“Three Rules of Work: 1) Out of clutter find simplicity; 2) From discord find harmony; 3) In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” ~ Albert Einstein

Yes, I know.

This is my 3rd skillet meal in a row.

But OH MY GOSH they are easy.  I thought the crock pot was easy.  This is like insta-crockpot. Granted, I like anything with pasta, so I’m pretty much sold there but when you add in quick, flavorful and in one pan. Shoot, what’s not to like??

Sweet Apple Sausage Pasta

(adapted from Iowa Girl Eats)

  • 8 oz. short cut pasta (reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water)
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot or 1 small onion, chopped
  • 12oz Sweet-Apple Chicken Sausage, sliced
  • 1 sweet apple (about 1 cup), chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch red chili pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • 15oz can Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 6oz spinach
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese

Cook pasta until al dente.

Heat olive oil over med high heat and brown sausage and onion in large non-stick skillet.  Add apple, garlic and seasoning and cook until apple is tender.

Then add in chicken broth, beans and spinach and warm/stir until spinach is wilted.

Pour in the sausage/apple mixture into pasta and add reserved little to get your desired consistency.

Serve topped with Parmesan cheese.

photo-13Ok, I told a little fib earlier – this took 2 pots but it was totally worth it!!! The flavors in this are totally different but totally amazing. I LOVED it!!!

-abp

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“You are the Pop to my Tart!” ~ unknown

This recipe should be fun if anything!

It’s not my typical type dessert to make but in keeping with my theme of finding new simple recipes to try, I thought I would give it a whirl!!

It was the colors of the dessert that first caught my eye when perusing through my blog emails this morning and it is from one of my favorite blogs – Plain Chicken.

It says you can play around with the flavors but I since it was the colors that first grabbed my attention – I thought I would stick with the ones she used.

I just hate that I have to wait at least 12 hours for it to set up.  The new age of instant gratification is obviously rearing its ugly head!  I want it now! 😉

(Listed below is the full recipe – I halved it because I did not need 10-12 servings)

Pop Tart Eclair Cake

(adapted from Plain Chicken)

  • 3 boxes Red Velvet Pop Tarts
  • 2 (3 1/4-ounce) boxes cheesecake instant pudding
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 (8-ounce) container Cool Whip, thawed

Prepare a 9 x 13 dish by spraying with cooking spray.

Mix together pudding and milk in a bowl with an electric hand mixer.  Fold in cool whip.

Layer one box of Pop Tarts in the prepared pan. Then layer 1/2 the pudidng mixture.

Top with another box of Pop Tarts and layer second half of the pudding mixture.

Finish with the last box of Pop Tarts, frosting side up.

Refridgerate for at least 12 hours before serving.

photo-12Ok, it’s not the prettiest dessert by any means but it tasted great!!!

You could probably crumble the pop tarts and layer them with the pudding in a large trifle or individual trifles to make a better presentation.

-abp

“The countdown to success always starts when you make up your mind to take one step forward.” ~ unknown

Let the countdown begin!

We have around two weeks left until we get to see our sweet bundle of joy!!

This also means my husband has about 1 week or so left of me cooking at home for a while. 🙂

So when I ran across this recipe on Lindsay’s blog – Normal Cooking – I knew I must make it for him because one – it’s simple and two – it has Italian sausage in it and he loves Italian sausage.

This is his favorite Italian sausage:

photo-11

Italian Pasta Skillet

(adapted from Normal Cooking)

  • 12 oz Italian sausage, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic and Oregano, undrained
  • 1 can (8 oz) Tomato Sauce
  • 1-1/4 cups hot water
  • 8 ounces pasta of your choice
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian Seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 pkg (6 oz) baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown sausage in a non stick skillet.

Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, seasoning and pasta. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally.

Stir in spinach until it wilts. Stir in cheese until melted.

Serve with more cheese sprinkled on top

photo-10He really loved it and I’m glad because it was so very easy to make!

-abp

“What Romantic terminology called genius or talent or inspiration is nothing other than finding the right road empirically, following one’s nose, taking shortcuts.” ~ Italo Calvino

I love Chicken Piccata!

It is a very light meal that has a punch of big flavor. It’s not a hard meal to make but it’s not the quickest to throw together either. So when I was on my usual daily quest for new time saving recipes I came across this recipe – Chicken Piccata Skillet Pasta and I thought – how can that be bad?!? It combines one of my favorite meals with pasta and in one pan!

You should know I must be taking this “my life is about to really change” to heart because I used to would have never considered using pre-cooked chicken but I did this time and let me tell you – I will do it again!

Chicken Piccata Skillet Pasta

(adapted from Plain Chicken)

  • 12 oz cooked, chopped chicken ( I used the pre-cooked bags of Tyson grilled chicken you find in the refrigerated section)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp dried minced onion
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 8 oz pasta
  • 3-4 Tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese

In 12-inch skillet, combine chicken, pasta, onion, garlic, heavy cream, lemon juice, chicken broth and pasta. Bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat.

Simmer for 15-18 minutes, until pasta is tender. Stir in capers and parmesan cheese. Cook over low heat about 5 minutes.

image-1

So, so easy but oh so good!

-abp

“Trips to the dentist – I like to postpone that kind of thing.” ~ Johnny Depp

I better enjoy the last few weeks of my pregnancy and my newly found sweet tooth!!

Because once she gets here – someone is going to have to pull that sweet tooth!!

I’ve always been a fan of sweets but I would usually rather have a second helping of the savory dish at hand and pass on dessert.

Not anymore.

I had whipped up these Graham Cracker Toffee Bars last Saturday to go with the Vegetable Beef Soup and I ate my one (good-sized) bowl, pushed it aside and stuck my hand into the plate of Toffee Bars.

6 times.

Yep, I ate six, without even moving from my chair.

I know I’m having unusual cravings but seriously folks – they are THAT good!

Graham Cracker Toffee Bars

  • 24 Graham Crackers
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350º.

Line a baking pan with parchment paper (you will need 2 or 1 if you half the recipe like I did) and lay out graham crackers

In a sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter and sugar, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil – careful not to scorch. Stir in pecans.

Pour melted butter/sugar over crackers and bake for 10 minutes.

Remove and sprinkle with chocolate chips.

Allow to cool completely and the break apart.

photo-8You can thank me later!

-abp