Archive for the ‘What’s For Dinner’ Category

What’s For Dinner: Easy Ravioli With Sausage And Tomatoes

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

I was going to call this “What’s For Dinner: Stuff I Bought At Target” but my friend Amy pointed out some Targets don’t have as much food as others. Maybe your Target doesn’t have a frozen food section, or dried herbs, or the specific brand of tomatoes I like, or any sausage. I don’t want to get angry emails saying “I TRIED TO MAKE YOUR RECIPE BUT THEY DIDN’T HAVE RAVIOLI AT MY TARGET SO MY LIFE IS RUINED.”

You wouldn’t think people could get so mad over a problem easily solved (try the grocery store! Or even Walmart!), but then you’d remember this is the internet.  The most hateful comments I’ve ever gotten were about a tutu.

But back to food, since food is pretty much all I have left to enjoy at 32 weeks pregnant. Delicious, cheesy food.

Ravioli with Sausage and Tomatoes @bebehblog

A recipe that only takes a handful of ingredients that I can keep on hand AND children eat is the Holy Grail of dinners around here. I don’t even consider frozen ravioli cheating when it comes to “homemade” – if I didn’t get it from a drive-thru, we’re doing really well. (Have I mentioned I just discovered the joys of frozen meatballs and rotisserie chickens from the grocery store too???) Both kids ate the noodles, Caroline ate a ton of sausage and Evan pushed the tomatoes around on his plate. I added lots of red pepper flakes for my helping, but if you made it for grown ups you could use spicy sausage for even better flavor – the package I used was “garlic and cheese”.

Ravioli With Sausage And Tomatoes

1 24 oz bag frozen ravioli (cheese, spinach & cheese, whatever)
1 28 oz can Tuttorosso diced tomatoes
16 oz Italian sausage (whatever kind you like – if you buy precooked chicken sausage this would be even faster)
1 TBS dried basil
1 TBS dried oregano
Parmesan cheese
Red pepper flakes

Cook the ravioli according to package directions. Most of the time that involves boiling a pot of water and just tossing them in for a few minutes. In the mean time, cut the sausage into small/medium sized pieces and brown it in a skillet until fully cooked. Drain the sausage of most of the fat. Open the tomato can and drain about 3/4 of the liquid (If you want saucier tomatoes you can skip that step. Saucy!) then throw them in the pan with the sausage. Add basil and oregano, then salt to taste. Simmer the sauce for just a few minutes to let the sausage soak up some of the tomatoes. Drain the ravioli and you’re ready to serve! Top with cheese and red pepper to taste.

Ravioli with Sausage and Tomatoes @bebehblog

It almost seems too easy, but I promise the tomatoes + sausage make a delicious combination. I’m a big fan of the Tuttorosso brand (they actually sent me a few cans, but I already had a dozen in my pantry) and they’re easy to find – look for the green and yellow labels. Technically this should serve 4, but if you are hungry or pregnant I’d say only 2 grown ups plus 2 kids.

Although right now I am fully confident I could eat the entire thing entirely by myself.

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Cranberry Orange Bread

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

I made a test loaf of cranberry orange bread and ate 75% of it before I remembered I needed to take a picture if I wanted to post the recipe. My second try was even more delicious AND I managed to wait until it was cool to take it out of the pan so I had a nice loaf for photos. It’s definitely a dessert bread, but who says you can’t have dessert in the morning with a cup of coffee, dessert at noon with a little butter and two slices of dessert after dinner? Cranberry orange bread reminds me of the holidays, although I can’t quite remember why. It’s also a good way to include cranberries with Thanksgiving in case you’re one of those crazy people who don’t like real cranberry sauce.

cranberry orange bread

Cranberry Orange Bread

12 oz cranberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup orange juice

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt

1 egg
1/2 cup orange juice
1 1/2 Tablespoons orange zest (about 1 medium orange)
3/4 cup plain yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Combine the cranberries, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup orange juice in a bowl. Stir well and let the berries soak while you mix the batter. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Combine the wet ingredients in a medium bowl and stir well, making sure to fully beat the egg. Add the wet ingredients and the berry mixture to the dry ingredients and stir. Use a spatula to scrape the bowl and make sure it’s fully combined. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan (approximately 9x5x3) and bake at 350 for one hour or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Use the tester or a toothpick to poke holes in the top of the loaf.

Mix 1 Tablespoon water and 1 cup powdered sugar in a small bowl. Add a splash or two of orange juice until you get a good drizzling consistency. When the loaf has cooled a little, run a sharp knife around the edge and flip the pan over to release the bread. Put the cranberry orange bread right-side up on a plate and drizzle with the glaze. Eat and enjoy.

cranberry orange bread

cranberry orange bread

Yum yum yum yum. I will say, 12 oz of cranberries is a lot of cranberries, as you can see from the sliced shots. You can adjust the amount of cranberries down (or add more orange zest if you want it to be EXTRA orange-y) without affecting the recipe or cook time.

cranberry orange bread




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What’s For Dinner? Volume 12

Friday, April 26th, 2013

It’s What’s for Dinner! I’m hoping resurrecting this feature will encourage me to cook more. I like cooking. It’s better for me and my family than the pizza/fast food/frozen stuff cycle we’ve been on while E’s schedule was totally crazy. Even if I’m not making intentionally diet-friendly recipes there are definitely more vegetables in these than in a #2 from McDonalds (large size, with a Diet Coke). So here’s what we’ve been eating for the past week:

1-Lightroom Edits1

Dragon Noodles – Budget Bytes (A++++ Will make again (and again and again and another million more times.) It’s too spicy for the kids so I have to make them something else but it is totally worth it.)
Pesto Shrimp Skewers and Malt Vinegar Oven Fries – SkinnyTaste and BabyBabyLemon (my fries were delicious but not photogenic)
Korean Beef – Lizzy Writes (I added sriracha, so of course it was delicious)
Baked Hummus and Spinach Dip and Homemade Whole Wheat Pitas – Naturally Ella and Budget Bytes (E had work so I was just feeding myself and the kids, so hummus was a perfect choice)

1-Lightroom Edits2

Cheeseburger Quesadillas – Skinny Taste (she made hers with buffalo meat, but I used my delicious grass-fed cow)
Greek Salad with Beef Kebabs – ripped out of Rachael Ray’s magazine (salad was delicious, kebabs were a little meh but BOTH kids ate a ton of meat and cucumbers)
Summer Vegetables with Sausage and Potatoes – Skinny Taste (yummy)
Crockpot Beef and Pepper Tacos  – I made this one up! See below for the recipe…

crockpot beef and pepper tacos

Crockpot Beef and Pepper Tacos
Serves at least 4, with leftovers

1 Beef roast, 2-3 lbs
Bell peppers, various colors, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped (or more, to taste)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 T chili powder
1 T garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 T salt
1 tsp paprika
Black pepper
Red pepper flakes, to taste
2 cups beef broth or stock

Mix the spices together in a small bowl and rub them all over the roast. Put the roast in the crockpot and surround it with the peppers, onion, jalapeno and garlic. And 2 cups beef broth (more or less, depending on the size of your crockpot – it should come up about half way on the roast) and then put the lid on. Cook on low for 5-6 hours or until the beef is fall-apart tender. Shred it up and put it on a plate for serving. Put the cooked beef and peppers in tortillas with lettuce, pico de gallo, and avocado. I put hot sauce on mine too, since it was good but a little boring – I love spicy! Caroline liked it though, so mild was definitely a good choice.

crockpot beef and pepper tacos

I made the pico de gallo too. I win at dinner this week.

So, have you tried any really great recipes recently?

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Easy Addictive Radish Dip

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Today I present a recipe for super easy, super delicious radish dip. I ate an entire batch of it over the past two days which means a) I will smell like garlic for a week and b) I ate an entire block of cream cheese by myself. I’m not even sorry.

easy radish dip

My sister made this dip when she came to visit a zillion years ago. I was confused, because who uses radishes for anything?? They’re like the acid wash jeans of vegetables – they’re always AROUND and sometimes they’re trendy and maybe other people use them for stuff but for most people? No. Just no. Who knew they were actually delicious and spicy and perfect for a crunchy snack? Also, they’re perfect in this dip, which might be the easiest thing you ever eat way, way too much of in one sitting.

Easy Radish Dip

1 block cream cheese (regular or light)
6-7 medium sized radishes
4 cloves of garlic, peeled

Put everything in a food processor, blend until radishes and garlic are minced. Eat with crackers, carrots or more radishes cut into slices.

Add more garlic if you like things super garlicky. Add more radishes to make it a tiny bit healthier (less cream cheese per bite). Double it if you’re making it for a party. Enjoy!

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A Paleo Update and Grain-Free Cranberry Orange Scones

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012
paleo grain free cranberry orange scones

You can skip all my rambling and scroll to the bottom for the recipe

I am really terrible at sticking to things I start. Hobbies, fitness plans, housekeeping schedules, photo-a-day-for-a-month projects have all fallen by the wayside after I declared they were totally my new favorite thing and THIS TIME would be different. I don’t even stick to big things like houses for very long – the one we’re in now is the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere in my whole life.

But I got a legitimate email question asking if I was still doing paleo/primal and how I liked it so I thought I would answer, even if the answer is a little bit meh.

I AM still trying to eat a mostly paleo diet. I don’t eat any bread or grains or legumes any more and don’t miss them much. I switched to using coconut oil for all my cooking and love it. I eat a lot of vegetable substitutes for things – eggplant or spaghetti squash instead of noodles, kale chips instead of chips – and eat tons of fruit. I still think this is something I can do long term, but it hasn’t been a miracle diet for me.

At the beginning when I was being really careful and strict I lost 8 pounds very quickly. But as soon as I let things slide even a little I gained a few back and got frustrated. The idea of NEVER EVER EVER eating bread again depressed me.When I go to a birthday party and I’m faced with a table full of cupcakes – even if the cupcakes aren’t that GOOD – my brain convinces me I must have them because only a crazy person would pass up CUPCAKES. I don’t want to give up dairy completely (which is why I was calling my diet almost-paleo but more like primal) but I have a hard time not eating an entire block of cheese. I keep telling myself things that are OK in moderation – red wine, dark chocolate – are OK on a daily basis when obviously that’s a poor choice.

Basically, this is another thing I’ve started and not been very good at. I realize that is my fault and not the fault of the diet. I’ve also decided this IS something I DO want to stick to, so I’m trying again. I do feel better when I’m eating a high protein, moderate fat diet. I like not feeling bloated. I like not craving soda and sweets and having energy after 3 pm. I’ve found a lot of really delicious recipes (PaleOMG, NomNomPaleo and Civilized Caveman are three of my favorite sites) and I enjoy how easy it is to throw some meat in the crockpot and be done. Plus: BACON! I even talked my friend Alena into trying this with me and now we’re working to motivate each other.

So! Here’s my first attempt combining something I love (baking) with something I WANT to love (paleo).

I haven’t had a lot of luck with paleo baking so far – coconut flour is not a very good substitute for real flour. Stuff made with coconut flour tends to be very egg-y with just token amounts of flour to make it a “muffin” or a “pancake” instead of an omelet. But when I found a recipe for almond flour scones I thought I’d give it a shot and was thrilled with the results. Even my husband ate these and was surprised to hear they were part of my “crazy, stupid diet”. They take less than 20 minutes start to finish and are easy enough to make at 7 am when you can’t stand the thought of scrambled eggs AGAIN.

paleo grain free cranberry orange scones

Grain-Free Cranberry Orange Scones
(inspired by these from Civilized Caveman)

Makes 8 scones

2 cups almond flour or meal
1/3 cup shredded (unsweetened) coconut
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Pinch of salt
1 egg
2 T honey
Zest of 1 orange
1 T fresh orange juice
1 tsp almond extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix all the wet ingredients in a small bowl until the egg is fully scrambled. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until combined (I used a spatula, but you could use a mixer). Turn it out onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Form the dough (it will be sticky) into a rectangle about 1/2 an inch thick. Cut into four equal-ish rectangles, then cut each smaller rectangle diagonally to make triangles. Space them about 1 inch apart and bake for about 10 minutes until edges are browned. Let them cool down before you eat them or they’ll fall apart. Delicious with butter or coconut butter.

(Notes: I couldn’t find unsweetened dried cranberries so I cheated and bought some sweetened with organic cane juice from Stop & Shop. I bet you can get them at someplace fancy like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. If you aren’t on a paleo/primal diet and don’t want to track down unsweetened coconut flakes, use the regular kind from the baking aisle and use a little less honey. You can make your own almond meal by grinding up almonds finely in a food processor.)

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