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A hearty casserole full of pizza flavors from the hearty sauce, pepperoni, olives and cheese all mixed into pasta.

Easy Pizza Pasta Bake

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A hearty casserole full of pizza flavors from the hearty sauce, pepperoni, olives and cheese all mixed into pasta.

Best Pepperoni Pasta Bake

My family wants this Easy Pizza Pasta Bake in our regular meal rotation and I like to include it because it’s so simple.

The flavors come together in a really complex way to showcase this dish that is not just ‘a casserole’ but a WOW, what’s in that AMAZING pasta!?!

It’s a family friendly meal that’s a perfect choice to take to a friend or neighbor in need.  You can read more about that  in What You Need To Know About Taking In A Meal They Will Want To Eat

I hope you make this Easy Pizza Pasta Bake tonight and let us know how you enjoyed it.

Easy Pizza Pasta Bake

Ingredients:

16 oz. Rotini pasta cooked (I really like Barilla pasta)

2 Tbl.  oil of your choice; choose one that has a very mild flavor, or no taste at all

2 – 23.9 oz. jars of your favorite pasta sauce  – I used Prego Italian Sausage & Garlic for this recipe

1/2 cup water – divided between the two bottles to rinse the rest of the sauce out of the bottle

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

3 teaspoons oregano,  leaf (not ground)

6 oz. can whole olives, sliced (hold out 1/8 cup for the top)

3 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese (divided)

4-6 oz. pepperoni, quartered (except hold out approximately 20 whole pepperoni for the top)

1/2 cup shredded fresh Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Coat your 9″ x 13″ baking dish with spray release.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil; following instruction on the package,A hearty casserole full of pizza flavors from the hearty sauce, pepperoni, olives and cheese all mixed into pasta.Cook the pasta to al dent. Meaning it still has a little ‘bite’ to it, and is not mushy or cooked quite all the way through.

When the pasta is cooked to al dente, drain in a colander, rinse and pour the 2 Tablespoons oil of your choice over pasta, gently mix it over all of the pasta with your hand or a spatula to coat it all evenly.  Allow the coated pasta to sit in the colander while you prepare the sauce.A hearty casserole full of pizza flavors from the hearty sauce, pepperoni, olives and cheese all mixed into pasta.

Rinse out the pan and put it back on the stove.

Into the pan, pour in:

2 jars of pasta sauce

In each bottle of pasta sauce pour 1/4 cup of water and shake well to get all of the pasta sauce rinsed out. Pour this into the pan with the pasta sauce.

Add in the balsamic vinegar, Oregano, sliced olives (reserving about 1/8 cup for the top), fresh Parmesan cheese, TWO cups of the mozzarella cheese, and the quartered pepperoni (holding out approximately 20 whole pepperoni for the top)

Bring to a simmer and cook on low for 2 minutes.

Add in the pasta and stir GENTLY.A hearty casserole full of pizza flavors from the hearty sauce, pepperoni, olives and cheese all mixed into pasta.

Pour this mixture into your prepared baking pan.A hearty casserole full of pizza flavors from the hearty sauce, pepperoni, olives and cheese all mixed into pasta.

Top with the rest of Mozzerella cheese – 1 cup. 

The reserved whole pepperoni and the 1/4 cup sliced olives.A hearty casserole full of pizza flavors from the hearty sauce, pepperoni, olives and cheese all mixed into pasta.

Bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly all through.A hearty casserole full of pizza flavors from the hearty sauce, pepperoni, olives and cheese all mixed into pasta.

Best Pepperoni Pasta Bake

Serve hot.

A hearty casserole full of pizza flavors from the hearty sauce, pepperoni, olives and cheese all mixed into pasta.

Best Pepperoni Pasta Bake

Carrie Groneman’s recipe

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2018

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Bean Burrito Soup

Quick Healthy Burrito Soup

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Bean Burrito Soup

Bean Burrito Soup

Looking for a quick, economical soup with ingredients in your panty?   Here it is and it’s also healthy, satisfying and very, very yummy.




 

Quick Healthy Bean Burrito Soup

Ingredients:

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

16 oz. canned re fried beans

2 cups chicken broth

16 oz. mixed frozen vegetables

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp. taco seasoning, or to taste

1 can petite diced tomatoes with chipotle chilies
Toppings: Cheddar cheese, shredded Sour cream Cilantro, fresh, chopped Avocado



Directions: Rinse and drain the black beans.Bean Burrito Soup 3In a large pan mash the beans with a potato masher, the back of a large spoon, or any utensil that will work.Bean Burrito Soup 4To the mashed beans, add the broth and the can of refried beans, combining well.Bean Burrito Soup 5





Add the mixed vegetables, garlic, taco seasoning and diced tomatoes.Bean Burrito Soup 6Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the flavors are blended and the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.Bean Burrito Soup 7Pour a portion into a serving bowl.

Top with any of the toppings desired.

Bean Burrito Soup

ean Burrito Soup

Carrie Groneman’s recipe, Copyright A Mother’s Shadow, 2014

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BEST Ever St. Patrick's Day FUN Foods

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Fun Green Foods for St. Patrick's Day. Showing here are a green smoothie, a sandwich with bright green bread from the local bakery, pancakes colored green with food dye, and green eggs and ham with shredded cheese. Tons of ideas for the day to celebrate with the Leprechaun!

All the best in fun foods for breakfast, lunch, dinner and all day for St. Patrick’s!


I am excited to share the BEST Ever St. Patrick’s Day FUN Foods with you!
I don’t think there is a lick of Irish in our family line, but this is one of our family’s favorite holidays.
If you are looking for breakfast, lunch and dinner food ideas for kids along with party ideas, I have it here for you.
Celebrating with green food, desserts, Leprechaun tricks and healthy food as well as treats, that are easy, simple and quick; will fill St. Paddy’s with family fun memories.
 




BEST Ever St. Patrick’s Day FUN Foods
 
St. Patrick’s Day is a day I tried to make special – just because!
When the kids were young they made Leprechaun traps that were silly, but serious business to them.
The ‘Leprechaun’ was always prepared with a treat and a note of Sorry, they didn’t catch him this year and better luck next time.
It was MUST that there is a Treasure Hunt such as this:

  •       It was low key with Leprechaun footprints to lead to the prize when the kids were young.
  •      As they got older I had treasure hunt clues leading to places around the house.
  •      When a bit older (yes as teens and even young adults they wanted it), I contacted neighbors for their permission to leave clues in their mailbox, on their porch, or a chair in their yard; with a clue for the hunt.

Green candy, gold chocolate coins were a constant prize of the treasure.  
Food for the day was a celebration and was based on how busy I was, and their time due to sports and extracurricular activities

  •  Breakfast menu options:

                    Green pancakes – HERE is my Grandma’s recipe
OR use a packaged product to make it easier.
Either way, simply add in green food coloring. St Patrick's Pancakes
And cook as directed.
St Patrick's Pancakes 1Perfectly green Pancakes!    

Fun Green Foods for St. Patrick's Day. Showing here are a green smoothie, a sandwich with bright green bread from the local bakery, pancakes colored green with food dye, and green eggs and ham with shredded cheese. Tons of ideas for the day to celebrate with the Leprechaun!

All the best in fun foods for breakfast, lunch, dinner and all day for St. Patrick’s!


      


Green Scrambled Eggs – Green Eggs & Ham

Add in green food coloring,St Patricks Green Eggs & Ham!
Pieces of ham and serve alone, or inside a spinach tortilla or alongside green toast.
St Patricks Green Eggs & Ham 1 And there you have Amazing Green Eggs & Ham!

Fun Green Foods for St. Patrick's Day. Showing here are a green smoothie, a sandwich with bright green bread from the local bakery, pancakes colored green with food dye, and green eggs and ham with shredded cheese. Tons of ideas for the day to celebrate with the Leprechaun!

All the best in fun foods for breakfast, lunch, dinner and all day for St. Patrick’s!






Green Banana smoothie
Directions:
In a blender, mix:
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1-2 frozen banana(s),
1/4 cup milk and green food coloring
Combine all the ingredients in a blender until smooth; serve immediately.
 

YUMMY & Healthy Green Smoothie!

Fun Green Foods for St. Patrick's Day. Showing here are a green smoothie, a sandwich with bright green bread from the local bakery, pancakes colored green with food dye, and green eggs and ham with shredded cheese. Tons of ideas for the day to celebrate with the Leprechaun!

All the best in fun foods for breakfast, lunch, dinner and all day for St. Patrick’s!


 
Other fun food ideas: 

  • Breakfast: Lucky Charm Cereal and green toast  

 

  • Lunch:  (kids took homemade that day for sure):
  • Bright Green Bread Sandwich  & Guacamole Chips – ask your local bakery if they will make this bread for you. 
  • Always a highlight and hit with the other kids at lunch
  • Pickles
  • Green punch or green colored beverage container
  • Pistachio pudding
  • Green jello
  • Clover cookies
  • Green tinted cupcakes, etc.  
Green Food

Fun Food for St. Patrick’s Day






A family favorite every year are these easy dishes to make.  I have a step-by-step tutorials so you can make any, or all of them too.
Corned Beef & Cabbage: Click HERE for my recipe for Corned Beef & Vegetables 
Corned Beef & Vegetables 1
 
 
 
 
 
Irish Soda Bread: Click HERE for my recipe for Irish Soda Bread
Irish Soda Bread
 
              
 
 
 
Of course GREEN desserts and treats are in order, these are what I have lined up for you:  
Key Lime Bars: Click HERE for Key Lime Bars

DSC_0044
 
 
 
 
 
Key Lime Poke Cake: Click HERE for Key Lime Poke Cake
Key Lime Poke Cake
 
 
 
 
 
Pistachio & Cranberry Cookie: Pistachio and Cranberry Cookies HERE 
Pistachio Cookie
 
 
 
 
 
Green Granny Corn:  Click HERE for Green Granny PopCorn (aka Mother Goose Popcorn)
St. Patrick's PopCorn        

 

 
 
ENJOY the FUN!!!
Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow 2014
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

 




pasta, spinach, fast dinner, hurry up meal, spaghetti sauce, penne,

One Pan Penne Pasta

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One Pan Penne Pasta

One Pan Penne Pasta

Here’s a dish that easy, fast, economical and healthy. If you’re in a rush for dinner, this is a perfect solution.

Serve with some bread and fruit on the side, and your family is fed in a hurry – satisfied and full.




One Pan Penne Pasta

Ingredients:

14 oz. uncooked penne pasta, choose one that is high in fiber and protein 1 med. onion, chopped

1 Tbl. garlic, minced

1/2 – 1 lb. lean hamburger

2 tsp. Italian seasoning

1 tsp. basil

1/2 tsp. Montreal Steak Seasoning

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika, optional

1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

14-18 oz. marinara sauce

8 oz. can tomato sauce

14 oz. diced tomatoes, roasted if available

9-12 oz. fresh spinach, optional

1- 1/2 cup cheese, shredded, cheddar, mozzarella or mixed



Directions:

Cook pasta according to directions, but al dente; add in spinach last 1 minute of cooking if using.One Pan Penne Pasta 1Cook for 2-3 minutes until spinach begins to wilt. 

Scoop out approximately 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

Drain the spinach into a colander.One Pan Penne Pasta 2In same pan that you had just cooked the spinach in, over medium heat, add the hamburger and onion; sauté until done, then add in garlic.

Drain off any fat. To the hamburger mixture,  add the Italian seasoning, basil, Montreal Steak seasoning, smoked paprika, balsamic vinegar, marinara sauce, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. 

Pour approximately 1/4 cup of the pasta water into the empty marinara sauce bottle.One Pan Penne Pasta 3


Shake the bottle with the pasta water to rinse out the excess of the marinara sauce 

One Pan Penne Pasta 4

And pour into the pan with the hamburger and marinara mixture.  One Pan Penne Pasta 5Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes to allow seasonings to hydrate and sauce to marry flavors.

Then, gently stir in the penne pasta and cheese and heat through.  Serve hot.One Pan Penne Pasta 6

Carrie Groneman’s recipe

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Here’s a GREAT comfort meal that you’ve just got to try!

Old Fashioned Moist Meatloaf – click HERE

hamburger, meatloaf, main dish, old fashioned meal

Old Fashioned Meatloaf


Appetizers with Sun Dried Tomato

Baguette With Oven Roasted Sun Dried Tomato

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Appetizers with Sun Dried Tomato

Appetizers with Sun Dried Tomato and puree

I created this heavenly appetizer using these home oven roasted sundried tomatoes OR the puree, cheese and herbs.  I think you will enjoy serving them and believe me, your guests will think you picked them up at the local specialty shop!




Baguette with Roasted Tomatoes

Option #1

Slice baguette in approx. 1  1/2″ slices,

place on cookie sheet or pizza pan.

Spread with a thin coating of the roasted tomato pesto, then cheese cut to fit the bread and top with sliced fresh basil.

Broil just until cheese (provolone or munster work well) begins to melt.

Cool slightly and serve.  

 

Option #2

Slice baguette in approx. 1 1/2″ slices.

Spread with a layer of soft cream cheese, then sliced roasted tomatoes at room temperature.

Sprinkle with chopped fresh basil, or whatever herb you desire.

Serve.    


Click HERE  for the easy to follow tutorial to make your own oven-roasted aka sun-dried tomatoes and puree. 

Make them while their in season and freeze for use all year long.

Recipe copyrighted by Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

 




Healthy Stuffed Peppers

Healthy Stuffed Bell Pepper

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Healthy Stuffed Peppers

Healthy Homemade Stuffed Bell Peppers

Bell stuffed peppers are satisfying and a wonderful meal anytime of the year.

These are gluten free, amazingly tasty and you can use green, red, yellow, orange whichever bell pepper you desire. 

This recipe is budget friendly, very healthy and filling; give them a try!




Stuffed Bell Peppers

 Ingredients:

3 large bell peppers

1 medium onion, finely chopped

3 Tbl. garlic, chopped or minced

1 lb. lean ground beef (or 1/2 lb. beef and 1/2 lb. Italian sausage)

1 Tbl. parsley

1 tsp. dry basil

1 tsp. beef bouillion

1 Tbl. Worcestershire sauce

1/2 Tbl. mustard, Dijon is best

1/2 tsp. Emerill’s

1 cup cooked rice, brown rice or cooked barley (quick cook works well) *leave out if needed for gluten free

1 can Italian style stewed tomatoes, mashed up or pureed

1/2 tsp. Montreal steak seasoning

2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

1 bottle marinara sauce (plus 1/4 cup water to rinse bottle) or 3 ½ cups homemade sauce

1/4 cup shredded real parmesan cheese

8 oz – 16 oz.  medium-sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

 

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Slice off top inch of each pepper top, cut in half and remove the core, inside veins and seeds.

Place the peppers in a large pan of boiling water and parboil for 4-5 minutes, then invert on paper toweling to drain well.

In a large-size skillet or fry pan, over a medium-high heat add the hamburger, onion and garlic; let this mixture sauté until the meat and onion are cooked through.

Add in the parsley, basil, bouillon,Worcestershire, mustard, Emerill’s, rice or barley, tomatoes, Montreal seasoning, balsamic, parmesan and 2/3 of the shredded cheddar cheese. Simmer about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour marinara sauce in 9×13” baking pan.  (rinse bottle with water if using)

Put bell peppers in pan on marinara sauce  with cut side up, like a bowl.

Fill peppers with meat mixture and cover with foil and bake in oven for 30-45 minutes or until tender and heated through.

Top with the last 1/3 shredded cheese until melted, then serve.

Carrie’s recipe, copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.




Brick Sandwich 1

Brick Sandwich

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Brick Sandwich 1

Brick Sandwich

As I was cleaning, Chef Bryan Woolley (http://chefbryanwoolley.com)came on for his cooking segment, and I heard him say he was going to make a brick sandwich.  Of course I stopped what I was doing to see what in the world he was talking about.     I adapted it sandwich a bit to my liking and presto, a MASTERPIECE, a dense compact scrumptious meal in every bite.

THANK YOU Chef Bryan for this awesome idea that is perfect for picnic’s, camp-outs, parades, fireworks – anytime!




Brick Sandwich

The secret to the success of this sandwich is to use a dense bread that is a bit dry such as a sour dough, focaccia, etc. AND you MUST squeeze ALL the moisture out of the roasted peppers and the artichokes or your sandwich WILL get a bit soggy. Ingredients:

14-24 oz. loaf bread (a bread that is crusty) I used a loaf of roasted garlic sour dough

2-4 oz. spreadable cream cheese (your preference, I like the chive & onion style)

2 – 3 roasted red bell peppers (15 oz. bottled), drained and patted very dry to avoid soggy bread

14 oz. can of artichoke hearts quarters (not in oil), drained and patted very dry to avoid soggy bread

6 slices of provolone cheese

4 – 8oz. of sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and patted very dry to avoid soggy bread

1/3 – 1/2 lb. sliced salami, sandwich sliced

¼ – 1/3 cup fresh basil, or 2 Tbl. dried or to tasteBrick Sandwich 2




Directions: Lay the bread on a cutting board and cut it in half lengthwise. Take out some of the bread from the inside to accommodate the filling. Brick Sandwich 3

Brick Sandwich 4




Dividing the cream cheese between the 2 halves of the bread, spread evenly.Brick Sandwich 5With the remaining ingredients, arrange on the bread halves and them put together. Brick Sandwich 6

Brick Sandwich 7




             Brick Sandwich 8

Brick Sandwich 9             Brick Sandwich 10

Brick Sandwich 11
Brick Sandwich 12




Wrap the sandwich in plastic wrap tightly. Brick Sandwich 13

Brick Sandwich 14             Brick Sandwich 15

Brick Sandwich 16




            Place in a cake pan, or other pan such as a jelly roll or cookie sheet.  Cover with foil. Brick Sandwich 17

Brick Sandwich 18             Place another pan over the top of the brick sandwich.  Put in the refrigerator.Brick Sandwich 19Take 1 or 2 bricks, that are clean, and place on top of the top pan.  Allow to sit 3-6 hours. Can be up to 24 hours IF you did not use the red peppers, artichokes or sun-dried tomatoes; greater chance of bread becoming soggy.Brick Sandwich 20To serve, unwrap foil, saran wrap, slice. and serve. Brick Sandwich 25

 

Carrie’s recipe adapted from Chef Bryan. Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow

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Delicious Gourmet Flat Bread so easy to make

Easy Gourmet Flat Bread

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Delicious Gourmet Flat Bread so easy to make

Gourmet Flat Bread

Here is a recipe I created using fresh herbs and prepared crescent dough to make a flavorful and quick bread for an easy accompaniment to salads or soups.

EASY GOURMET FLAT BREAD

 Ingredients:

1 – 8oz. can crescent dinner rolls

2-3 Tbl. fresh basil leaves, julienned or chopped

1 Tbl. fresh rosemary, chopped fine

2-3 Tbl. fresh chives, chopped fine

2 cups (8 oz.) Italian blend cheese
 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Coat a 9×13 baking pan well with spray release.

Spread the dough out in the pan and press together with fingers to close perforations and evenly distribute the dough.

On top of the dough evenly sprinkle the Italian cheeses then the fresh herbs.

Bake until the dough is golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.

Serve hot.

 

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Recipe by Carrie Groneman, Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.