenne.com/

 

Red Pepper Fusilli & Feed South Africa

Leftovers are a huge portion of lunches in our home. It’s a way not to create food waste and also have a healthy lunch. This Red Pepper Fusilli is perfect for that. The sauce really taste so much better the next day because it sticks to the pasta. We are lucky for the leftover lunches we get to have. Too many children go without lunch all over the world every day. Sometimes my kids don’t take their own lunch which upsets me because we always try to keep something for them to take. What is more upsetting is when I think of a child that doesn’t have the option for lunch at all. Picture a child walking to school hungry, unable to concentrate, with a belly ache before the day is over. I just couldn’t imagine this for my teenagers and wouldn’t want that for anyone else’s.

Red Pepper Fusilli | Mooshu Jenne

Lack of food can diminish concentration, erode willpower, and strip away a child’s potential. Compound that with prevalence of HIV/AIDS or the trauma of losing parents and loved ones, without food, a child’s attendance and performance at school is severely jeopardized. I am asking my readers to consider donating to this fundraising campaign that will provide 100 South African school children a daily meal for one year. Just $10 can feed a child their only meal of the day. That’s less than a week’s worth of lattes at Starbucks.

To follow along for more information check out: The Giving Table at Twitter: @thegivingtable / #feedsouthafrica and Facebook: facebook.com/givingtable or The Lunchbox Fund at Twitter: @thelunchboxfund and Facebook: facebook.com/thelunchboxfund.

Red Pepper Fusilli | Mooshu Jenne

Now for the Red Pepper Fusilli recipe which is simple and can be made with very little ingredients for a large family. We made this last night and chowed down on it for lunch today. It takes a tad of work but it is completely worth it. 

Red Pepper Fusilli
Serves 6
Roasted red pepper sauce toss over fusilli pasta.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 small white onion; diced
  2. 3 garlic cloves; minced
  3. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  4. 3 red bell peppers; seeds removed
  5. 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  6. 1/3 cup milk
  7. 1 bag of fusilli pasta
  8. 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  9. 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  10. Salt and pepper
  11. 1/3 cup parmesan; grated, shredded or flaked
Instructions
  1. Cut off tops of red bell peppers and slice in half. Remove ribbing and seeds. Place with flesh side up on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Broil on high for 7 to 10 minutes. Remove peppers from oven and place in a glass or ceramic bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave in bowl covered for 10 minutes. Once the time is up remove skins from peppers.
  2. You may use a food processor or immersion blender to puree the peppers. Add in heavy cream and milk. Puree again with peppers. Set aside.
  3. In a large pot, bring water to a boil and cook fusilli for 10 minutes or according to package directions.
  4. In a saute pan, add in garlic, onions, and olive oil. Cook on low until onions are translucent. Add in pepper mixture and raise heat to medium low. Add in paprika, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper. Cook for about ten minutes until sauce thickens a bit.
  5. Toss sauce over fusilli and garnish with parmesan.
Notes
  1. You may serve this with chicken and parmesan bread.
Mooshu Jenne http://mooshujenne.com/

 

Spaghetti All’Amatriciana

This is one of my simplest meals I love to make for my family on a chilly Autumn evening. The crushed red pepper in this Spaghetti all’ Amatriciana adds a little heat to warm the soul. The origin of the Amatriciana was a recipe named griciaGrici were what the Romans called the sellers of bread and comestibles. According to another source, the name originates from the hamlet of Grisciano, in the comune of Accumoli, near Amatrice. 

spaghetti all amatriciana

Spaghetti All’Amatriciana is generally prepared with guanciale (cured pork cheek) and grated pecorino. Guanciale is not common in the United States. You would have to check at specialty shops to find it and even then it’s difficult to find. It is possible to replace the guanciale with pancetta but you would want a thick cut pancetta if possible. Pecorino cheese can be found at specialty markets like Sprouts or Whole Foods. I use pecorino when I can find it but if not I replace it with a parmesan cheese when in a bind. 

spaghetti all amatriciana

Another name for it is Sugo all’amatriciana and Bucatini all’Amatriciana which is used with a bucatini pasta that is larger then spaghetti and comes with a hole down the center. I’ve had luck finding this at World Market. Though, for an easier way to go you can just do the Spaghetti All’Amatriciana version.

Spaghetti All’Amatriciana

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 8

Spaghetti All’Amatriciana

Ingredients

1 lb (16 oz) spaghetti noodles
2 cloves of garlic; minced
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup pancetta; diced
2 large cans of San Marzano tomatoes; peel whole tomatoes
4 to 6 fresh basil leaves
Salt and pepper
1 to 2 cups Pecorino cheese

Instructions

In a sauce pan add pancetta, garlic and one tablespoon olive oil. Saute until pancetta is cooked.

Fill a large pot with water, one tablespoon olive oil, and salt. Bring to a boil and cook pasta as directed while working on the sauce.

Once pancetta is browned, add the San Marzano tomatoes by crushing them with your hands. Add sauce from can and crushed red pepper. Bring to a low boil. Add basil, salt and pepper.

Drain pasta and reserve a bit of the water with it. Add pasta to a large bowl and toss with sauce adding the sauce in parts. Top with Pecorino cheese and serve.

http://mooshujenne.com/spaghetti-allamatriciana/

My lineage is Italian and I was raised on pasta’s like this. You can take away a lot of foods from me for diet restrictions to lose weight or what not but there is NO way your taking my pasta. I would rather be fat! I love my pasta; it’s like my main diet. Yes, it carbs but RUN it off and you will be just fine. Love my pasta and my bacon. I was vegetarian for a few years due to medical reasons and I have to say I really missed bacon!

Is there a food you could never do with out? I’d love to hear about it. Tell me in the comments below :)

Spooky Noodles With Blood Sauce

Did I mention how much I love Halloween? It might become pretty obvious this week through all the blog posts. Between creating a full on graveyard for my front yard and the mess of a Halloween party we had last weekend it has been a fulfilled Holiday season so far. Last night we had a #fearfeast with these lovely Spooky Noodles with Blood Sauce along with watching The Conjuring.

spooky noodles with blood sauce

Have you seen it yet? It really spooked my daughter. We love to watch scary movies this time of year. I think our all time favorite across the board is Halloween with Michael Myers. My son might argue with Texas Chainsaw.  Halloween has to be just the creepiest of films. What film do you find the to be the scariest? Do you remember those plastic costumes in the 1980’s that tied on in the back and were paired with the plastic mask. Looking back now those had to make Halloween just a bit more creepy!

It’s fun to me to always find new ways to make Halloween fun for the teens and adults. Spooky noodles are an easy way to turn a normal night into a fun fear feast. Also, if you have any leftovers you can always toss them at each other for some gooey fun! It so simple that all you need is some Americolor food coloring, plastic gallon storage bags, and spaghetti sauce for topping. I am not sure how other food coloring would work but I decided on Americolor as it is said to be the best on the market when it comes to gel food coloring.

Spooky Noodles With Blood Sauce

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 6

Spooky Noodles With Blood Sauce

Ingredients

3 drops Super Black Americolor food gel
3 drops Regal Purple Americolor food gel
3 drops Electric Orange Americolor food gel
1 1/2 lbs pre-cooked pasta
Jarred or homemade spaghetti sauce of choice; blood sauce
Plastic gallon storage bags

Instructions

Boil pasta to package directions. Wash off and cool completely. Add 1/3 of pasta to each gallon size storage bag. Put a few drops of purple in one bag, orange in another, and black in the last. Let air out and seal. Toss well until pasta is coated and desired color is reached.

Heat sauce in a sauce pan on low until desire heat is reached. Plate pasta and top with blood sauce (spaghetti sauce). Serve for spooktacular fun!

http://mooshujenne.com/spooky-noodles-blood-sauce/

How are you getting your spook on this Halloween season? Are you having a party, fear feast, or just a bit of trick or treating? We are planning a fright night with food, scares, and trick or treating for Halloween! Now off for dinner, Ghost Adventures, and Haven! I love Friday night TV!

Meatball Stroganoff with Land O’ Lakes #SauteExpress

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client Land O’Lakes.

Some weeks you just really want to do nothing but easy recipes that will fulfill your family. What’s worse is when you are tired of the same foods. I like making classic authentic food as much as the next but sometimes I hack it to make it delicious and easy. This Meatball Stroganoff is easy but gets easier with Land O’Lakes Saute Express Saute Starters. Helps me cut out the garlic and chopping of herbs. Super simple to start a meal off with!

Meatball Stroganoff #SauteExpress

I like to make a plan for the week with recipes that I know I can make or teach the teens to make. It’s great to plan meals for the week as it will help you throw out less produce. Just like tonight’s tortilla soup I made in which I also used the Saute Express Starters in it. Letting nothing go to waste!

Meatball Stroganoff #SauteExpress

Simply melt the starters in a pan and add in mushrooms, onions, and other goodies. The Saute Express Starters are good in soups or saute chicken. I like to just keep a notepad file of the recipes I want to make for the week. This week the plan is to make Czech goulash, Moroccan stew, taco soup, pasta pie, and a few other dishes. Do you have a weekly menu?

Meatball Stroganoff #SauteExpress

These are not only wonderful for sauteing foods they are also delicious on breads. Toast french bread and use it like a spread over the bread before toasting. Super scrumptious! Using #SauteExpress on Twitter or Instagram you can find more recipes featuring different Saute Express Starter flavors. They can easily be picked up in the butter and spreads section at Walmart.  I have a feeling the garlic and herb and the lemon pepper will soon become a staple in my fridge.

Meatball Stroganoff

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 8

Meatball Stroganoff

Ingredients

For Meatballs:
1 lb ground beef
2 cloves garlic; diced
1/2 white onion; diced
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil
For Stroganoff:
1 - 32 oz container beef broth
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 white onion; diced
8 white mushrooms; sliced
4 tablespoons quick mixing flour
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 - 16 oz package of egg noodles
1 teaspoon paprika
Salt and cracked black pepper

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix beef, garlic, onion, parsley, bread crumbs, and milk in a large bowl. In a glass casserole dish add 2 tablespoons olive oil, roll meatballs, and place in dish. Bake for 30 minutes until cooked thoroughly.

In a large pot bowl water for egg noodle per package directions. Drain and set aside.

In a deep skillet, add saute express starters, onions, and mushrooms. Saute for about 2 minutes. Add beef broth, paprika, salt and pepper. Bring to a bowl and simmer for 5 minutes. Add heavy whipping cream and lower to a low boil for about 10 minutes until it starts to thicken. Add quick mixing flour stirring well for no lumps. Cook for another 5 to 7 minutes until the sauce thickens. Add three tablespoons sour cream; stir until well incorporated. Once the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, remove from heat, and serve over egg noodles along with meatballs.

http://mooshujenne.com/meatball-stroganoff-land-o-lakes-sauteexpress/

Chili Chicken & Peanut Noodles #PowerofthePeanut

Lately, I am working to do my best to eat healthier. Snacking generally gets the best of me because I don’t always eat healthy. I would like to speed up my metabolism. Peanuts have the power to help with that. They are a healthy snack that are pack full of nutrients. Science doesn’t lie because it’s made of facts. Just like the video A Gift from Nature explains. Mr. Peanut explains all the nutritional values. Although, it certainly is not always about snacking. Healthy dinners help too! Just like Chili Chicken & Peanut Noodles.

chilichickenandpeanutnoodles1

This allows me not to eat the horrible chicken fried everything that my other half loves. He’s not the biggest fan of Asian or Thai food but I try to edit the recipes to leave out some of the flavors he doesn’t prefer. He likes his beef and fried foods. Not healthy! In my journey to eat healthy, lose some weight, and build muscles I like creating dishes with all around healthy ingredients.

Peanuts have six essentially nutrients like niacin which get all up in you. It’s successful snacking. Niacin helps with skin health. Have you seen anybody do anything worth while without skin? Planter’s peanuts have plenty of options for snacking with different styles of peanuts.

I used Planter’s peanuts in this recipe for a fresh crunchy topping packed with the #PowerofthePeanut. I also used spring onions for a bit of flavor. Do you have the #PowerofthePeanut? I know I do! It’s hard to get rid of those pounds sometimes and the science behind the peanut is pretty powerful. Now to get my other half to believe it. The teens already do! I even influenced a few of the teens friends to try my recipe and they loved it.

chili chicken and peanut noodles

I have to admit that every holiday season I like to stick bowls of Planter’s cocktail peanuts out on the tables rather then fudge or chocolates. Such a better alternative. What do you set out during the holidays?

Chili Chicken & Peanut Noodles #PowerofthePeanut

Total Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: 6 to 8 servings

Chili Chicken & Peanut Noodles #PowerofthePeanut

Ingredients

For Peanut Noodles & Sauce
1/2 to 1 cup chicken broth
5 tablespoons natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon Sriracha chili sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 packages lo mein noodles
For Chili Chicken
5 chicken breast; 1/2 cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
4 garlic cloves; minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger; minced
1/3 cup chicken broth
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Sriracha chili sauce
1 bottle regular chili sauce
Salt and fresh cracked pepper
For Topping
One handful of Planter's cocktail peanuts; chopped
1 bundle of spring onions; sliced

Instructions

In a deep skillet, add in chicken, olive oil, garlic, and ginger. Bring to a high heat. Add in chicken broth and two tablespoons soy sauce. Cook until chicken is browned.

Bring water to a boil in a large pot with one tablespoon soy sauce.

Add apple cider vinegar, Sriracha chili sauce, regular chili sauce, and remaining soy sauce to skillet. Bring to a low boil and then lower to very low simmer for 20 minutes stirring frequently. Add salt and fresh cracker pepper.

Add noodles to water and cook for 4 minutes or as directed on package. In a small bowl, add peanut butter, Sriracha chili sauce, chicken broth, and remaining soy sauce. Heat for one minute and then whisk ingredients together. Add more chicken broth until sauce because light and thin.

Drain noodles and toss sauce over noodles. Chop spring onions and Planter's peanuts to top over chicken and noodles.

http://mooshujenne.com/chili-chicken-peanut-noodles/

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

#ad Country Club Chicken Tortellini #CreateAMeal

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and their client.

Recently, a friend of mine for over 20 years that is a chef cooked my family dinner.  He made a chili with ground chicken and pork sausage mixed together with black beans. My family loved it! I didn’t get a chance to try it because my jaw was infected. This amazed me as every time I tried to feed my family any other ground meat besides beef they usually refuse to eat it. Then I decided to make Country Club Chicken Tortellini. They actually ate it too!

#ad country club chicken tortellini #CreateAMeal

Tyson actually sells ground chicken so you don’t have to have a fancy meat grinder for your Kitchen Aid to get ground chicken. It’s also inexpensive which is a definite plus. I picked it up at Walmart in the chicken section. See my Google + album for my shopping experience!

How to make Country Club Chicken Tortellini

Here is what you will need to make Country Club Chicken Tortellini.

#ad country club chicken tortellini process #CreateAMeal

Dice onion, slice mushrooms, and smash the garlic. Set aside. Sorry, the garlic and tortellini’s didn’t make it into the picture above.

#ad country club chicken tortellini process

Take five or six strips of bacon and slice it into pieces.

#ad bacon

Fry bacon with a bit of olive oil until bacon is cooked. Set bacon aside on a plate and leave bacon grease in the pan. Add ground chicken to bacon grease and fry until chicken is a light golden brown and cooked all the way through. Put on pan of water on to boil for tortellini’s with a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of olive oil.

#ad country club chicken tortellini process

Drain excess grease and place chicken in a bowl on the side. Add tortellini’s to pot and cook per the directions on the package. In the same pan add in one stick of butter, the onion, the mushrooms, and the garlic. Add a pinch of salt. Saute the vegetables until they become tender and butter is melted. Add 1 cup of heavy whipping cream and cook on medium heat until the cream thickens. You will know when the cream is thick as it will stick to the spatula or spoon and not run off easily. Once it thickens add in the parmesan cheese. About 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups of the cheese. Fold in the cheese and remove from heat. Drain the water from the tortellini’s.

#ad country club chicken tortellini process

In a large bowl, combine chicken, tortellini’s, and sauce. Fold the sauce in over the chicken and the tortellini’s. Top it off with crumbled bacon and Italian parsley for garnish.

There you have it! Country Club Chicken Tortellini!

#ad country club chicken tortellini #CreateAMeal

You can follow along with conversation and get more ground chicken recipes at Tyson’s Twitter or with the hashtag #CreateAMeal.

Country Club Chicken Tortellini

Total Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: 4

Country Club Chicken Tortellini

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 lb ground chicken
1 stick of unsalted butter
10 white mushrooms; sliced
1/2 white onion; diced
3 cloves of garlic; minced
1 package of tortellini's
5 slices of bacon
1 to 1 1/2 cups parmesan cheese; grated
Italian parsley for garnish

Instructions

Dice onion, slice mushrooms, and smash the garlic. Set aside. Take five or six strips of bacon and slice it into pieces.

Fry bacon with a bit of olive oil until bacon is cooked. Set bacon aside on a plate and leave bacon grease in the pan. Add ground chicken to bacon grease and fry until chicken is a light golden brown and cooked all the way through. Put on pan of water on to boil for tortellini’s with a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of olive oil.

Drain excess grease and place chicken in a bowl on the side. Add tortellini’s to pot and cook per the directions on the package. In the same pan add in one stick of butter, the onion, the mushrooms, and the garlic. Add a pinch of salt. Saute the vegetables until they become tender and butter is melted. Add 1 cup of heavy whipping cream and cook on medium heat until the cream thickens. You will know when the cream is thick as it will stick to the spatula or spoon and not run off easily. Once it thickens add in the parmesan cheese. About 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups of the cheese. Fold in the cheese and remove from heat. Drain the water from the tortellini’s.

In a large bowl, combine chicken, tortellini’s, and sauce. Fold the sauce in over the chicken and the tortellini’s. Top it off with crumbled bacon and Italian parsley for garnish.

http://mooshujenne.com/ad-country-club-chicken-tortellini-createameal/

 

Chili Mac

With a 16th birthday and house remodeling taking up most of my time I have been absent from the blog for too long. Though luckily during all the remodeling I have been working on smaller projects too like DIY photography boards for my food photography. Plus, a list of recipes, including chili mac, that would look delicious here on the blog. It also helps if the family likes them.

Five people in one house can make it difficult to choose a recipe that everyone will try or enjoys. My oldest son does not like cheese. There is a few dishes that he will eat “certain” cheeses with like mozzarella. On the other hand, my daughter eats cheese but is not the biggest fan. My middle son, myself, and the other half all enjoy plenty of different cheeses. This is just a tiny dilemma since many dishes have cheese but it is super easy to remove it. Below is one dish I have found that the entire family will eat that does not come straight from mixing boxed food with canned food.

Mmm… Good comfort food. Chili Mac!

Chili Mac

 

Hearty meat, fresh spices, and comfort pasta make this dish so appeasing not only to adults but children too. Top it with cheese and onions for even more flavor. My son likes to add sour cream but I like mine with cheese and red onion. For extra heat the other half adds cayenne pepper over his after it is served.

Back to the DIY photography boards. Tell me these boards are not just super pretty? I just love playing with colors and leaving some natural. I am thinking about a post on how to make DIY photography boards with cheap acrylic paint, Elmer’s glue, and plywood. Just curious if any of my readers would be interesting in reading a detailed post about this?

Here’s the recipe for Chili Mac  :)

Chili Mac

Total Time: 45 minutes

Serving Size: 6

Chili Mac

Ingredients

2 lbs ground beef
1 - 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 - 12 oz box of small elbow pasta
1 large white onion; diced
2 California sweet red peppers; seeds removed and diced
1 cup beef broth
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 red onion; diced (optional for topping)
Sharp cheese (optional for topping)
Sour cream (optional for topping)

Instructions

In a medium pot, fill with water and add in salt with olive oil. Bring to a boil and add pasta. Cook pasta according to directions on the box. Drain and set aside.

In a large pot, add ground beef, white onion, and red peppers along with beef broth. Cook until meat is browned. Add in cumin, paprika, chili powder, and cayenne pepper; stir well. Add in crushed tomatoes and turn down the heat to low. Bring the sauce to a slow, low boil and add in pasta. Do not let sauce burn, watch it closely! Stir in pasta lightly until covered with sauce and cook for about a minute allowing the sauce to soak into pasta.

Serve topped with cheese, sour cream, and/or red onions.

http://mooshujenne.com/chili-mac/

 

Roasted Tomato Rotini – Food Bloggers Against Hunger

Today, I am happy to be a part of Food Bloggers Against Hunger and share with you a simple less then $4 recipe for roasted tomato rotini. Before I pass you on to the recipe I would like to share a story with you below.

Here is a bit more on Food Bloggers Against Hunger:

Food Bloggers Against Hunger was created by Nicole from The Giving Table in response to the new documentary, A Place at the Table.  Today, April 8, 2013, food bloggers will donate their posts to raise awareness about the film, issues of hunger, and ask their readers to send letters to Congress to protect SNAP funding and make anti-hunger legislation a priority.

A Place at the Table premiered on March 1st, 2013.  This documentary from Participant Media—the same studio that brought you Food Inc.—follows three families struggling with food insecurity, and sheds light on the very real problem of hunger in America.

Please refresh is video doesn’t pop up :)

Food Bloggers Against Hunger – April 8, 2013 from Nicole Gulotta on Vimeo.

My first child was born when I was 16, two weeks away from my 17th birthday. He was my perfect birthday gift. With plenty of help from my grandmother, I moved on to get my GED and got a decent job alternating schedules with my grandmother; so my son would never have to go to a daycare.  I was a single mom.

Then a few months after giving birth to my son I met Mike. This brilliant full of life individual that I fell passionately in love with at first sight.  Another few months pass and with great surprise I find out I am expecting my second child. Mike was  immediately excited and got a job at a local ice cream joint. After the baby was born I went to work as a photographer. We eventually got our own apartment. We had two incomes but we still didn’t have enough to afford to pay for the food. We decided to go out and look for help, something that most people fear. We got SNAP which then was called Lone Star and we received WIC. Both programs helped with baby food and formula but still did not cover all food costs for the four of us.

At least we both had creative imaginations and a love for food. We shopped sparingly by buying in bulk such as: rice, pasta, and flour. We bought cheap packages of meat at the meat market, in which, we broke down in to small amounts to last the entire month. Ramen was a necessity in our home. The cheapest pasta you could buy and add a tad of chicken and small handful of spring onions creating a delicious dinner to us. We eventually made enough money to support ourselves.

In 2000,  he passed away while I was pregnant with our daughter. I once again needed help with food. Only this time I learned how to make food stretch. That scrapes made great stocks and lemons, grapefruits, and orange peels were easy to make candy out of for the kids.  Luckily, three years later I would meet another man, my V, that would step in to help me with the kids and to follow my dreams. The kids are all now beautiful teenagers and the middle one works in a restaurant. Not everyone can be this lucky.  More then 50 million people are food insecure (no means to have a constant nutritious meal).

To this day I still make some of the recipes we created to save on food costs. Continuously buying bulk foods to stock in the pantry never knowing when we could end up with out money for food. Always playing it safe I bought a deep freeze and I over stock it just like my pantry. These are not bad practices to always make sure if you lose a job or become short on money that you will still have food to last; even in a natural disaster or power outage the food that is needed will be there.

So, how can YOU (and all of us) help?

To follow along you can use hash tag #takeyourplace or join us on FB at The Giving Table’s fan page. To have a look at the delicious low cost recipes you can check out the pinterest board here.

rotini1

 

My recipe that will feed 5 people for under $4 total.

Roasted Tomato Rotini

Roasted Tomato Rotini

Ingredients

1 lb package tri-color rotini or any pasta similar such as Barilla Tri-color Rotini
2 cans fire roasted tomatoes; store brand is just as good.
Salt and pepper
Optional: grated parmesan

Instructions

Fill large pot half full with water. Bring to a boil and add in pasta. Cook for 9 minutes or until pasta is talking to you. Drain most of the water reserving a small amount. Open tomato cans and pour over pasta. Do not drain juice from can as this adds flavor to the pasta.

There is no needs to heat the tomatoes as the hot pasta will warm them for you. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with parmesan if desired.

Side note: Have friends collect anything condiments they get when they go out to eat and do the same yourself. Most of the time this gets thrown away and it is perfectly good to store and use. I keep a ziplock bag of extras we get in case we ever run out of something.

http://mooshujenne.com/roasted-tomato-rotini/