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Friday, May 18, 2012

Creamy Italian French Bread Pizza

The grocery shopping freeze continues......  today I had a half package of sliced pepperoni, a frozen loaf of Italian bread, cream cheese, onions, pizza sauce and shredded co-jack cheese with.  I have to say what came out of this fridge/freezer clean out was amazing!!!!! 

1 loaf Italian bread
1 - 8 oz. package low fat cream cheese
1/2 cup Ranch dressing
1/2 jar pizza sauce (could also use spaghetti sauce in a pinch)
2 onions, sliced
1 bag shredded cheddar, co-jack or mozzarella cheese

Saute sliced onions in medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Meanwhile, slice loaf in half length-wise and gently scoop out the filling.  Toast the hollowed loaf until golden brown.

Microwave cream cheese for 30 seconds, mix with Ranch dressing.  Spread cream cheese mixture over the bread, top with the sauce.  Divide the onions in half and put half on each side, next layer pepperoni and then top with shredded cheese.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly.

My kids LOVED this!!!  I will definitely be making this again.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mexican Pasta Casserole

As I mentioned yesterday I'm on a grocery freeze at my house until after we get back from vacation.  We are going to work through our pantry and our freezer for the next couple of weeks and then when we get back from vacation we'll stock back up again and know everything is fresh and new.

Yesterday I was working with this:

Ground beef, egg-free noodles, black beans, corn, rotel, salsa, 1/2 a block of Velveeta, a kind of sad but still usable red pepper......

1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 - 1 red onion, chopped
1 lb. ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
3/4 cup taco sauce or salsa
1/2 cup water
1 can black beans
1 can corn
1 can rotel tomatoes
3/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs, beaten
6 oz. pasta
8 oz. Velveeta, cut into small cubes

Saute pepper and onion in olive oil over medium-high heat.  When translucent add ground beef and cook until browned.  Add taco seasoning, rotel tomatoes, salsa/taco sauce and water.  Bring to boil then reduce heat to simmer.  Drain and rinse beans and corn and add them to skillet. 

In the meantime, boil noodles according to package directions.  Drain and while still hot add Velveeta, sour cream and eggs and mix to combine.  Pour this mixture into 9x13 casserole dish.

Top this with the meat mixture and then top with shredded cheddar cheese (I used cheddar-jack slices because I had them :-)  Bake at 375 for about 20-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling at the edges.  I garnished mine with black olives and sliced green onions but you could also put any other taco stuff on top like jalepeno peppers or diced tomatoes.  

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sorry for the absence.....

So I know I've been MIA lately.  I have had many of you email or ask me in passing "What happened to Toolbox for Moms?"  The truth is I have just been overwhelmed with my new job (you know, the one that actually pays me :-) but I'm recommitting myself to blogging.  I can't promise to blog every day but I'll strive for a few a week.  Hopefully that will keep you checking back or hopefully you have signed up to "follow" me.  And if you really love what I have to say PIN IT or pass it along to your friends! 

Tonight I'm making an experimental dinner -- some sort of Mexican pasta thing with ground beef.  I really don't know what its going to be yet but if it turns out well I'll post it tomorrow.  The thing is we are leaving on vacation soon and I am challenging myself to buy very few groceries before we go.  I am going to work through the freezer and pantry for dinners and just buy milk, a little fresh fruit.....we'll see how creative I can get.  Hence tonight's meal, I've got black beans, ground beef, egg noodles......let's see where that takes us.