Finally! The Ultimate Italian Dinner…Part 3 {Main Dish}

Written by Lyndi. Posted in Recipes

Finally, the main dish...this recipe I created myself and I love that it is a great recipe for kids and adults alike...it also makes awesome left overs too!

{Cheesy Baked Ziti}

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Cheesy Baked Ziti {Serves 12}

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 Cloves Minced Garlic
  • 1 whole Large Onion, Diced
  • 2 pounds Ground Beef (you can do half italian sausage if desired)
  • 1 can (28 Ounce Can) Whole Tomatoes, With Juice
  • 2 cans (14.5 Ounce) Tomato Sauce 
  • 1/2 cup Honey (this is one of my secret ingredients...please don't tell my dad that I told you the family cooking secret!!)
  • 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
  • ½ teaspoons Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 16 ounces Ziti, Cooked Until Not Quite Al Dente
  • 8 ounces Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  • 1-½ pound Mozzarella Cheese, Grated

Instructions:

Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for several minutes, or until starting to soften. Add ground beef/italian sausage and cook until browned. Drain off fat, leaving a bit behind for flavor and moisture.

Add tomatoes, tomato juice, honey, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Stir and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. Add heavy whipping cream and sour cream to sauce mixture...remove 3 to 4 cups of the sauce to a different bowl to cool down.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Drain the pasta and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking and cool it down. Pour it into the bowl and toss with sauce mixture.

Add half the coated pasta to a large casserole dish. Spoon half of the remaining sauce over the top, then top with half the remaining mozzarella cheese. Repeat with another layer of the coated pasta, the sauce, and the mozzarella.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbling. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Enjoy My Friends!!

Printable Recipe

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The Ultimate Italian Dinner…Part 2 {Side Dishes}

Written by Lyndi. Posted in Recipes

Have you ever tried the Outback Steakhouse Wedge Salad??...Oh it is my absolute favorite!! So, I was determined to find this recipe and I have been making this plate of deliciousness for a long time.  This salad is a great addition to any type of meal...great with a steak, salmon and in this case even Italian!

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The Outback Steakhouse Wedge Salad {Serves 4}

Blue Cheese dressing

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons sugar

6 ounces crumbled blue cheese 

In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, and buttermilk. Mix well. Next, thoroughly mix in the remainder of the ingredients. 

Afterwards, refrigerate the dressing for up to 24 hours before serving for best flavor. 

 

For the salad

1 head iceberg lettuce, cut into 4 equal wedges 

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved 

1/2 cup chopped red onion 

8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled 

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar 

6 ounces crumbled blue cheese 

Black pepper to taste 

 

First, you need to cook the balsamic vinegar into a glaze. Heat the balsamic vinegar in a saucepan on medium heat. Cook until reduced by half, then remove from heat and allow to cool. 

Meanwhile, place the iceberg lettuce wedge on a serving dish. Then liberally pour blue cheese dressing over top of wedge. Next, top with halved tomatoes, chopped onion, crumbled blue cheese, and crumbled bacon. 
Drizzle a little of the balsamic glaze on top of the wedge, and sprinkle with black pepper.

This salad can be a little time extensive because you have to make the salad dressing, the balsamic glaze, and cook the bacon...but recently I found the best substitute for those, so I can whip this salad up super quick! This Bleu Cheese dressing from Wild Coyote, is almost identical tasting to the homemade version and I was so excited to find this balsamic glaze already prepared!  Also, I buy the precooked bacon for a super quick finish...and it doesn't smell up my whole house!

 

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When you have three little chef helpers (and one half naked) like I do, and they want to help you cook everything, then you need to come up with some shortcuts on some recipes.  These breadsticks are made from frozen rolls...but you would NEVER guess it.  They are huge, moist, delicious and soooo EASY!
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Easy and Delicious Breadsticks {Serves 8-12}
 
Ingredients
 
24 frozen rolls
 
1/2 cup melted butter
 
2 tbsp garlic salt
 
fresh grated parmesan cheese
 
Directions
 
Let frozen rolls unthaw, then roll each one out to make it look like a snake...take two pieces and braid them together.  Let raise (about 1 hour)...brush melted butter over each one, sprinkle garlic salt and fresh grated parmesan cheese over each breadstick.  Bake for approximately 12 minutes or until the tops are barely starting to brown.  Brush one more coat of melted butter on the top while still warm. Hurry and eat one before they are GONE!

Happy Eating!

 

Printable Recipes 

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The Ultimate Italian Dinner…Part 1 {Appetizers}

Written by Lyndi. Posted in Recipes

I am divulging a few of my secret recipes...These are the most delicious appetizers and anytime I take them to a party or have people over for dinner, I am asked for the recipe!  If you know me well, you know that I only keep my recipes in my head...so I decided to actually right these down, figure out measurements, and share with you!

 Amazing Bruschetta by Ellie Bean

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Even My picky Max will eat this

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Amazing Bruschetta by Ellie Bean {8 servings}

INGREDIENTS:

6 Roma tomatoes

2 cloves minced garlic

1/4 cup olive oil

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

1/4 cup balsamic vinager

1/2 tsp salt and pepper

1/2 (1 pound) loaf Italian bread, cut into 1

inch slices

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to broiler setting.

In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinager, basil and salt and pepper. Allow mixture to sit for at least 20 minutes.  (This can be made earlier in the day).

Place bread on a baking sheet, and top with tomato mixture.

Top each slice with mozzarella cheese.

Broil for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted!  Enjoy!

 

Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips

IMG_3090IMG_3114Yep, even Lucy ate it...it's a great way to get fruit in your kids bellies!
IMG_3129The final product...YUM!  Completely addicting!
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Fruit Salsa and Cinnamon Chips {8-12 servings}

INGREDIENTS:

16 oz strawberries

6  kiwis

8 oz blueberries

2 mangos

2 Tbsp Honey

1 lime

8-10 uncooked tortillas

1/2 cup melted butter

3/4 cup cinnamon sugar

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large bowl, thoroughly mix kiwis, mangos, blueberries, strawberries, honey, and the juice from one lime. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 15 minutes.

Place uncooked tortilla onto cookie sheet, brush a light coat of butter on to the tortilla, then add the cinnamon sugar.  Cut with a pizza cutter into 8 slices…then bake for about 10 minutes.

 

Printable Recipes

 

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Baby Girl Inspired Nursery

Written by Lyndi. Posted in Interior Design, Kids & Family Life

I LOVE babies and I LOVE nurseries...but I am 99 percent sure that this mama is done having both of those, so it makes me very excited to be able to decorate nurseries for others and get to hold their babies too (yes, that is part of the contract)!

I'm in love with this color combo and I was able to find some amazing pieces for reasonable prices.

The links for all of these products are below!

baby girl inspired nursery

1. Daisy Wing Chair

2. Pink Striped Rug

3. Z Gallerie Maverick Chandelier

4. Stella Gray Baby Bedding

5. White Round Casey Mirror

6. Gray and Pink Birth Word Art

7. Pink and Gray Bird Mobile

8. Vintage Bow Holder/Special Word Art

9. White Marlowe Sleigh Crib  

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Happy Easter! Free Gift Tags & Printable

Written by Lyndi. Posted in Free Printables, Graphic Design, Holidays

Download links below

easterfree

 print 8x10 size

       

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freedownload

Print individual downloaded gift tag on a 4x6, trim top, hold punch the circle, add a ribbon and you are set!

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i know that my redeemer lives

This is one of my favorite hymns, so I had to make this free printable for Easter...I need to always remember the real reason why we have Easter and not get caught up in the peeps and chocolate. Enjoy!!

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Star Wars love quote…Free Download!

Written by Lyndi. Posted in Free Printables, Graphic Design, Kids & Family Life

We LOVE Star Wars at our house, especially my 12 year old daughter...I know, girls usually aren't into this stuff, but she knows EVERYTHING there is to know about Star Wars and I love that about her!  I made this for her, and I will either frame it or print it onto a canvas.

Enjoy my young padawan...

Download link below

sw

 

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The BEST white sheet cake…

Written by Lyndi. Posted in Recipes

I have been proposed to over this cake, invited to parties just so I will bring it, and my husband and kids beg me to make this cake on a weekly basis...yes, it really is that good! So, I thought I would do the right thing and share this recipe with my friends!IMG_2960
Grammy's White Sheet Cake

1 c. butter

1 c. water

2 c. sugar

2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. sour cream

Frosting:

1 c. butter

6 Tbl. evaporated milk

4 1/2 c. powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1/8 tsp. salt

strawberries if desired

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Melt butter and water in a large saucepan over medium-low heat until butter is melted.  Remove from heat and stir in the sugar, flour, salt and baking soda.  Stir with a wire whisk until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla.  Stir in the sour cream and mix until blended.  Pour the batter into a well greased 11''x17'' sheet pan.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly touched or a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Remove cake from oven and allow to cool slightly while you make the frosting.  Put the butter and milk into a medium saucepan.  Heat until butter is melted and bring to a simmer.  Remove from heat and stir in the powdered sugar, vanilla and a dash of salt.  Whisk until completely smooth.

adapted from: Frieda Loves Bread

(Printable Recipe)

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