Posted on 13 Comments

One Pan Baked Ziti Recipe

I found a new obsession… my new cast iron skillet pan!

On Mother’s Day,  my mom and I took the girls shopping at Marshal’s and Home Goods. I was searching for a good cast iron pan but wasn’t a fan of what they had so we went to Walmart and I found a basic 12″ pan which is what I wanted. I won’t lie…. I have been intimidated to actually use the pan but this is my second dish and wow is it easy and delish! (The first dish is my signature Chicken Paprikash which was amazing too!)

This Baked Ziti dish is so easy and yummy that I had to share it with all of you!

One Pan Baked Ziti

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A Great One Pan dinner for the family to enjoy.


Credit: kaella.net

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 2 cloves garlic; sliced or chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can/jar tomato sauce
  • 1 16 oz box of pasta (ziti/penne/rigatoni)
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Move the oven rack to the middle and Set oven to 450 degrees. Heat cast iron or another oven safe pan with your oil.
  2. Brown your ground meat.
  3. Once the meat is browned, add the garlic, basil and oregano and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Lower the heat to low/medium and simmer for 10 minutes; occasionally stir.
  5. Add the water and pasta. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat, cover and leave at a low boil for 15 minutes or until noodles are tender.
  6. Stir in the heavy cream, 1/2 the cheese, salt and pepper. Sprinkle the rest of cheese over the noodles.
  7. Place the pan in the oven for 5-8 minutes or until the cheese is browned.Be cautious that pan is hot when serving the meal to your loved ones.
  8. Enjoy a dinner with the people you love.

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Posted on 12 Comments

2 Strawberry Infused Water Recipes for the Summer

Summertime is coming which means lots of fresh fruits and herbs to enjoy. It also means lots of heat so hydration is important. I’m not one that likes to drink water just plain… I need some taste to my water. One of the best ways to add taste to my water is by infusing it with fruits, veggies and herbs.

When Summer comes so does all of those delicious fruits, veggies and herbs. Plus, when our local grocery stores put some of the fresh fruits on sale I will stock up and freeze them for my waters. Last week, our local grocery store had a super coupon which I had to use… 2 pounds of strawberries for $1.99! I bought 4 pounds which Danyella ate just about 2 pounds herself. The other 2 pounds were cut and frozen. Plus, the best part of freezing the strawberries is they double as ice cubes.

Everyone talks about how the infused waters are great for detoxing your body and other health benefits. I am focusing more on the taste with my infused waters because just drinking water helps to detox the body and gives so many health benefits. I a bottle from a tea company because it has an infuser built into the lid so the leaves don’t get out while I am drinking the water. I use 2 bottles because while I am drinking one then the other one is infusing.

These are my 2 favorite strawberry infused water recipes for the summer:

Strawberry Lemon Basil Infused Water:

1 cup strawberries; sliced or cut

1/2 lemon; sliced or cut

3-4 basil leaves, fresh

16+ ounces of water

Add the strawberries, lemon and basil to the water jug of your choice. Add your water over the fruit then store in the fridge until you are ready to drink it. I will continue to add water to my bottle through the day while I am switching between my 2 bottles. The fruit continues to infuse the water throughout the day and still tastes yummy.

Strawberry Mint Infused Water:

1 cup strawberries; sliced or cut

3-4 mint leaves; fresh

Add the strawberries and mint to the water jug of your choice. Add your water over the fruit then store in the fridge until you are ready to drink it. I will continue to add water to my bottle through the day while I am switching between my 2 bottles. The fruit continues to infuse the water throughout the day and still tastes yummy.

*Another alternative to the mint is using chocolate mint, which I plan I finding a chocolate mint plant soon so I can try it. Chocolate Mint Strawberry water sounds divine!

I love hearing new ideas so what are your favorite infused waters to drink?

 

 

 

 

Posted on 9 Comments

Easy Foil Lemon Fish Packets

img_3653This is one of my favorite fish meals to make because it is easy, yummy and it can go in my oven or on the grill in the summer. Personally, I love white fish like tilapia because it is a mild fish. Though, when it comes to my sushi, I pretty much eat any fish.

You can either get fresh fish fillets from your local fish place or grocery store’s fish section. I prefer to get the frozen fillets that are individually packaged because I can just take out how many I want at a time and not end up with leftovers that won’t be eaten. Let’s be honest, fish the next day is just not something you want to eat.

This pairs great with rice or fresh veggies or salad in the summer. I love tilapia with grilled asparagus in the summer. Plus, I use fresh herbs from my herb garden to enhance the taste of my fish. Win-Win!

Now, I can’t get Danyella, aka the sassy tween, to eat fish but she tried this and loved it. This is a huge accomplishment in my mom life!

Foil Lemon Fish Packets

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A fresh, light, easy fish recipe.


Credit: kaella.net

Ingredients

  • 2-4 fish fillets
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced or chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 lemon sliced
  • 1/2 lemon for juicing
  • olive oil for foil
  • a piece of tin foil for each fillet large enough to create a packet
  • salt and pepper; to taste

Directions

  1. Set oven to 350 degrees or fire up your grill. Fold the sides of each piece of tin foil to create walls. Drizzle oil in each.
  2. Place a fillet on each piece. Sprinkle each piece with garlic, basil, parsley, salt and pepper.
  3. Squeeze lemon and place lemon slices on each fillet.
  4. Fold each packet around the fish. Set the fish in a glass or tin baking dish or place directly on your grill.
  5. Cook for 15-20 minutes depending on the size of the fillets. The last 5 minutes I like to open the packets and let the lemons bake into the fish a little more.
  6. Serve with a yummy side and enjoy a nice dinner with your family.

Posted on 8 Comments

Brown Sugar Breaded Baked Pork Chops

If you can’t tell, my family has been on a pork chop kick lately since “Christina” gave us a bunch of chops and ham steaks from when they purchased a pig last year. The challenge has been to find different ways to make the pork so that I am not feeding my family the same recipe over and over.

One thing I love to make and eat is breaded chicken but I have never done this with pork before. Hey, it should taste just as good right? Oh it did taste so good! The combination of the bread crumbs, brown sugar and a little bit lemon juice makes this a savory with a touch of sweet pork chops. It pairs well with potatoes, egg noodles or rice really nicely.

Brown Sugar Breaded Baked Pork Chops

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


Credit: kaella.net

Ingredients

  • 4-6 pork chops
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or non stick spray
  • 3 cloves garlic sliced or chopped
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons onion flakes
  • salt/pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice or 1/2 fresh lemon

Directions

  1. Set oven to 350 degrees. Spray or coat a deep baking dish with oil. Set 2 bowls aside
  2. In one bowl, whisk the 2 eggs. In the other bowl, mix garlic, onion flakes, bread crumbs, brown sugar, salt and pepper together.
  3. Dip the chops in the egg wash then into the breading mixture. Place the chops in the dish.
  4. Drizzle the lemon juice over each chop.
  5. Bake on the bottom rack for 30 minutes. Switch to the top rack for 15 minutes to crisp the breading up. If your pork chops are thicker please allow for longer cooking times.
  6. Pair with your favorite sides and enjoy a nice meal with your family!

Posted on 6 Comments

Mushroom Pork Chops Instant Pot Printable Recipe

One of my favorite things to eat with my dinner dishes is mushrooms. Now, I know a lot of people do not like mushrooms but there are the few of us that do like/love them. My love of mushrooms start back in grade school. During our Friday lunch breaks, we were allowed to walk downtown to the pizza place to eat (or home but most of chose to eat pizza) and I fell in love with mushrooms on my pizza. Since then, I will add mushrooms to whatever dinner meals I can which thankfully my husband likes mushrooms too.

Typically, I will add mushrooms to my chicken dishes like my Chicken Paprikash. This time, I wanted to try a new version of my mushroom gravy but I had pork chops already defrosted. Well, it couldn’t hurt to try the gravy and pork chops together… worst thing that happens is that we don’t like it and I whip up some pasta instead.

Well…. they were mouth-watering amazing! I think this is one of the best meals I have made in a long time. My husband, who doesn’t usually say much about what I make for dinner, even said how good it was. I hope that you try this out and enjoy it like my family did.

Mushroom Pork Chops Instant Pot Recipe

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A delicious mushroom gravy over pork chops made easily in the instant pot.


Credit: kaella.net

Ingredients

  • 4-6 pork chops
  • 1 1/2 cups of sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 6 tablespoons of oil, divided in 3 and 3
  • 1/2 cup of chopped onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic, sliced or chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of Soy sauce
  • 2 cups of beef broth (I made my own using a bouillon paste)

Directions

  1. Set the Instant Pot to Saute, add the oil and brown the pork chops. Removed the chops and set aside. Drain the oil out of the pot.
  2. Add the other set of oil, mushrooms, onions, garlic and soy sauce. Saute until the onion is translucent.
  3. Add the flour and coat all of the veggies.
  4. Add the broth slowly and continuously stir until the gravy begins to thicken. Let the gravy thicken for a few minutes.
  5. Add the pork chops back into the pot and pour the sauce over the chops.
  6. Set the Instant Pot on manual for 18 minutes. While the instant pot is creating your delish pork chops, cook your sides.
  7. Let the pork chops set a few minutes after the Instant Pot is done to continue to absorb the gravy.
  8. Plate up your chops and sides then enjoy!

Posted on 5 Comments

Stuffed Peppers Instant Pot Printable Recipe

With the start of my garden, I have been craving veggie based meals to feed my family. Then our local grocery store had ground beef on sale. Instead of using the beef for Taco Tuesday, I decided to make Stuffed Peppers because it was satisfy my veggie craving while making something different for the family.

Being obsessed with my Instant Pot, I adapted my recipe to be made in my Instant Pot so that I could just set it and do something else while it cooked. This was super easy and yummy to eat. I hope your family enjoys it as well!

Stuffed Peppers Instant Pot Recipe

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

An easy and healthy meal made in your pressure cooker.


Credit: kaella.net

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey
  • 2 cups of rice, cooked
  • 4-6 peppers
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes WITH sauce
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of oil

Directions

  1. Cut the tops of the peppers off and clean the insides from seeds. The, chop the pepper tops up to be added to the mixture.
  2. Set the Instant Pot to saute and saute peppers, onions and garlic until translucent. Drain oil from pot.
  3. In a bowl, mix ground beef, rice, onions, peppers, garlic, salt and pepper.
  4. Stuff the peppers with the mixture. Set the peppers on the insert in the Instant Pot. You do not want to set the pepper directly into the pot without the insert!
  5. Place some of the diced tomatoes and sauce on top of each pepper. Add the rest to the pot along with a 1/2 can of water from the tomato can.
  6. Set the Instant Pot to manual for 12 minutes. This is when I like to make additional rice because I like my mixture with the tomato sauce and rice on the side.
  7. When the peppers are done cooking, open the top and add the cheese on top of the peppers. Place the top back on for 2 minutes to allow the cheese to melt.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

oatmeal cookies

Posted on 6 Comments

Super Easy Lactation No Bake Bites

Photo Apr 20, 5 27 06 PM

I am an exclusively pumping mama so I know that keeping my breastmilk supply is super important. A few weeks ago, my supply took a huge dive and I have no idea why. I haven’t had any diet changes or anything that I would think that would change my supply so I did research on what helps with increasing a mother’s supply. There are a list of different foods and supplements that can help so I decided to put them together into one of my energy bites.

After 2 days of eating one of these bites every time I pumped resulted in my supply getting back to normal and after a week of doing this my supply increased about 1-2 ounces per session! This was amazing to me!

Notes about the recipe: I used dip mixes for fruit dips that I found in the baking and spices aisle of the grocery store to roll the bites in to make them tastier but they are still delish without the garnish. Also, for an extra crunch, I use crunchy peanut butter.

You can keep the bites in the fridge for up to a week or put into the freezer and defrost them for the day if you want to make a large batch!

*Please note that I am not a medical professional or lactation consultant, just a breastfeeding mother who found a recipe that works for me and wanted to share with all of you!

Photo Apr 20, 4 49 44 PM

Lactation No Bake Bites

  • Servings: 24
  • Difficulty: super easy
  • Print

A super easy, no bake snack that aids in increasing breastmilk supply for breastfeeding moms.


Credit: kaella.net

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of peanut, almond or a butter of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons of warm water
  • 1/2 cup of oats
  • 1/3 cup honey, preferred raw for lactation increase
  • 1/3 cup of ground flaxseed
  • 2 teaspoons of ground brewer’s yeast
  • garnish for rolling the bites in ie: fruit dip mix, mini chocolate chips, coconut flakes, raisins, etc

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix the butter of your choice and the water until the butter is softened.
  2. Add the honey and mix well.
  3. Add the dry ingredients and mix well.
  4. Put an oil like olive or coconut on your hands for the next part for an easier time: Take a tablespoon of the mixture, roll it into a ball (this is where is gets sticky and messy), then roll the ball into your garnish.
  5. Place the garnished bite onto a baking sheet with parchment paper lining.
  6. Put the bites on the baking sheet into the fridge to firm up. In about an hour they are ready to eat!

Posted on 5 Comments

Baked Lemon Chicken Printable Recipe

This Baked Lemon Chicken has become a must have for Danyella who is my super-duper picky eater! This is a simple recipe which is great for a quick prep dinner. Danyella loves this chicken paired with baked or mashed potatoes and a veggie side (always my vegetarian!).

I used chicken quarters because it was on sale but using other chicken, such as boneless,  will adjust the cooking time to a shorter time frame. Please just watch and check your chicken temperature while cooking this recipe. Check the chart below to get an idea on cooking times for different chicken cuts.

chicken

A fast prep chicken dish with delicious flavor.


Credit: kaella.net

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds chicken (cut of your choice)
  • 3 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 garlic cloves (pressed, chopped or sliced)
  • seasoning salt (to taste)
  • 1 lemon, sliced

Directions

  1. Set oven to 400 degrees. In a pan, melt butter and brown each side of the chicken piece (3-4 minutes per side).
  2. In a bowl, add the broth, honey, garlic and salt together. Whisk to get the ingredients to mix well.
  3. Add the chicken to a rimmed pan, pour the broth mixture over the chicken and set the lemon slices on top of the chicken.
  4. Bake the chicken for the recommended temperature: Breast, Bone In: 30 minutes, Boneless: 20 minutes, Quarter: 45 minutes, thigh 30 minutes, wings 30 minutes. Please use your good judgement in checking your chicken to be sure it is done and ready to serve.
  5. Serve and enjoy your Baked Lemon Chicken with your delicious sides!

Posted on 8 Comments

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Muffin Tin Cups with Printable Recipe

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Muffins

Lately, I have been on carb OVERLOAD… the more breads, pasta and sweets fed/fueled my emotions the better I thought I would feel. Well we all know that is far, far from the truth! The carb hangover has been horrible and just fed with more carbs. Let’s just say the weight I have lost from breastfeeding the baby has come back with every delicious carb I eat.

If I am going to change my mindset and emotions, then I need to change my eating habits as well. I need more proteins to keep my energy level up with being on the go, raising an infant and running a business. In the mornings, I just don’t have time to make breakfast so my go to is/was toast with peanut butter or an english muffin but that’s more carbs and I need to stop my carb addiction!

This egg muffin recipe is one that I loved in the past because I would freeze them, heat them in the morning and run out the door. The great thing about this recipe is that you can add anything you want… sausage, bacon, ham, spinach, peppers, onions, really the possibilities are endless and easy!

 

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Muffin Cups

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

An easy breakfast recipe you can make ahead for your busy week.


Credit: kaella.net

Ingredients

  • 12 eggs
  • 6-7 slices of bacon, cooled and chopped
  • 1 cup shredded cheese of your choice
  • salt and pepper, to liking

Directions

  1. Set over to 350 degrees. Generously spray the muffin tin with spray oil so that the cups come out of the tin easily.
  2. Place one egg in each cup and whisk with a fork, if easier you can do this in a separate bowl and divide among the cups evenly.
  3. Sprinkle the bacon in a cup.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes on bottom rack.
  6. Top each cup with cheese, return to the oven. Bake for another 8-10 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool before taking them out of the tin.
  8. Serve for breakfast, place in the fridge for easy on the go breakfast for the week (heat for 45 seconds in the microwave) or place in a freezer bag, place in the freezer and eat in the future (heat for 1-2 minutes in the microwave.

Posted on 6 Comments

Banana Bread Printable Recipe

 

banana bread

One of my favorite breads to make is Banana Bread because it is easy and great for a quick breakfast food when I need to run out the door. Only problem is that my family usually eats the bananas before they get to that ripe point that is essential for a good banana bread. I lucked out and my family forgot we had bananas because I bought halos… I had my bananas for banana bread!

This recipe is really easy to make and doesn’t take much time. Just keep an eye on your time with how long you are baking the bread because every oven bakes differently but it will average between 45 minutes to an hour. I love to serve/eat this bread warm with a little butter on it!


An easy bread to make with those ripe bananas sitting on your counter


Credit: kaella.net

Ingredients

  • 3 RIPE Bananas
  • 1/3 cup or 5 1/3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat over for 350 degrees and spray/butter a loaf pan.
  2. Smash ripe bananas until there is no more chunks of banana
  3. Mix in melted butter. Beat for a minute.
  4. Mix in Eggs. Beat for a minute.
  5. Mix in Sugar and extract. Beat for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Mix in Flour, Baking Soda, Baking Powder and Salt. Beat for 3-4 minutes or until everything is mixed and be sure to scrap the sides and fold back in. Transfer to loaf pan.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Insert a toothpick to check.
  8. Let the bread sit and cool on a cooling rack. Best served warm with a little butter on the slice.