Thursday, February 23, 2017

No Boil Slow Cooker Loaded Pasta

For the past year I have owned a food truck with my mom. It has brought all of busy days and nights! The only way I have been able to stay on top of dinner for my family is by meal planning every Sunday night, followed by Walmart groceries To Go pick up every Monday morning, and lots of slow cooker meals! 

I always have a hard time finding a variety of slow cooker meals! Ones that don't have cream of chicken or something like that and that my husband can serve my family while I am gone at night without me having to leave a list of instructions to go along with it!

My husband and all 4 of my kids eat pasta with red sauce. And the other thing about this that I am obsessed with is that fact that you can just throw in the pasta without having to cook it beforehand! It is a game changer for us! So here you go! I hope you love it as much as I do!

In a bowl mix together cream cheese, sour cream, and ricotta cheese. 

 Pour half of the spaghetti sauce on the bottom of the slow cooker.

Then layer half of the pasta.

 Then add half of the half of sauce left. 

Then add the 16 ounces of water.

Arrange the meatballs or ground beef.

Take the cream cheese mixture and dollop some around the slow cooker.

Add the remaining pasta.

Then the remaining sauce.

Then turn the slow cooker on low for 4-5 hours.

Top with mozzarella cheese and let melt. And then serve! 

No Boil Slow Cooker Loaded Pasta

1 lb of Italian sausage meatballs (cooked) or 1 lb ground beef cooked
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon parsley
60 ounces spaghetti sauce
16 ounces water
16 ounces of pasta, ziti or cavatappi work great
2 cups mozzarella cheese

In a bowl mix together cream cheese, sour cream, and ricotta cheese. Grab your slow cooker I used a medium size one and it was a little tight next time I will use my bigger one. Pour half of the spaghetti sauce on the bottom of the slow cooker. Then layer half of the pasta. Then add half of the half of sauce left. Then 16 ounces of water. Followed by the meatballs or the ground beef. Take the cream cheese mixture and dollop some around the slow cooker. Add the remaining pasta followed by the sauce. Then turn the slow cooker on low for 4-5 hours. Top with mozzarella cheese and let melt. And then serve! 

post signature

What to Eat to Boost your Brainpower

The guest post is provided by blogger and freelance writer Lisa Griffin. Her lifestyle credo is "We are what we eat".

Brain Food: What to Eat to Boost your Brainpower
The brain is a vital body organ that requires good maintenance and preservation for proper functioning. Statistics have shown that 50% of the people who live up to 80years or more are prone to a brain disease known as Alzheimer’s. As a precaution, it is important to eat (memory boosters) foods that help improve memory to prevent brain degeneration. Your food choices should be a vital thing to maintain good health and the functioning of the brain. Many people always question what foods help with memory, here is a list of foods to eat to boost your brainpower. Quite often, you find yourself unable to focus on an important task or assignment. When you are trying to find some outside help, essay help live chat can be of great assistance, especially when you feel that you need some time to recover. 

1. Eggs
Eggs are rich in choline, which is an essential chemical in neurotransmitters. Eggs also contain cholesterol, which is a brain cell membrane component. It protects the brain by acting as its antioxidant. An adult human being should ensure to consume at least two eggs in a week to boost the brainpower.

2.Pumpkin seeds 
Many people consume the pumpkin flesh and dispose of the seeds not knowing of their vital importance. Pumpkin seeds supply the brain with zinc, which is an essential brain booster mineral and improves thinking skills. These seeds also contain magnesium that relieves brain stress as well as traces serotonin that is a good mood precursor chemical.

3. Broccoli
Vitamin K is an essential brain food known to enhance the cognitive functioning of the brain and improves the brainpower. Broccoli is a primary source of this vitamin hence every individual should consider using it. Broccolis contents are also known to slow the neurotransmitter breakdown that is a vital component of the central nervous system and improves the brain functioning and keeping sharper memories. The acetylcholine chemical in broccoli can help prevent Alzheimer’s.

4. Sage
Sage has an incredible reputation as a memory booster and improvement of the memory concentration. It is an important food for the mind that every person should consider using. Sprinkle sage at the end of cooking to prevent the destruction of its essential oils. 

5. Oily fish
Some of the critical amino acids cannot be manufactured naturally from the body hence must be obtained from the diet. Oily fish provides omega-3 fats in EPA and HAD form. This oil contains the active form of EPA fats essential to the proper functioning of the heart and joints and most importantly the brain. Salmon and sardines are rich sources of these oils. 

6. Blueberries
Research has shown that blueberries consumption can help delay short or long-term memory loss and improve its proper functioning. The berries contain protective compounds known as anthocyanin, which helps boost a sharper memory. The advantage with the blueberries is that they are widely and locally available. A variety of red and purple fruits and some vegetables also contain this necessary chemical. Blueberries can also be a key ingredient of delicious brainpower boosting smoothies.

7. Consume tomatoes in plenty
Evidence from a long time research has shown that tomatoes contain a powerful antioxidant known as lycopene. Lycopeneprotects the brain cells against radical damage, which is known to occur during dementia development leading to Alzheimer’s. Reasonably cooked tomatoes and a little olive oil will help in absorption and efficacy optimization. Since tomatoes are readily available in most places worldwide, you should consider incorporating them into your daily diet to ensure nurturing your brain and improvement of its functions. 

8. Turmeric
Most spices are considered to be of less nutritional value, but turmeric is exceptional in this case. It is a renowned root that has been used over the years for medical purposes. It contains a chemical known as curcumin a natural and powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Turmeric is also an antioxidant that maintains a healthy immune system and improves the oxygen intake by the brain. It ensures a sharp memory in the communication process. It is a great spice and food for the brain.

9. Walnuts
It sounds downright funny when someone jokingly says, “Eat walnuts if you don’t want to go nuts”. To the knowledgeable people, this statement is true to a great extent. Nuts contain high levels of antioxidant, vitamins, and essential minerals that improve one’s mental alertness. Vitamin E in these nuts specifically helps prevent against Alzheimer’s and maintains your general health.

10. Beef Bone Broth delicacy
Bone broth is the ultimate solution for your brain problems. This old food has incredible health benefits due to its high levels of collagen that are known to improve the memory and the immune system. It is due to this fact that most doctors prescribe bone broth to people with mental problems.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The best Lemon recipes

The citrus in Arizona is amazing right now! They are all ready to come off the tree and be used up before it starts to get hot. Lemons are a citrus that I love to incorporate in different ways. I feel like lemon can be used in a variety of ways in a variety of dishes. The options are endless. So here are a few ways to use up those lemons!

Lemon Bars by Made It. Ate It. Loved It.

Lemon Berry Push Pops by: Made It. Ate It. Loved It.

Lemon Zucchini Bread by: Made It. Ate It. Loved It.

Front porch lemonade by Made It. Ate It. Loved It.

Lemon Whipped Cream by Five Heart Home

Asian Lemon Chicken by Eazy Peazy Mealz

Lemon Broccoli Pasta by: The Food Charlatan

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread by Cooking Classy

Lemon Blueberry Scones by Sally's Baking Addiction

Lemon 'Swig' Sugar Cookies by The Recipe Critic

Honey Lemon Chicken by Gimme Some Oven

post signature

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Churro Waffles

My family loves amusement parks! We spend most of our vacations at these type of places! A favorite treat is always the churro! All the way from my husband down to my baby sucking on churros before she even has teeth. We all love them. So of course these churro waffles were a huge hit in our home. Use them for breakfast, lunch, dinner or even top them with ice cream and caramel for dessert! 

Churro Waffles 

3 cups Krusteaz Belgian Waffle Mix
1 1/3 cups water
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil
½ cup butter, melted
1 cup white sugar
½ cup ground cinnamon
Whipped cream

post signature

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Sausage and Spinach Pesto Baked Ziti

Pasta is made almost weekly in our home. I am always trying to mix up the ways that I serve it. Over the holiday break I made a lot of my baked ziti. It is a favorite of everyone but I was wanting to mix it up a little bit! I had bought some pesto for a spread on BLT's for dinner and spinach for a romaine/spinach mix for my favorite Loaded Italian Salad. I try to use my weekly groceries as best as possible so I added the extra pesto and extra spinach that I had and created this little gem. 
My 8 year old son's best friend was over and decided to stay for dinner with us. I told him that I wasn't sure if he would like it or not but he ate it right up! And so did all 4 of my children! One of my sons did have to pick out the spinach, but hey at least he ate everything else! 

Sausage and Spinach Pesto Baked Ziti

10 ounces ziti 
1 pound of ground sausage
1/2 cup onion, diced (I like to use frozen onions)
2 Tablespoons minced garlic
2 (14.5 ounce) cans of diced Italian tomatoes
1/4 cup pesto
3 handfuls of spinach (about 3 cups)
2 cups (8 ounces) of grated mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
olive oil
garlic salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook ziti pasta according to back of package. Rinse with cold water while you strain and then drizzle some olive oil and garlic salt on the noodles. While the ziti is cooking cook the sausage,onions and minced garlic. Cook through and then add the diced tomatoes. Simmer for 10 minutes and then sir in the pesto. Season with salt and pepper however much you would like. Grab a large bowl and add the cooked ziti. Top with the sauce mixture. Add the spinach and mozzarella cheese. Mix together well. Grab a 9x13 pan and lightly oil. Pour in the pasta mixture. Top with parmesan cheese. Cover with tin foil. Bake for 20 minutes covered when you remove sauce should be bubbling, then remove the tin foil and bake for 10 more minutes uncovered or until cheese is melted. 

post signature

Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Treats

With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays I always make sure to slow down for a couple of days through out the month to create a few holiday treats with my family. Since my children are all young and love to be involved in the kitchen I always have to mix in a few treats just for them! These reindeer marshmallows are one of them! Along with the donut snowmen below. 

And here are a few other of my favorite things to make through out the holidays. All links to the posts are with the photos! Hope you enjoy them all as much as my family does! 

Chocolate Chunk Peppermint Pie

These Raspberry Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies always remind me of my mom and baking in the kitchen during the holidays! They are a favorite of hers!

In Arizona you have to throw in these Peppermint Frozen Hot Chocolates some days to get the taste of the holiday without the hot drink.

These apple turnovers are another treat that remind me of my family. In particularly my mom and aunt. They both make the most delicious apple turnovers and these little things are definitely a labor of love and on my list of my top 5 favorite treats!

Overnight cinnamon rolls make their appearance in our home almost every single holiday! I have made them multiple times this month and they are always something that is requested my others for me to make! They are easy, melt in your mouth and quite delicious!

Homemade Oreos are unbelievable!! Throw in a chocolate and a peppermint marshmallow and these things are on a whole new level. I have made a lot of these for my neighbors and friends!

These Peppermint Oreo Chocolate Chip Cookies were on repeat last year! I could not get enough of them! 

post signature