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My adventure's in feeding my family

Pasta with Sweet Tomato Sauce and Baked Ricotta October 22, 2011

Filed under: Jamie Oliver — kariryerson @ 9:46 am

This is one of my favorite Jamie Oliver recipes. It called for 1lb of Ricotta Salata but I only use a half pound as it can get over powering fast. This is fast to make and most ingredients were already in my pantry. I used regular spaghetti because that’s what I had.


  • 1 lb Ricotta Salata
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 a dried chili, crumbled
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 28-ounce can roma tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 pound wide pasta, such as pappardelle
  • a handful of fresh basil, torn
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan


Preheat the oven to 400F. Put a piece of parchment on a baking sheet and put the ricotta in the center. Rub all over with 1 tbsp olive oil, then sprinkle with oregano, chili, salt and pepper. Bake for about 15 minutes, then remove and set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil to cook the pasta.

Heat the other tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and cook over medium until soft, 3 or 4 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and simmer for about 15 minutes, then crush the tomatoes with a spoon. Taste and add sugar (optional), salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar.

When the pasta is cooked, drain and reserve some of the pasta water.

Toss the cooked with the sauce and a tablespoon or two of pasta water and the tomato sauce, and basil. Crumble up the ricotta and add to the pasta with the parmesan cheese.


Crock Pot Mac N Cheese October 20, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — kariryerson @ 8:42 am

OH MY GOODNESS!!! I found a mac n cheese that I really liked that wasn’t from a blue box. This took more effort than I like for a crock pot meal but it turned out great. My edges were too crispy so I may cut back on the high heat cooking time. I found the recipe here.

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • One 12 oz can evaporated milk (I used skim, evaporated milk keeps the egg and milk from curdling)
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled to room temp
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups (12 oz) shredded cheese (I used an Italian blend)
  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni or mini penne tubes, par cooked and drained (this means cook them for about five minutes until tender but not completely cooked)
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Spray the inside of your slow-cooker with cooking spray or grease it with olive oil. Combine milk, evaporated milk, eggs, butter, and salt in slow-cooker and whisk until until smooth (or you can use an immersion blender to do the whisking for you).
Add the shredded cheese (not the Parmesan) and macaroni, sprinkle with black pepper (and whatever other spices you want to use). Stir gently with a spatula to coat evenly.

Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top. Cover and cook on HIGH for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, reduce the temperature to LOW and cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until custard is set in the center and the pasta is tender. The macaroni and cheese may sit in the cooker on the KEEP WARM setting for 30 minutes before serving. Before dishing it up, I sautéed some bread crumbs with olive oil and sprinkled them over the top to make it a little fancier.


Mushroom Bolognese October 8, 2011

Filed under: My Recipes — kariryerson @ 9:01 am

I made this delicious pasta sauce in my hotel one week. The hubs is not a fan of mushrooms so I have to eat them while I am on the road each week. This is not a quick cooking meal but it is well worth the time it takes to make.



  • 3oz pancetta, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 8oz sliced button mushrooms
  • 6oz baby portabello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1oz dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1oz dried chanterelle mushrooms
  • 28oz can crushed tomatos
  • 15oz can beef broth
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • Salt
  • Pepper


In a deep pan over medium heat, add pancetta and olive oil. Stir often until pancetta just starts to brown. Add in onion, celery, carrot and garlic. Saute until soft.

Meanwhile, heat a large bowl with 3 cups of water until boiling. Add in dried mushroom and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Drain and reserve one cup of the liquid.

Add fresh mushroom to the pan and saute until they start to release their liquid. Chopped partially re-hydrated mushrooms and add them to the pan. Saute for 5 minutes.

Add in reserved water, beef broth, red wine and mushrooms. Bring to a boil.

Season with oregano, thyme, bay leaves, sugar, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for another 1.5-2 hours until the sauce has thickened. Serve with a thick noodle.



Chicken and Black Bean Chimichangas October 6, 2011

Filed under: My Recipes — kariryerson @ 9:45 am

This is another simple twist on a family favorite, tacos. To make them that much healthier, I deep fried them into Chimichangas. The hubs is of the mindset that anything is better deep fried, this time I agree.


  • Oil for frying
  • 1.5 lbs ground chicken (I just put chicken breasts in the food processor)
  • 15oz can black beans
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • Salt
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Cilantro
  • Juice of one lime
  • 4oz queso fresco
  • Cayenne sauce to taste
  • 8-10 inch flour tortillas
  • Salsa, Sour cream and Guacamole to serve


In a pan over medium heat, add a little bit of oil, the chicken, onion and jalapeno to a pan. Saute until chicken is cooked. Add in beans, salt and cayenne and mix until beans are warmed. At this point I transfer everything to a bowl so I can use my hands without burning them. Add in lime juice, cilantro, queso fresco and cayenne sauce. Mix thoroughly.

In a deep pan heat one inch of oil to 350. Fill each tortilla with the chicken and bean mixture. Fry with the folded side down to begin. Once crisp, roll over and brown the other side. Serve with salsa, sour cream and guacamole.


Steak and Au Gratin Potatoes October 4, 2011

Filed under: Pioneer Women — kariryerson @ 9:25 am

MORE STEAK AND POTATOES! There are a million recipes for this and I plan to try them all. I love cheesy potatoes and had heard this Pioneer Women recipe  was amazing so of course I had to try it. I would make them again and again. I also made a simple side of grilled asparagus.


  • Asparagus
  • Lemon Pepper Seasoning
  • Olive Oil
  • Steaks (one per person)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Rosemary
  • Garlic
  • 4 whole Russet Potatoes, Scrubbed Clean
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
  • 1-1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 cup Whole Milk (I used 2% milk)
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Freshly Grated


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Smear softened butter all over the bottom of a baking dish.

Slice potatoes, then cut slices into fourths.

In a separate bowl, whisk together cream, milk, flour, minced garlic, salt, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

Place 1/3 of the potatoes in the bottom of the baking dish. Pour 1/3 of the cream mixture over the potatoes.

Repeat this two more times, ending with the cream mixture. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are golden brown and really bubbling. Add grated cheese to the top of the potatoes and bake for 3 to 5 more minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Allow to stand for a few minutes before serving by the spoonful.

While the potatoes are cooking, season the asparagus with garlic, lemon pepper and olive oil. Season steak with garlic, salt, pepper and rosemary. Grill both over medium until cooked to desired doneness.


Mexican Pizza October 2, 2011

Filed under: My Recipes — kariryerson @ 10:13 am


This was something that I made as a change from the normal tacos. It used all of our favorite taco items, and included one or two more, to make this simple meal that the entire family can enjoy.


  • 4 Tortillas
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 1 cup beer
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1-2 cans black beans (depending on how much you like beans)
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 375.

Brown beef and jalapeno in a pan over medium heat. Drain off fat. Add in beer, taco seasoning and beans. Cook until liquid has evaporated. Stir in corn.

On a cookie sheet (or in a spring form pan) place one tortilla. Add one quarter of beef/bean mix and top with 1/2 cup cheese. Repeat layers topping with one cup of cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes until cheese is melted and tortillas start to crisp.