Quick and Simple Shrimp Dish. My Fave.

Olive Garden Shrimp Scampi

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 1/2 lb medium fresh shrimp, shelled
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 c white wine (or 1/2 c chicken broth + tsp. apple cider vinegar)
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp. italian seasoning
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper
  • 4 oz butter
  • 1/2 lb angel hair pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 T fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Parmesan cheese
  1. Heat oil in a saute pan. Add onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute; do not brown. Add butter, wine, red pepper, salt and pepper and reduce by half. Add Italian seasoning.
  2. Add shrimp and cook 1-2 minutes until fully cooked.
  3. Transfer pasta to plate and top with shrimp mixture, and Parmesan cheese.

source: olivegarden.com


Comfort food at it’s finest

This recipe is easily favorite comfort food. Right on up with there with mashed potatoes… Mmm nnmmm mmm. I LOVE macaroni and cheese. I like the ones that are baked with a little crumble on top as much as the next girl, but there’s something about this simple creamy sauce that gets me every time. SO stinkin good. Dang. I’m making this. Like, right now. It sounds SO GOOD.

Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 3 c cooked macaroni, drained and set aside
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 T. butter
  • 4 T. flour
  • 2 c milk
  • 2 c grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg

  1. Melt butter in saucepan over med-low heat. 
  2. Add onion and cook until soft and light-brown color.  Stir in flour, cook & stir for 1 minute or until bubbly. 
  3. Pour in milk, stir in then turn up heat to med-high. 
  4. Cook and stir for a few minutes or until the sauce has thickened. 
  5. Turn heat down to low, stir in cheese and spices until cheese is melted. 
  6. Stir in cooked macaroni until well blended. Serve warm.

**You can also add other cheeses like parmesan or 1/2 cup jalapeno cheddar cheese (gives just a bit of bite). If it gets too thick, stir in a bit of milk
**It’s also delicious to use half-and-half for half of the the amount of milk called for.
***AMAZING flavor combo: Ricotta, cheddar, swiss, monterey jack… YUM.

source: Barbara Bird and Lisa Hawks

This is kind of like a homemade “Turkeyburger” Helper

Russ absolutely LOVES this recipe. I was never a HUGE fan of hamburger helper so it’s not surprising that I have less of a craving for this dish. But it is quite tasty. And simple. And WAY better for you than that boxed junk they sell in stores. So try it out! You just might start craving this as much as my husband!

Turkey Bow Tie Skillet

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1/2 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 1/2 tsp. oil
  • 3/4 c. celery, chopped
  • 1/2 c. onion, chopped
  • 1.2 c. green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth
  • 2 c. bow-tie pasta, uncooked
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) stewed tomatoes
  • 1 T. Vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 T. grated parmesan cheese


  1. Brown turkey in oil. Add celery, onion, peppers, and garlic. Cook until vegetables are tender. Remove and keep warm.
  2. Add broth to the pan and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 10 minutes, or until tender.
  3. Reduce heat, stir in all but the cheese. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.

I am a HUGE fan of pasta salad… I could eat it all day.

Mediterranean Tortellini Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 lb tortellini
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 c. olives, sliced
  • 1/2 a can of artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled

**optional: handful sliced mushrooms, handful chopped pepperoni, chopped spinach

  • 1/3 c. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and black pepper, to taste


  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the tortellini according to package instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, place the onions in a bowl of cold water to get rid of some of the bite. Drain after 5 minutes.
  3. When the tortellini is done cooking, toss together the onion slices, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, olives, feta cheese, other fillers, and tortellini.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, oregano, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. Slowly pour in the olive oil and whisk to combine. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Pour the dressing over the tortellini salad and toss to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature.

adapted from: Joanne eats well with others

Chicken Sausage, What’s That?

I have never used chicken sausage before when cooking. But since trying this recipe I have decided that it is TOTALLY awesome. Yes. It is. This is a very tasty pasta. Obviously you can use vodka instead of the apple juice/gingerale, but since we don’t drink alcohol, we don’t keep it in the house… which means we have to be creative when cooking. I think we’ve decided that our favorite non-alcoholic substitute is gingerale. It is slightly sweet but not overly so. I obviously have no idea what this dish is SUPPOSED to taste like, but if you choose to make the non-alcoholic version, gingerale is an excellent choice. Either way, this is yummy. Will be making again.

**Hand-me-down recipe, unsure of original source**

Chicken Sausage Penne al a Vodka

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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  •  1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  •  1 pound chicken sausage, casings removed
  •  1/2 cup roughly chopped onion
  •  1 jalapeno, chopped
  •  3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  •  1/2 cup roughly chopped green pepper
  •  1 teaspoon Hungarian hot paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  •  Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  •  1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes with basil
  •  1/3 cup gingerale (or apple juice)
  •  1/2 cup heavy cream
  •  1 pound ziti or rigatoni (can use gluten free to make this a gluten free meal!)
  •  1 cup grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese
  •  3 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.
  2. In a large saute pan over medium heat melt butter with oil. Add chicken sausage and brown, 3 to 4 minutes, breaking up large chunks with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add onions, jalapenos and garlic and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add green pepper, paprika, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, to taste, and cook 3 minutes more.
  4. Salt the pasta water and add the ziti or rigatoni. Cook until al dente.
  5. Meanwhile, add tomatoes to the sauce and bring to a simmer, for about 10 minutes. Add juice and cream and cook a few minutes more. Toss in cheese and chopped parsley.
  6. To serve, drain the pasta well and add to the sauce. Mix until pasta is nicely coated. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.