Cheesy Sausage Pasta

Holy shit has it been long time. Like what has even happened since my last post? I’ve cooked a fucking lot and shared NOTHING. Kinda selfish no? I am back! I am committed. Let’s fucking go! PS. I got engaged this Spring so, THAT is exciting ❤ #SappyPlug. Love you boo 😉

Okay! So tonight I got home, and was all ready to make some sausage and peppers, so I went onto the Pinterest to see if there were any fun new ways to spice this classic recipe up and when I saw the word CHEESE…BYE. Larry the semi lactose intolerant isn’t home, so ALL the cheese (2 cups of shredded to be exact) is about to be consumed. I can legit hear this shit bubbling in the background as I type. I swiped this recipe from Budget Savvy Diva.

Throw some Avicii on. Preferably this Jam I listened to and just get your fucking cook on people.

What I loved about this recipe was I legit had everything already on hand. I felt resourceful AF. “I KNEW these million cans of diced tomatoes and chicken broth would come in hand one day..”

Not going to lie, I was bugging a bit about the pasta not being submerged in the liquid, so I added a little more broth. Don’t think it was necessary, but if you have anxiety like been, drown those noodles.

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Couple tips here: Use a pan that you know you have a top to. If you don’t I hope you are again “resourceful AF” like me and have a baking sheet to “lower heat and cover”. #LifeHacks. (BRB running to serve myself seconds)

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Yo people. HERE IS THAT 2 CUPS OF CHEESE. HOW HOT IS THAT!?

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I literally moaned as I took my fist bite.

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I was too fucking ravenous and didn’t let the sauce sit at all, which you can see in the picture above, and just shoved steamed cheesy pasta and cheese into my mouth like a savage, but not before texting Larry a pic, telling him to come home because I made WAY too much food.

Let this sit for like 5-10 minutes and the sauce becomes even creamier and cheesier.

FINAL VERDICT: 5 BOMBS bombbombbombbombbomb_____________________________________________________________________________________________

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1 lb Sausage (I cut mine into bit sized pieces before cooking)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 8 oz dry pasta
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups Shredded cheddar-Jack cheese
  • 1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/3 cup chopped scallions, for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

1.Splat that olive oil in a pan (I used a skillet) over medium heat. Add your onions and sausage. Cook for 5 minutes, add garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 2 more minutes

2. Add chicken broth, tomatoes, mik and pasta to pan. Bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat and cover for 15 minutes.

3. Once the pasta is cooked, stir in the cheese.

4. Garnish with the scallions and serve.

ENJOY =)

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Southern-Style Shrimp & Grits with Corn, Zucchini & Cherry Tomatoes

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More cheese please! I don’t think I have mastered the making of grits. They came out good and were creamyish, but they still felt kind of gritty in my mouth. I know, I know, grits should be gritty of course, but this was more gritty than a grit should be. After saying that all I can think is “How much wood should I woodchuck chuck?”

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A couple things that would have made this recipe better in my opinion. 1. MORE CHEESE than what the recipe calls for. The cheese gets put into the grits and I so badly wanted more. 2. When the directions tell you to pit the lemons, pit them. I didn’t because I was lazy and it was 9:45 at night and I was starving, but that left me with pits in my meal that escaped into the pan when I was squeezing the lemons. Sneaky little suckers.
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The shrimp was seasoned perfectly with paprika. If you wanted this to be a bit spicier, I would say to add a TINY bit of cayenne pepper. IMG_1639

Here are the grits that I think I made okay? They are no Paula Deen though that’s for sure. The recipe calls for lemon zest in the grits, but nothing skeevs me out more than zest, so I happily skipped that step. 
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The recipe keeps saying to “season with salt and pepper” pretty much ever 2 steps, which worried me that I would end up eating only salt and pepper for dinner so I didn’t add it as much as it said. Tip. ADD SALT. The first couple bites needed a little bit a salt help. The zucchini was an awesome addition that I have never had in Shrimp and Grits before. I was about it! I think I will add a dash of hot sauce to the leftovers when I eat them for lunch!

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FINAL VERDICT: 3 Bombs bombbombbomb

If you want to be a bit healthier try our this Faux Shrimp & Grits Recipe!


Recipe below or at BlueApron.com

INGREDIENTS:

  • 10 Ounces Shrimp
  • ¾ Cup Yellow Grits
  • 3 Scallions
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 1 Ear Of Corn
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 2 Ounces Cherry Tomatoes
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Ounces Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Thinly slice the scallions, separating the white bottoms and green tops. Peel and mince the garlic. Cut the corn kernels off the cob. Using a peeler, remove the lemon rind, mince to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quester and deseed the lemon. Medium dice the zucchini. Halve the tomatoes. Grate the cheese. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and place in a medium bowl; toss with the smoked paprika.
  2. In a medium pot, heat 3 cups of water and a big pinch of salt to boiling. Once boiling, stir in the grits, lemon zest and corn; reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring frequently to break up any clumps, 10 to 12 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the grits have thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in the cheese and half the butter; season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside in a warm place.
  3. While the grits cook, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the spiced shrimp; season with salt and pepper. Cook, flipping occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Wipe out the pan.
  4. In the pan used to cook the shrimp, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the garlic and white bottoms of the scallions; season with salt. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until softened and fragrant.
  5. Add the zucchini to the pan of vegetables; season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the cooked shrimp, tomatoes, remaining butter, the juice of all 4 lemon wedges and all but a pinch of the green tops of the scallions. Cook, stirring occasionally, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined and the tomatoes have softened slightly. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Divide the cooked grits between 2 dishes. Top with the finished vegetables and shrimp. Garnish with the remaining green tops of the scallions. Enjoy!

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Oven-Fried Chicken Thighs

unnamedHot, crunchy, juicy, tender thighs. I’m salivating as I type. Like a dog. but seriously. This chicken was bomb.com. I will admit I was pretty grossed out by the cutting off the skin and fat with those kitchen shears. That is what I get for not planning ahead and buying pre-skinned thighs. I think those exists? Who knows.

Super easy, quick to prep, there really isn’t much more to say, other than you are a fool if you don’t try these. If you like your food a bit spicier, you can up the amount of hot sauce used, along with the cayenne pepper. With the amount I used there wasn’t spice at all, but next time I will try to add more of a kick.

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Serve this with some homemade coleslaw and some crispy fresh out of the oven fries. I promise you an insta-smile. =)

FINAL VERDICT: 5 BOMBS bombbombbombbombbomb


INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 pound boneless, chicken thighs, excess fat & skin trimmed
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1 cup Panko
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 cup grape seed oil

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Set to the side.
  • On a plate, combine flour & salt and pepper. In a shallow bowl, whisk together egg, milk, hot sauce, salt and pepper. On another plate combine the Panko, cayenne, paprika, grape seed oil, & salt & pepper. Line the dishes up in that order.
  • Cover the chicken in the flour, dip into the eggs, then cover with the panko crumb mixyure, pressing to coat.
  • Place onto the baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the chicken is completely cooked through.
  • EAT & LOVE!

Chili Cheese Fries, Jake’s Wayback Burger, Norwalk, CT

friesWhen you had an ehh day @ work, and want to bypass the healthy for the night & hit up some hard-core comfort food, I have 3 words for you. Chili. Cheese. Fries. I had told my boyfriend that I wanted big cut fries around 3PM. When he came home at 6PM he handed me a suspicious unmarked brown bag that contained that pile of goodness above. #HeavenSent

I poured ranch dressing on these little suckers (Hidden Valley, duh) and went at it. They were SOOO damn good. Salty for sure, so needed to chug some agua. The amount of cheese was perfect. I hate when the restaurants jip you and only about 10 fries have cheese on them. These guys don’t mess around. Cheddar AND Jack. #PartyTime

The fries could have be a TINY bit crunchier, but I get that when you have mouth watering chili on them, they are going to sog up a bit.

They ended up being filling enough to be my meal. If I had had a burger with these, I probably wouldn’t have been too mad, but I also would have had to run 10 miles the next day…. The choice is yours.

FINAL VERDICT: 4 Bombs bombbombbombbomb


Go get your chili cheese fry on! http://waybackburgers.com/

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

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If you haven’t been sick in this past couple weeks, kudos to you. I feel like everyone around me, including myself has been under the weather…because of this weather…hot, cold, hot, cold. #OverIt.

When my boyfriend was sick this past weekend, I WALKED to the grocery store and then made HOMEMADE chicken noodle soup, so I may or may not be patting myself on the back right now for thatttt. Just sayin.

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Now, as we all know i HATE celery. So i am giving myself another pat on the back for holding this celery in my hands, chopping it, and smelling that god awful smell without vomming all over the place.

potIn my opinion this was close to the perfect chicken noodle soup. You know when you think of chicken noodle soup in your head, and not the Campbell’s kind (which by the way I love) well this is that. I bought a rotisserie chicken and shredded the shit outa that thing. Way easier than making the chicken myself. Throw some crackers in there for some crunch.

cookingNext time you or someone worth making soup for is sick – try this out. Super quick, super easy & you will probably get mad brownies points. I think I did..?

FINAL VERDICT: 4 BOMBSbombbombbombbomb


Ingredients:                                                      Serves: 6
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 4 celery stalks, small-diced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and small-diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 quarts chicken stock or broth
  • 3 cups cooked chicken, shredded or diced
  • 2 cups wide egg noodles
Instructions
  1. In a large pot over medium, heat the butter and olive oil. Add the onion, celery, carrots, garlic and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables soften, about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the stock and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the chicken and noodles and simmer until the noodles are cooked, about 10 minutes more. Discard the bay leaves. Season to taste and serve with a sprinkling of fresh, minced parsley, if desired.

* Recipe borrowed from: http://pictureperfectmeals.com

Cheez-It Mac and Cheese

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When your boyfriend asks you if you can make him homemade baked mac & cheese covered in Cheez-It’s, how in God’s name could you ever say no? I immediately started drooling, jumped on Pinterest and mapped out in my brain when the next time we’d be home & I could cook.

cheeseBe prepared for whoever is shopping for the cheese for this recipe, in my case, the BF, to freak out a tad when they realize how much cheese, or should i say GOOD cheese actually costs. The above image ladies & gents will cost you about $25. Don’t get mad about it. Just accept it, and trust that the end result will put a big fat CHEESY smile on your face. =)

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You will get a solid bicep workout from the cheese grating. Can’t hate on that & something was super gratifying about crushing the Cheez-Its in my hands. I don’t know if it was because it had been a long Monday, but the crushing felt good. Real good.

With every bite of this, this got tastier and tastier. You could taste all 3 cheeses and that crunch of the Cheeze-It was the perfect touch. I felt myself chewing slowly because I wanted to enjoy every bite. If you like one cheese more than another, I would just make that the cheese you use 2 cups of so that is the dominant taste  you get.

think I am going to start adding crushed Cheez-Its to everything. It just works. Let’s just say I finished well before my boyfriend, and there was also steak involved. Attractive…#ImABeast

FINAL VERDICT: 5 BOMBSbombbombbombbombbomb


 Ingredients

8 oz cavatappi pasta, cooked to package instructions
4 Tbsp 1 ½ tsp unsalted butter
4 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
2 cup shredded fontina cheese
4 Tbsp bread crumb
4 Tbsp CHEEZ-IT cracker

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Add the cooked pasta to a greased 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish.

In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the stick of butter over low heat. When the butter is melted, slowly whisk in the flour and whisk well until its evenly incorporated into the butter. Let the roux cook, while whisking, over low heat, until a buttery-baked smell permeates and the roux starts bubbling all over the surface. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly, and then increase the heat to medium. Season the bechamel with salt and pepper to taste, and then add the nutmeg. Let the sauce cook over high heat until boiling, and then remove from heat and add the cheeses. Stir well so that they’re all completely melted.

Pour the sauce over the pasta in the baking dish and, using tongs or a spoon, toss well so that each piece of pasta is coated well with the sauce. In a small bowl, melt the tablespoon of butter and add the breadcrumbs. Stir well, and then add the crushed Cheez-Its. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture evenly on top. Bake the mac and cheese in the oven until bubbling and golden brown on top, about 30-45 minutes.

*Recipe borrowed from www.kitchendaily.com

Fresh Tomato & Bean Soup

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I woke up to a cloudy, rainy, dreary morning. My mind instantly went to soup & that it was necessary that I made it myself for lunch. I ran downstairs and drank a cup of coffee over this gem.

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Tomato soup in all forms is probably one of my favorites & I have a weird obsession with beans. This seemed quick & easy & I knew I would enjoy it as well. IMG_5416

If you are having a bad day & want to just cry, make this soup. You have to chop up 2 cups of onions, and ,man oh man did the tears fall today. I’m pretty sure I was cursing out loud & referring to the onions as mother effers. Classy. I know.

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I learned a new trick today. Cut a cross in the tomatoes, pour boiling water over them for 1 minutes and the skin peels right off. Pure genius. Einstein stuff right there.

To make this soup even better, sprinkle some shredded parm onto it, or A LOT onto it. Nothing is better than melted cheese in soup. Also, get some nice, toasty, crunchy bread. It’s the real deal.

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FINAL VERDICT: 4 BOMBSbombbombbombbomb



Ingredients:

Serves 4

2 Pounds ripe tomatoes (plum)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups roughly chopped onion

2 garlic cloves crushed

3 3/4 cups vegetable stock

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 teaspoons paprika

1 tablespoon cornstarch

15 oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

Italian seasonings to taste

Salt & Pepper to taste

Bread

Directions:

1. Using a sharp knife, make a small cross in each one of the tomatoes and place in a bowl. Pour enough boiling water over to cover and leave to stand for 30 to 60 seconds.

2. Drain the tomatoes and when they are cool enough to touch, peel off the skins. Quarter them and then cut each piece in half again.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 3 minutes or until just starting to become soft.

4. Add the tomatoes to the onions and stir in the stock, tomato paste, and paprika. Season with a little salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

5. Mix the cornstarch to a paste with 2 tablespoons water. Stir the beans into the soup with the cornstarch paste. Cook for 5 minutes longer.

6. Season to taste with salt pepper and Italian seasoning.