Tags: dinner, pasta, sausage, weeknight dinner
My Weeknight Sausage and Cheesy Vegetable Penne Pasta makes dinner stress-free and delicious!
Pasta is such a great weeknight dinner choice. You can dress it up in so many different ways, which is probably why it makes an appearance a couple times each week in our house. I developed a new pasta recipe for you today that literally only has a few ingredients which makes it so great for weeknight cooking! I had so much fun sitting back and watching my boys devour this pasta recipe.
I am partnering with Green Giant™ Valley Fresh Steamers this month to bring you quick and simple recipes that help you find new alternatives for dinner with your family during the sometimes hectic week.
Be sure to enter Green Giant™ Sweepstake to win a week of free dinners prepared by a professional chef by posting your dinner ideas on your social media pages with the hashtag #ReinventWeeknights
What a difference this bag of cheesy vegetables made to my pasta dish. It added colorful vegetables throughout the pasta with a flavorful cheese sauce that the kids loved. A few minutes in the microwave and it’s ready to use.
I used a mini penne pasta for this recipe, however feel free to use whatever small pasta your family enjoys most.
Add your pasta to browned sausage and give a good stir.
Add your bag of Green Giant™ Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower and Cheese Sauce and dinner is about ready! Stir in a few splashes of milk, garlic salt and freshly ground black pepper then you are ready to go.
Nothing like a hot bowl of flavorful pasta for dinner. The entire family is going to love this one!
Before, I would just whip up pasta with some sausage or ground beef which the kids enjoy but I love that by adding those cheesy vegetables you get a whole new dinner idea that could not be more simple.
This week, I’ll be joining in a Twitter Party with Gina Neely, do you have some questions to ask her? Here are some ideas:
How to save time in the kitchen
How to tackle picky eaters
How to tackle the shopping list
How to reinvent tried-and-true meals
Where to find meal ideas/resources
Weeknight Sausage and Cheesy Vegetable Penne Pasta
Prep time: 10 min | Cook time: 10 min | Total time: 20 min Ingredients
- 1/2 pound dry penne pasta
- 1 pound mild Italian Sausage
- 12 ounce bag Green Giant™ Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower and Cheese Sauce Steamer
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup milk
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Heat a large dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add sausage, cook and stir until browned. Add cooked pasta, reduce heat to low and stir to combine.
- Cook Green Giant™ Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower and Cheese Sauce Steamer according to package directions. Carefully open and add to pasta. Stir to combine then add seasonings and milk. Stir and cook for 5 minutes until hot. Remove from heat and serve.
Makes 8 Servings
This is a sponsored post for Green Giant™ Valley Fresh Steamers however thoughts and opinions are my own.
Tags: chocolate chips, cookies, pecans, pumpkin
Treat yourself to a taste of Fall with my Brown Butter Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies! There’s nothing like pumpkin and chocolate together!
Fall baking is the best time of year isn’t it?! The aromas that come from the kitchen is hard to beat. I am thrilled to be partnering with Fisher Nuts to bring you a new cookie recipe today. It is jam packed with all of my favorite flavors including brown butter, pumpkin and chocolate chips. The whole family will be flocking for these fun cookies!
Fisher Nuts is hosting a Recipe Contest! Be sure to scroll down, the details are below.
Here are the basics you’ll need for the cookies.
Time to beat your brown butter and sugars.
Add your egg, pumpkin, vanilla then dry ingredients.
Time for the Fisher Pecan Halves.
Look at this gorgeous dough!
Time to bake these babies.
Ultra rich pumpkin cookies packed with chocolate chips and pecans. Heaven!
Fisher Nuts is hosting a Recipe Contest! Be sure to enter, check out the details:
Entries can be submitted at www.MyFreshTwist.com from 9/9 to 10/21
Recipes must include pecans, walnuts or almonds and will be judged on their originality, integration of nuts, taste, and visual appeal.
Each submission will be featured on www.myfreshtwist.com where Fisher Fans and their friends and families will be able to vote to select the top ten finalists.
Voting will take place 10/22 through 11/4. Chef Alex Guarnaschelli and a panel of judges will choose the grand prize winner from the finalists.
Grand Prize Winner:
Trip for 2 to NYC including airfare, dinner and accommodations
Meet Chef Alex Guarnaschelli
$100 Visa gift card
Signed copy of Chef Alex Guarnaschelli’s cookbook: Old-School Comfort Food
Brown Butter Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies
Prep time: 10 min | Cook time: 12 min | Total time: 22 min
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (I used Libby’s)
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding mix
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups mini chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup Fisher Nuts Pecan Halves, coarsely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a large baking sheet with a silpat liner or parchment paper.
- Place butter into a small saucepan over medium heat. Let melt and bubble until browned. Remove and let cool for 15 minutes. Place browned butter and sugars into a stand mixer. Beat until well combined. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla, mixing until combined. Add flour, pudding mix, baking soda, salt, mini chips and pecans. Beat until just combined.
- With a cookie scoop, place dough onto prepared baking sheet 1 inch apart. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until baked through. Let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring. Serve. room temperature or chilled.
Makes 2 dozen cookies
Try my simple to prepare Tuscan Broccoli and Cheese Quesadilla this week for dinner!
I am thrilled to share my new quick fix weeknight quesadilla with you today. I know how stressful it is trying to decide what to make for dinner each week when you’ve got a zillion other things to do with your family.
I am partnering with Green Giant™ Valley Fresh Steamers this month to bring you simple to prepare dinner recipes that help you find new alternatives for dinner with your family during the sometimes hectic week.
Be sure to enter Green Giant™ Sweepstake to win a week of free dinners prepared by a professional chef by posting your dinner ideas on your social media pages with the hashtag #ReinventWeeknights.
We really enjoyed this Tuscan Seasoned Broccoli. It paired perfectly inside the crispy quesadilla and the kids even finished the leftover broccoli that wasn’t needed for the quesadillas.
As a child, my mom always prepared our quesadillas on the stovetop so I’ve continued that tradition in our home. You don’t have to heat up the oven and it literally takes a couple minutes each side to cook. I love how crispy it turns out too!
Fold your tortilla over the filled half and let cook on both sides until golden brown and crisp.
Green Giant™ Valley Fresh Steamers come in a variety of of seasoned, sauced or blended vegetables. I love that I can add them so simply to many of my dinners and make a completely new recipe.
How fun are these quesadillas? Broccoli and cheese are a match made in heaven, I love them together in this quesadilla.
Before, I would just whip up a quick cheese quesadilla for the boys and now by adding some Tuscan seasoned broccoli florets, I’ve got a gorgeous new dinner idea. Hope you enjoy!
Tuscan Broccoli and Cheese Quesadilla
Prep time: 10 min | Cook time: 5 min | Total time: 15 min
- 11 ounce Green Giant™ Tuscan Broccoli Seasoned Steamers
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 4 burrito size tortillas
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Heat Green Giant™ Tuscan Broccoli Seasoned Steamers according to package direction. Open bag carefully and with kitchen shears, cut broccoli into smaller pieces to fit inside quesadilla.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Spread butter on one side of each tortilla. Using one tortilla at a time, place buttered side down into skillet. Place 1/4 cup shredded cheese onto one half of tortilla then an even layer of Tuscan Broccoli. Top with another 1/4 cup shredded cheese and with a spatula fold tortilla over filling. Cook until both sides are golden brown and cheese is hot and melted.
- Cut each tortilla in half and serve warm.
Makes 4 Servings, 2 halves each
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Green Giant, however thoughts and opinions are my own.
Thrilled to share the fun we had at Universal Studios Orlando Florida for the Family Forward event!
Last week we took off for the long Labor Day weekend with 2 of our 3 boys (Pax stayed home with grandma) to Orlando! The boys got to sit in the pilot chairs. We were off to a great start!
The boys were over the moon to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios. I could not get over how realistic everything looked! Literally was like walking through the movie. Love this dragon sitting on top of Gringotts Bank
We got to try Butterbeer and Butterbeer ice cream for the first time. Let’s just say we had our fair share during our time in Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, lol!
Another highlight of our trip was getting to prepare a delicious pasta salad with our family and Barilla as part of their Share The Table program! It has been a pleasure partnering with Barilla this year to spread the word that meaningful mealtimes help families feel closer, be healthier and even appreciate each other more.
There was a “Share The Table” photo booth….we took full advantage of being goofy together
Later that night we saw The Blue Man Show Group! Oh my gosh, we loved it. The boys were cracking up the entire show….so was my husband and I. Great for the whole family.
Saturday morning we were greeted by all of the Universal characters and got to walk the red carpet to meet them all. I am obsessed with photos, so this was a dream for me. Hello, it’s Optimus Prime!!
Couldn’t pass up a selfie with a minion, the gang from Simpson’s and of course Sponge Bob. Fun times.
Honeydukes Candy Shop in Hogsmeade was literally a dream. The colors, the candy….everything! Loved shopping through this place.
We heard so much about the giant Simpsons donut that we had to try it for ourselves. It did NOT disappoint!
Cookie Dough Fudge in the middle of Hogsmeade. Love!!
We had a very special night at Give Kids The World. This magical ice cream parlor serves ice cream to it’s guests morning noon and night. What a dream
This was truly a dream weekend with our big boys. We sure missed Pax, but he had fun with grandma while we were gone We hope to make it back to Orlando in the near future. So many fun memories with the family.
This information taken from Share the Table: Benefits of Family Dinner for Parents and Children, a study by Dr. William Doherty.
This Maple Bacon Vegetable Corn Recipe is the perfect side to any main dish!
I am thrilled to be partnering with Progresso today to bring you a perfectly simple side dish that pairs nicely with their Chicken Rice with Vegetable Soup. My family loves to have soup for lunch or dinner all year long. Such a simple and satisfying meal.
I paired some of my favorite ingredients to this corn recipe. I love the sweet and savory flavor combination! You get a hint of pure maple with each bite of corn, vegetables and bacon pieces. The whole family is going to love this one. My boys enjoy the sweetness from the maple syrup and corn along with the salty crunchy bacon pieces. Our 2 year old likes to eat the bright peppers first. A little something for everyone.
Start by sautéing your onion and red bell peppers until slightly softened.
Add your corn and bacon up next.
A nice drizzle of pure maple syrup.
A few pinches of parsley and give a good stir. Let simmer on low until you are ready to serve. Enjoy!
Colorful, sweet and savory. My favorite!
Maple Bacon Vegetable Corn Recipe
Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 15 min | Total time: 30 min
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
- 1 cup finely chopped white onion
- two 15 ounce cans whole kernel sweet corn, drained
- 8 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
- Place butter into large skillet over medium heat to melt. Add red peppers and onions, cooking and stirring until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in corn, bacon, maple syrup, salt, pepper and parsley. Let cook for 5 minutes then reduce heat to simmer until ready to serve. Serve as a side with Progresso Traditional Chicken Rice with Vegetables Soup.
Makes 8 Servings
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Progresso however thoughts and opinions are my own.
Tags: back to school, bacon, baked pasta, cheese, mac and cheese, pretzels
My Skillet Baked Mac and Cheese with Bacon Pretzel Topping is a perfect dinner that everyone will love!
I am thrilled to be partnering with Safeway today to bring you a perfect Summer Entertaining recipe today. I developed a new mac and cheese and can’t say enough about it!
I was given a Safeway Gift Card to shop for all of my ingredients to develop this recipe. Safeway has always been one of my favorite grocery stores. My family grew up visiting their stores throughout our city.
There’s nothing I love more than creating an ultra cheesy mac and cheese recipe. I thought it would be sinfully delicious to add crunchy bacon and a pretzel crumb topping. You are going to love this one!
Safeway is having a great Summer Savings Sweepstakes. They choose 5 winners every day that will each win a $100 store gift card. Enter HERE.
I chose to highlight these two products you can find at Safeway. Tillamook® Medium Cheddar Cheese and Keebler® Town House® Pretzel Thins Oven Baked Crackers for the topping. 2 of my favorites.
I used the Town House Pretzel Thins and crushed them up for the topping with the bacon.
You’ll make a simple cheese sauce that gets added to your cooked pasta.
Add the cheese sauce to your noodles.
Top your mac with more cheese
Add your pretzel topping over the cheese.
Add lots of bacon pieces on top and your ready to bake!
Crispy topping with cheesy goodness underneath. Perfect dinner for entertaining your guests.
Grab a spoon and dig in! Be sure to enter Safeway’s daily sweepstakes for your chance to win $100 store gift card! Enter HERE.
Skillet Baked Mac and Cheese with Bacon Pretzel Topping
Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 20 min | Total time: 35 min
- 3/4 pound dry elbow pasta
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 cups Tillamook® Medium Cheddar Cheese, shredded and divided
- 1 cup finely crushed Keebler® Town House® Pretzel Thins Oven Baked Crackers
- 12 strips cooked, crumbled bacon pieces
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook pasta according to package directions. I recommend cooking the pasta a minute less than the directions. Drain and set aside for a few minutes.
- To prepare roux, melt butter into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once melted whisk in flour, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 3-4 minutes until color of roux gets slightly darker. Slowly whisk in milk, stirring continuously until thickened, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir in 2 cups of cheese until melted.
- Transfer cooked pasta to 12-inch cast iron skillet over low heat. Pour cheese sauce over top, stirring to combine.
- Top mac and cheese with remaining 1 cup of shredded cheese, pretzel crumbs and bacon pieces. Bake for 20-25 minutes until cheese is melted and hot. Serve warm.
Makes 8 Servings
This is a sponsored post for Safeway Inc, however thoughts and opinions are my own.
My Peanut Butter and Jelly Skillet Cookie is the perfect back to school treat to make for the kids!
It’s always a pleasure teaming up with Land O Lakes Butter to bring you new recipes! Today I prepared for you what I think is the perfect back to school treat for the kids….my Peanut Butter and Jelly Skillet Cookie.
Back to school can be a busy time which is why I wanted to develop a simple treat that wouldn’t take much time in the kitchen. The kids love the peanut butter and jelly combo and what better way to enjoy it than drizzled over a cookie cut into wedges.
Hope you enjoy!
Here’s your line up of ingredients. Feel free to use your family’s favorite flavor of jelly. I chose blueberry for our cookie.
I used Land O Lake’s Butter with Olive Oil and Sea Salt Half Sticks for my cookie. Gives it that fabulous sweet and salty combination.
Let’s start by creaming the butter and sugars until light and combined.
Stir in your egg and vanilla.
Time for the chocolate chunks.
Add the white chips. Mmmm!
Give the dough a nice stir.
Transfer your dough to a cast iron skillet then drizzle with slightly melted peanut butter and jelly.
Once your cookie cools, cut into wedges then dust with powdered sugar.
Look at those gooey chocolate chunks! Enjoy
Peanut Butter and Jelly Skillet Cookie
Prep time: 10 min | Cook time: 30 min | Total time: 40 min
- two half sticks Land O Lakes Butter with Sea Salt and Olive Oil (8 total tablespoons or 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup chocolate chunks
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup blueberry jelly
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and lightly spray a 10 inch cast iron skillet with cooking spray.
- Place softened butter and sugars into a large mixing bowl. Mix until all combined. Stir in egg and vanilla mixing to combine. Slowly stir in flour, baking soda, salt, chocolate chunks and white chips. Once combined, transfer to prepared cast iron skillet, pressing evenly.
- Place peanut butter and jelly into 2 separate heat proof bowls. Microwave for 15-20 seconds until warm and liquid like. Drizzle jelly evenly over top of cookie dough, then drizzle peanut butter. Bake for 30 minutes, or until baked through. Remove from oven and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve warm or room temperature.
Makes 8 Servings
This is a sponsored post for Land O’Lakes however thoughts and opinions are my own.
My Churro Toasted Sweet Fruit Tacos are the perfect light dessert for your family and friends with a crispy cinnamon sugar shell!
I am so excited to share these cinnamon sugary sweet fruit tacos with you today! I’ve partnered with Old El Paso to bring you some delicious Mexican-style recipes this year.
These dessert tacos are great for summer and light dessert or even brunch. The cinnamon toasted taco shells are filled with a honeyed greek yogurt topped with slightly sweetened fruit.
Use your favorite fruit to individualize your guests tacos. Any sliced and diced fruit works great!
You’ll use Old El Paso’s Stand ‘n Stuff Soft Flour Tortillas for my sweet tacos.
They fit right in your hand. You can fill these with so many fun ingredients. The kids love the fun shape of these shells!
Let’s start by brushing the inside of each shell with melted butter.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Mmmm!
Time to bake until golden and crisp.
Sprinkle a spoonful of sugar over your sliced and diced fruit.
Stir and let sit for a few minutes.
Prepare your yogurt filling by stirring honey into the greek yogurt until sweetened and combined.
Fill each cooled taco shell 3/4 full with yogurt filling.
Top each taco with spoonfuls of sweet fruit.
Garnish each with a mint leaf if desired.
Churro Toasted Sweet Fruit Tacos
Prep time: 10 min | Cook time: 20 min | Total time: 30 min
- 6 Old El Paso Stand n’ Stuff Soft Flour Tortillas
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 cups sliced strawberries
- 1 cup diced peaches
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 3 cups plain greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 6 mint leaves
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and place tortillas onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Brush tortillas with melted butter and sprinkle each with cinnamon and sugar mixture. Bake tortillas for 20 minutes, until browned and crisp. Remove and let cool for 15 minutes.
- Place strawberries, peaches and blueberries into a large bowl. Sprinkle with sugar and stir to combine. Let sit for 5 minutes. Place greek yogurt and honey into a large bowl, stirring to combine. Fill each tortilla shell 3/4 full with yogurt and top with spoonfuls of sweet fruit. Garnish each taco with a mint leaf if desired.
Makes 6 Servings
This is a sponsored post for Old El Paso however thoughts and opinions are my own.
Had so much fun in Austin, Texas last week with Old El Paso. I am part of their blogger program this year along with 10 more of my blogging friends. Looking forward to creating fresh new Mexican recipes with them!
Tuesday evening, we had a delicious dinner at La Condessa with some unforgettable food! From the corn on the cob and bacon brussels sprouts to the carnitas and hot brownie skillet with banana ice cream….I will not soon forget them
Photo via Sommer
We stayed at the most charming little hotel, Hotel San Jose. The rooms were so unique and cozy and had the best fluffiest pillows. Concrete floors, cowhide rugs and was even stocked with unique organic soaps and shampoo…. loved my room. Hope to come back to visit again.
The next morning it was time for our Austin taco tour. We hopped on a bus and met our taco guide, Mando Royo, cookbook author of Breakfast Tacos in Austin. Armando was the coolest guide ever. His love and passion for tacos was contagious and he knew of all the best places to get them in Austin!
Our first stop was Veracruz All Natural Tacos, all prepared in a food truck. The ladies who graciously served us were so wonderful and brought out 3 of the most delicious tacos I’ve ever had.
They served us a migas taco which I had never heard of before this trip. It was an egg taco with corn tortilla chips throughout. Hard to explain but it was to die for. They also served us a fish taco that blew my mind and an amazing chicken taco. Talk about heaven! Their corn tortillas were homemade and some of the best I’ve had. What a treat.
Our second stop was Joe’s Bakery and Mexican Food. We walked in and saw a giant case of Mexican Cookies and pastries in a long case in the front of the restaurant. We walked back to our table and they had a 3 more tacos each for us to sample! We sampled their tacos and tried their colorful cookies. They told us a little secret about how they get their bacon extra crispy…..they dredge each piece in flour then cook it on a griddle. Not even kidding it was soooo crispy and fabulous. Gotta try that tip! Fun restaurant, great food and has been serving guests for many years.
Our third stop was Tacodeli. It was tucked inside a great neighborhood and I loved watching all of the people flock in for lunch. It’s dog friendly too. Lots of sweet pups joined their owners for lunch at Tacodeli. They served us so many tacos. All I know is that everything I tried was delicious. I would go back next time I visit Austin for sure.
Their queso was to die for! Salivating just thinking about it, lol!
Our last taco stop was Al Pastor Mexican Restaurant. They had the best Al Pastor taco I’ve ever had. So full of flavor. And that completed our taco tour for the day. We were so full!!
Later that afternoon we met up for a trip to the Austin Farmer’s Market. We teamed up with a partner to create recipes using Old El Paso products and fresh ingredients from the farmer’s market.
Maria and I had a great time developing our two recipes. We were chopping, dicing, sautéing, baking, and prepping our little hearts out, lol! Stay tuned for the recipes coming soon.
How fun is this cupcake with my face on it?! Such a fun little surprise for us. These cupcakes were delicious from Polkadot Bakery. The Chocolate Peanut Butter…..nom nom nom
Such a great time in Austin with these women. It was a pleasure meeting some new friends and reconnecting with old ones. Looking forward to creating recipes with them this year!!
Be sure to check Instagram for more pictures under the hashtag #freshestbloggers
This is a sponsored post for Old El Paso but thoughts and opinions are my own.