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Loaded Veggie Italian Tortellini Salad.

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This is one salad that I absolutely love to make during the summer months. It’s pretty much versatile that you can make it just about anytime of year but, summertime is my fav for this beauty. Made with olive oil, lemon, fresh dill, salt and pepper, it’s a cold salad that you’ll truly want to make for every event.

1 bag Tri color Tortellini

1/2 cup crumbled Ricotta Salata ( you can also substitute using Feta cheese)

2-3 Roma Tomatoes diced

1 green bell pepper diced

1 purple or red bell pepper diced

1 large cucumber diced

2 Celery stalks diced

1 small onion diced

1/2 cup sliced pepperoncini

2 teaspoon fresh dill

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 lemon squeezed

Salt and pepper

Dice all vegetables and add to a bowl. Cook Tortellini as directed salting the water before dropping. Drain and add back to pot. Add a drizzle of olive oil, toss and let cool for 10-15 mins. Once Tortellini is cool, add cooked Tortellini to veggie bowl. Add about 1/4 drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, dill and squeeze half of your lemon into bowl. Toss mixture and check for seasoning. Add crumbled Ricotta Salata into bowl and re-toss. Let Salad sit in the fridge for about and hour and serve.

Cooking time approx: 8 mins.

Prep time approx: 10 mins

EDF,VEG,KF

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Stuffed Pork and Kale Islander bells topped with Applewood Smoked Gruyere. 

I was so excited to get cooking today after my wonderful trip to our towns local farmers market yesterday. I met some really wonderful folks who are just so proud of their products that they grow and sell it really melted my heart. I have to give a  BIG shout out to Counrty Dreams Farm. I had bought some of these wonderful purple Islander peppers from them yesterday and they were absolutely delicious. So of course peppers=STUFFED goodness for me.I decided to use an easy combo of  Pork, Kale, garlic, thyme and fennel seed to stuff these beauties. SUPER flavorful and such a wicked easy GF recipe, you’ll be in stuffed pepper heaven. ❤️

1/2 lb ground pork

3 Islander peppers cut lengthwise

2 handfuls of Kale chopped 

2 large cloves of garlic grated

1 to 3/4 cups grated Applewood Smoked Gruyere cheese

1 teaspoon fennel seed

1 teaspoon dry thyme 

Salt and pepper 

Olive oil

Cut peppers lengthwise and remove the seeds and ribs. Place cut peppers face side up in a medium baking dish and set aside. 
Heat a med skillet over med high heat. Add a few drizzles of olive oil and grated garlic into the skillet. Add pork, thyme, fennel seed, black pepper and a pinch of salt. Once pork is just about browned, add in your chopped Kale ( you may need to add a tiny bit more olive to the pan with this step). Combine and cook till Kale wilts. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. 
Remove skillet from heat and stuff each pepper with filling. Fill each one to the very top. Top each filled pepper with grated Gruyere. 
Cover with tin foil ( this helps the peppers steam so they soften) and bake peppers in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 mins. 
Remove and uncover. Place peppers back in and turn your oven up to 375. Bake again for another 10-12 mins till tops are slightly golden. 
Remove and serve 

Cooking time: approx 45 mins

Prep time: approx 15 mins

Serves 3 peeps

GD,DF,EDV

Spaghetti Pepperoni pie 


Is it a pizza??? Nope it’s a pie. We’ll sort of? My kids were complete ecstatic when this big beauty came out of the oven tonight.  This is so super easy and has all the great flavors of a delicious spaghetti dinner. You can most certainly substitute with any GF spaghetti instead and I highly recommend using a “corn” spaghetti.  I really hope y’all get the chance to make and enjoy this recipe just as my family and I did tonight.  Ciao. ❤️

1 1/4 lb Long Spaghetti ( substitute corn spaghetti for GF option)

1 package of sliced Pepperoni

1 1/2 cans crushed or puréed tomatoes

2 cups Shredded mozzarella

1 cup grated Parmesan

Salt and pepper

Chopped fresh Basil or parsley for garish

 

Boil spaghetti as directed making sure to salt your pasta water before dropping the actual pasta itself.
Drain pasta and add back to pot. Pour in about half your crushed/puréed tomatoes and combine. Add about 1/2 cup of grated parm and some black pepper and combine
Once combined, add spaghetti to an 8/9 inch springform cake pan. Using a wooden spoon shape and form spaghetti to pan. Add 1 circular layer of Pepperoni, then add the rest of your tomatoes. Next add your mozzarella and top with the rest of your grated parm. Lastly, layer top with Pepperoni going around the edges.
Cover top with tin foil and bake in a 350 oven for 30 mins. After 30, remove tinfoil and bake uncovered at 400 for an additional 10/12 mins till cheese is slightly golden on top.
Remove and let sit for about 15 mins before removing and cutting. Sprinkle some fresh chopped basil of parsley and serve.
Cooking time about 45 mins

Prep time about 20 mins
Serves 6-8 peeps
KF,EDF,GF( with substitution)

Ciambotta over Creamy Parmesan Polenta

This is such a wonderful Vegetarian Dish. Great for #Meatless Monday and is actually done in less than 30 mins. Freezes BEAUTIFULLY for a large crowd or just as a quick 1 person meal. Lots of veggies hearty veggies that stand up to any protein, pasta or creamy polenta as I like best. I love doing this dish for basically anytime of the year. Perfect and hearty with tons of great earthy flavors. STEW is ON!! 
1 can San Marzano tomatoes 

1 med sized Eggplant Diced

1 red bell pepper diced

1 green bell pepper diced

1 large onion diced

2 med zucchini diced

2 large Potatoes peeled and diced

2 carrots peeled and diced 

3 celery stalks diced 

4 gloves Garlic grated or chopped 

1 1/2 cups vegetable stock

3 fresh basil leaves ripped and torn

3 fresh oregano leaves

1/4 cup chopped fresh Parsley 

Olive oil

Salt and pepper
Polenta: ( I use Quick cooking polenta) 
2 cups Vegetable stock ( I usually use Chicken stock for polenta cooking but, this is a vegetarian dish so using veggie stock instead is perfect) 

2 cups Quick cooking Polenta 

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup grated Parmesan 

Salt and pepper

In a large pot over medium high heat, drizzle olive oil, salt and add all veggies except for potato and zucchini Cook till veggies have cooked down and are slightly soft (about 6 mins) . Add in veggie stock and canned tomatoes breaking up the the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Add in herbs potatoes and zucchini a dash of salt and pepper. Lower heat to med and over a low boil, cook till potatoes and zucchini have softened and stew has cooked down to about 3/4 of the way( (about 12 mins) . Turn off heat. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. 
Cook polenta as directed on package. Once polenta is fully cooked and smooth add Parmesan, butter and salt/pepper at the end. 
Place a mound of polenta in a bowl, press down in the middle of polenta and add Stew right in top. Garnish with ripped Basil leaves and serve. 
Prep time approx 15 mins
Cooking time approx 20-25 mins depending on big or small you dice your veggies. 
Serving size is based on 6-8 peeps 
GF,VEG,EDF

Summer Heirloom Tomato Panzanella with Mint.


This is the PERFECT warm summertime salad. Not only is it super quick and easy but, it’s delicious to enjoy just about anytime of the year. A tradition Panzanella salad is usually made with day old bread or so called “stale” bread but, I absolutely love going to the store, picking out a delicious fresh loaf of whatever kind and drying it out myself. This recipe I created just as a quick side to a hearty protein of as a quick lunch while on the go.  Beautiful too look at but even more delicious to devour. 

1 loaf Garlic infused Ciabatta bread 

2 Heirloom Tomatoes ( Sliced into 8 slices each) 

1 container fresh Baby mozzarella 

1 red onion thinly sliced

1 bushel of Fresh Mint 

1 teaspoon dry Basil 

1 teaspoon dry oregano 

1/2 of fresh Lemon

1 to 1/2 teaspoons  of crushed red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper

Olive oil 

Preheat oven at 400. Cut ciabatta bread into small cubes. Place all cubes into a large bowl. Drizzle olive oil and above seasonings including some salt and pepper. Toss together evenly and spread out on a medium sized baking sheet. Bake for roughly 5-6 mins just till the bread cubes become slightly brown. Remove and add back to your large bowl. Add sliced tomatoes, sliced red onion and fresh mozz and some of the mint leaves. Drizzle a tad bit more of the olive oil, a squeeze of half a lemon, salt and pepper and toss lightly. Add finished salad to a large platter placing the rest of your fresh mint on top and serve. 

Cooking time: approx 5-6 mins

Prep time: approx 10 mins

Serves 4 people 

Creamy Springtime Risotto Primavera. 

Hey guys, it’s been a while since I’ve posted some of my recipes but, with working and all other of life’s hassles it’s been somewhat of a challenge.. Anyway,  I am SUPER excited to bring you this wonderful “Springtime” dish that is as pretty to look at as it is delicious to eat.  Risotto is something that I make a few times a month to swap out your usual side dishes. It does take a lot of babysitting while cooking but, it’s so worth the wait I tell you.  This is a simple variation of one of my most favorite side dishes and can really go with just about any protein or simply just by itself as a wonderful vegetarian dish. Hope you guys enjoy this goodie as much as my family and I did.
2 cups Orzo pasta
6 cups Chicken Stock
4 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan
2 cups frozen peas
2 large carrots diced
3 cloves Garlic ( grated)
Salt and pepper
Fresh or dry Parsley for garnish

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add in grated garlic and diced carrots. Cook garlic and carrots for about 2 minutes. Turn heat to medium high and add in Orzo. Cook Orzo for roughly 2 mins. Add in 1 cup of chicken stock and continue stirring till most of the liquid evaporates ( make sure to scrap the bottom of the pan each time you stir). Once Orzo has completely absorbed the first cup of chicken stock, you will now add in the second cup you will do this step till all 6 cups of chicken stock has been used ( after each cup has been absorbed into the Orzo, you will then add the next cup of stock) . Once Orzo has a super Creamy and thick texture turn heat to low and add your freshly grated Parmesan and frozen peas. Stir and combine till peas are fully cooked though. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add to a large serving dish and sprinkle with either fresh chopped parsley or dry Parsley and serve.
Cooking time: approx 25 mins
Serves 6 peeps
VEG,EDF,LF

Red Velvet Valentine Truffles 

These little cuties are perfect for any Valentine’s Day party or just handing them out to those special people in your life that mean the most. They’re super easy to make and totally kid friendly. Now, you don’t have to over pay for those big gigantic boxes of chocolates, when you can literally make these for a fraction of what you would pay in the stores. Wicked cute and wicked GOOD!!! 

1 box Red Velvet cake mix 
1 8oz container of softened cream cheese at room temp
2 bags White Chocolate chips
Colored candy or sprinkles for garnish

Make cake mix as directed (Note:I always add “hot” water to any boxed “chocolate” cake mix instead of using cold, this step really helps bring the chocolate to life in the cake mix. When cake is done, cool the cake completely. Once cake has cooled, crumble cake into fine pieces into a large bowl. Fold in cream cheese ( I usually just use my hands using latex gloves to mix cake pieces and cream cheese) mix till cream cheese is fully incorporated.  
Once combined, take mixture and start forming “meatball” sized balls ( you should be able to get 24 out of mixture) and place each one on a small baking sheet. Refrigerate for 1 hr. 
Melt 1 bag of the white Chocolate in the microwave for about 1 1/2 mins, removing every 15 secs to stir. Stir in the 2nd bag of chocolate a little at a time till the whole bag is combined with the 1st ( you possibly might need a little bit more cooking time in the microwave for this step if the bowl holding the chocolate isn’t warm enough. Once chocolate is melted, dip each truffle into the melted white chocolate making sure to coat the entire truffle. Place each one back on top a parchment covered baking sheet and add colored candy or sprinkles on top immediately after dipping..Let the melted chocolate dry for about 15 mins before handling. 
Cooking time: about 15 mins
Prep time about 20 mins 
Makes 24 truffles