Creamy Carrot and Parm Pasta

Creamy Carrot and Parm Pasta www.bellalimento.com

Did you know it’s possible to have a creamy pasta without actually adding any cream? I know the thought of a cream less cream sauce doesn’t seem possible but it really is. This very veggie sauce is going to blow your taste buds right out of the water. At first glance you might think this pasta looks like a version of a tasty macaroni and cheese. You’d be wrong. IF however, you’d like to let your kids think it’s macaroni and cheese instead of telling them it’s actually creamy CARROT and parm sauce go right ahead. I may or may not have led my kids to believe it was as well. Shhh.

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Ricottta Cheesecake

Italian Cheesecake www.bellalimento.com

Go ahead and get a pencil and paper ready to jot down this ingredient list because you are going to want to make this. I’ve made no less than a dozen of these cheesecakes since December. It probably has a lot to do with why I’m on the treadmill everyday but we’re not going to talk about that. Next to Tiramisu, cheesecake reigns supreme on my dessert list. I just can’t turn a slice down and I’ve tried. While I like all kinds of cheesecake, ricotta cheesecake wins the gold every single time in the cheesecake Olympics. Yes I’m having Olympic withdrawals and I also now believe I can snowboard. If you knew how insanely clumsy I am you’d laugh at the thought.

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Grilled Asparagus with Toasted Pecans and Shaved Parmesan

Grilled Asparagus with Pecans and Parmesan

Asparagus is one of my most favorite vegetables. Not the mushy ones that come in a can mind you, we’re talking fresh asparagus here. I love it every which way and up.  Roasted, shaved, sauteed, pureed and absolutely grilled. It’s a quick, easy and effortless side dish that goes with just about anything you’d like to serve.  Honestly I’m totally okay with eating it as a meal I love it that much but that’s just me. I’m cooky like that.

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Homemade Baking Mix

Homemade Baking Mix www.bellalimento.com

Looking for a baking mix that you can use to make pancakes, waffles, muffins, biscuits and more with? One that doesn’t come in a box with a lot of ingredients that you can’t pronounce let alone know what they mean without the expert help of google (but don’t google medical conditions it will scare the bleep bleep bleep out of you just trust me, apparently I have many incurable diseases – gasp)? We have a homemade version that dare I say tastes better than any boxed version (in my opinion of course). After lots of testing and tweaking over the years we have a homemade version that we can’t be without. It takes literally 5 minutes tops to mix up and then you simply store it in the refrigerator so it’s ready to go when you are. Time saving, delicious and budget friendly. What more can you ask for? Well besides having someone make it for you.

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Go Coo Coo for Osso Buco

Osso Bucco www.bellalimento.com

 If you want comfort food it doesn’t get much better than Osso Buco. In fact, I’m kinda Coo Coo for Osso Buco. If you’ve never heard of Osso Buco, it is a Milanese specialty of braised veal shanks. It translates to Bone (osso) with a Hole (buco) so clearly we’re going to continue to call it Osso Buco because everything sounds better in Italian.  Once you’ve had this low and slow stunner you’re going to want more, and if for some reason you’re so full you can’t finish your portion I’m happy to finish yours. I’m a giver, what can I say.

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Penne with Tomatoes and Olives

Penne with Tomatoes and Olives www.bellalimento.com

If we’re all completely honest with each other, dinner can be daunting sometimes. Yes, even for those of us who cook for a living. So it’s nice to have an arsenal of quick and easy meals that we can look to when all we really want to do is put some cereal and milk on the table and call it a night. What does quick and easy look like to me? It’s typically a dish that takes 30 minutes or less (top to bottom) and consists of a just a handful of ingredients that I’m more than likely to already have in my pantry.

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Seared Scallops with Creamy Bacon Vinaigrette

Seared Scallops with Creamy Bacon Vinaigrette www.bellalimento.com

It’s almost Valentine’s Day. You know what that means…Bacon! What, bacon didn’t come to your mind first? Pfft. Bacon always comes to my mind. Bacon makes everything better. It’s the truth. Including seared scallops. We’ve drizzled those golden goodies with a warm creamy bacon vinaigrette and topped them off with a bacon crumble. Yeah. It’s good stuff. Really really good stuff. I wish I had some eloquent string of adjectives to dazzle you with but truth is these don’t need some fancy schmancy intro. They’re just really really good.

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Potato and Mushroom Lasagna

Potato and Mushroom Lasagna www.bellalimento.com

If you didn’t read the title of this post and only saw the photo, would you be surprised to know that isn’t pasta between the layers of mushrooms? That it is potatoes. Yes, potatoes. Meticulously hand cut potatoes that appear to be pasta. Making this dish, gluten free, grain free and vegetarian. Before you faint, don’t worry. No flavor was sacrificed at all, there’s plenty of butter in there. One thing I always have on hand in my pantry are potatoes. Do you know how many dishes you can make with potatoes? A LOT (yes that’s a technical term). Last year I had the opportunity to fly to Idaho where I had a chance to visit potato fields, meet potato farmers (good folks), ride a very large horse on the side of a mountain and somehow managed not to fall off and yes taste potatoes prepared more ways than you can shake a stick at. Good thing I love potatoes.

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Ricotta Pancakes with Blueberry Compote

Ricotta Pancakes with Blueberry Compote www.bellalimento.com

This post is brought to you by the US Highbush Blueberry Council.

Pancakes are a big deal in our house. My kids beg ask for them just about every day. To keep my sanity, we’ve started to make a big batch of our scratch mix and keep it in the fridge so it’s super easy to whip up. Add a little milk an egg and boom you’re done. That’s the basic version. Basic is good but sometimes you want a little something something extra right? Like ricotta and blueberries. How can that be bad? It can’t.

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Whipped Cream Hearts

Whipped Cream Hearts www.bellalimento.com

My kids absolutely LOVE anything they can put marshmallows in. S’mores, their mouths, nutella sandwiches (yes it’s a thing, you should try that), hot chocolate, you name it. We had planned on making homemade marshmallows during the snowpocalypse but there seems to be a shortage of unflavored gelatin in my town. We hit several stores and at all of them the shelves were wiped out. What’s a Mom to do when she’s promised marshmallows? Make whipped cream “marshmallows” of course. Yes you read correctly. Whipped Cream Marshmallows. Guess what? They’re WAY easier than traditional marshmallows and the kids can make them themselves. Who’s a Mom rockstar now? We are.

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Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta www.bellalimento.com

It’s only when I make homemade pasta that I realize how much I miss making it and should do it more often. I never ever cease to be amazed at how flour and eggs can transform into pasta right before my eyes (and yes no box required). We’ve already shared BEET PASTA and SPINACH PASTA now we’re spicing it up a wee bit and we’re kneading up Roasted Red Pepper Pasta. Now you could use jarred roasted red peppers BUT if you’re going to take the time to make your own pasta why not char fresh red bell peppers yourself. It’s not hard and you’ll have the added benefit of scaring your children who think you’re about to serve them burnt food. 

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Blood Orange Mimosa

Blood Orange Mimosa www.bellalimento.com

Two things I absolutely adore are bubbly drinks and metal ware serving pieces. I have a large collection of metal ware pieces and they’re not for show. No sir. I actually USE them and often. I don’t believe in having things to sit on a shelf and look pretty. I want things I can enjoy and use without having to worry something is going to happen to them. Metal Ware you don’t have to worry about. Well except if you drop it on your foot and that hurts. Don’t ask me how I know. Sigh. 

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Brown Sugar Citrus Glazed Salmon

Brown Sugar Citrus Glazed Salmon www.bellalimento.com

It’s blood orange season and I’m jumping up and down shaking my jazz hands with excitement. Okay not at this very moment, because really who can jump and type (with accuracy) at the same time. Not me. Have I mentioned I’m incredibly clumsy? There’s something about blood oranges. From their smell to their gorgeous color to the incredible tart flavor. And the fact that you can only get your hands on them for a very limited time is honestly appealing. I take it as a challenge to use as much as possible before they fade to black until next year. So far we’re off to a good start with this brown sugar blood orange glaze.

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Teriyaki Chicken Bowls

Chicken Teriyaki Bowl www.bellalimento.comI was compensated by Tyson Foods to produce this post.

Rice bowls are only second to (bowls of) pasta for me. Like pasta, I could eat rice bowls every. single. day. Not to mention, anytime I can use a pair of chopsticks I’m in. Sushi anyone? I do have a confession, I’m awful at making rice. It’s my food kryptonite and is exactly why I have an amazing rice cooker that handles that for me. Let’s just say I know my strengths and weaknesses and it was high time I moved on. IF you happen to have a rice cooker you can have this beautiful bowl of saucy goodness on the table in 20 minutes.

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Super Saucy Baked Chicken Wings

Super Saucy Baked Wings www.bellalimento.comThis post brought to you by Manwich. All opinions are 100% mine.

I’ve not met many people who don’t enjoy a good chicken wing (or drumette). The only thing I don’t enjoy about wings is the hot mess that inevitably comes with it. Honestly though my craving for those wonderful wings wins out every time and I just grab some (okay a lot) of extra napkins. 

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Eggs in Purgatory

Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce www.bellalimento.com

Poached eggs. You should really get into them. More specifically you should get into poached eggs in tomato sauce. It is going to be your new favorite breakfast or brunch dish. Or late night snack or whenever. It’s so simple but satisfying. Complete comfort food. I’m talking eyes rolling in your head good.  It’s called Uova al Purgatorio in Italian. That translates to eggs in H-E double hockey stick. I suppose it could be because they’re bubbling away in flame-y (or maybe just simmering, okay it’s really just simmering but flame-y sounds more exciting) tomato sauce. Or because it’s got a slight kick in the pants to it. Whatever the reason they’re ridiculous and you should make them.

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Steamed Salmon with Prosciutto

Steamed Salmon with Prosciutto www.bellalimento.com

I’m so in love with the steam assist technology feature on my KitchenAid range. I’ve been blowing off steam for months now and not just vegetables mind you. You can steam everything from cheesecake (which I will be sharing with you SOON and trust me you’re going to want to make that one) to fish (at different times of course because clearly who would want to eat fish and cheesecake at the same time right?). The steam assist technology feature is such a smarty pants it takes ALL the guess work out of figuring out what temperature to steam at or for how long.Because honestly the only time I want to rack my brain with math is if I’m figuring out the % off a shoe sale or when I’m tallying up invoices. Then I’m suddenly a math whiz. Truth.

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Bring on Brunch

Brunch Food Collage www.bellalimento.comThis post brought to you by Starbucks. Opinions are my own.

Brunch is the perfect easy entertaining scenario. I like brunch because there’s not as much pressure as there would be say hosting a dinner party. Plus there’s COFFEE, lots and lots of COFFEE. Something everyone who knows me knows I’m very passionate about. With the hustle and bustle of the holidays behind us now is actually the perfect time to host a casual brunch for friends and family. To catch up, chat about this and that and consume copious amounts of coffee and culinary creations. That’s exactly what I did last weekend.

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Cooking with Kids

www.bellalimento.com

Sometimes it isn’t WHAT you’re making in the kitchen that’s important – its that you’re in there with your family and friends MAKING memories that you will treasure for a lifetime. Now that’s important. Cooking shouldn’t be a scary process. Just get in there and have fun. So what IF you burn dinner (it happens to all of us). You have a laugh, make a sandwich or go out for dinner. Well unless it’s $25 lb diver scallops and then it’s okay to shed a few tears. But let’s not talk about that. Cooking isn’t rocket science (thank goodness because that I’m NO good at). Nobody starts out being an excellent cook. Being good at cooking is like being good at anything else. Practice makes perfect, at least with this kind of practice you get a snack.

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Panettone French Toast

Panettone French Toast www.bellalimento.com

I am one of those people that absolutely ADORES Panettone. I look forward to it EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR. I stock up when I see those gorgeous boxes adorning the stores starting in July. Okay not really July but Christmas comes earlier and earlier each year and it seems like July when they start putting everything out to me. None-the-less. Hooray for Panettone. I believe it’s in the fruit cake camp. You either love it or loathe it. Fruit cake I strongly dislike (Sorry Grandma. Sorry Mom) Panettone on the other hand I’m for. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.  Did I mention how much I like it?

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