Baked risotto with sausage, barley & fresh green beans

Sausage & green bean risotto

AS THREATENED PROMISED, baked risotto has made its way into our weekly repertoire and here’s why: the kids love it! Plus, a baked version of this traditional Italian dish is easy to make before they even get home from nursery school. Sitting on the stove, it’s ready to be warmed again at dinner time. No… 

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Baked risotto with bacon and peas

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SPIN-OFFS ARE A VERY BIG PART OF MY master plan (rubs palms together yet controls the urge to laugh maniacally. Probably because that would be weird. Anyway…). Estelle LOVES rice these days so without driving everyone crazy, I’m going to try as many variations as I can, as often as I can. Also, Phoebe thinks… 

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Turkey sausage meatballs and easy pasta with peas

Turkey sausage meatballs with easy pasta and peas

WE’VE JUST RETURNED FROM A THREE-WEEK TRIP to the US where we plan to relocate at the end of 2012. North Carolina looks like our future destination but first all things related to jobs, houses, schools and the other million details that make a life must align. (Wish us luck!) In the meantime, I’ve stocked… 

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baked mac & cheese…with carrots!

Carrot mac and cheese

THIS IS IT, MY NEW FAVORITE RECIPE for mac and cheese. I’ve mentioned Melissa Clark’s Carroty Macaroni & Cheese before, but before this week’s “carrot retrospective”/insane challenge to get our girls eating more of the orange stuff, I hadn’t actually tried it. Two main ingredients are hard to come by in Rome, cheddar cheese and… 

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Gwyneth Paltrow’s pasta makeover: Duck ragu turned baked bow-ties for kids

2012-01-09 Spinach and Gwyneth Pasta4

WHAT STARTED OUT AS A DECADENT DUCK RAGU, turned into a slow-cooked pasta sauce full of roasted chicken, diced carrots and fragrant rosemary. Then it got baked.

Spaghetti with sausage two ways

pasta with sausage

I’M ABOUT TO SAY SOMETHING that gives me a ridiculous sense of pride and satisfaction. Our family loves cauliflower. However, I’m sure it won’t last (See the ever-evolving What Works Now, What Doesn’t Work Now lists to the right… Sigh.) and they’ll really only eat/enjoy it two ways. The first is roasted with olive oil,… 

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Carroty macaroni & cheese (an excerpt from A Way to Garden)

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A GREAT IDEA FROM A GREAT BLOG. I’ll take it! This better-for-you mac & cheese recipe comes from Melissa Clark’s book, “Cook This Now”, by way of the best gardening blog around, A Way to Garden. An excerpt from Margret’s masterful gardening site introduces one of my favorite makeover ideas for comfort food: MELISSA CLARK… 

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Chinese BBQ pork with noodles, carrots and broccoli

BBQ Chinese Noodles with Carrots and Pork

WELL, I REALLY MESSED THIS ONE UP. Let’s just say feeding the toddler two pieces of peanut butter toast 90 minutes before dinner wasn’t a recipe for success. Even when said dinner involved pasta and barbecue sauce, two things she holds dear. It’s a shame though because this was so good! We’ll try again another… 

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Toddler-friendly Asian noodles with vegetables

Easy Asian noodles with vegetables

IF I’VE LEARNED ONE THING SO FAR, it’s this: figure out what works and do more of it. We’re all about spin-offs here, and this dinner is the Laverne & Shirley of pasta. We know Phoebe devours spaghetti with red sauce, white sauce, cheese, or really any topping. Today’s challenge: introducing Asian flavors. It sounds… 

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Broccoli & cheese pasta cups

broccoli and cheese pasta cup featured

WE TRIED IT AGAIN. The pasta cups are back and this time, just as I threatenedpromised, I added broccoli and ricotta cheese, trying for a bit of a quiche flavor. Speaking of flavor, I also added herbs, fresh parsley and basil. I thought they’d look festive and pack a bit of punch too. Also, the… 

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Easy pasta primavera

MY COOKING CONFIDENCE TOOK A BEATING this week. First, Phoebe and I prepared Italian Style Pasta & Cheese Cups for a post-play date lunch yesterday. There was a pan-melting incident but sadly that wasn’t the worst of our lunch woes. Sufficed to say the only people who ate said cups were me, the other mom… 

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Italian style pasta & cheese cups

Pasta cups ingredients

A PORTABLE LUNCH DOESN’T GET MUCH BETTER than this. With a play date coming up, Phoebe and I set out to make lunch for her and a play pal but there were strings attached. It had to withstand a trip across Rome via stroller. That’s where this new recipe came in. Continuing on my Sneaky… 

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Pesto shrimp pasta

Pesto Shrimp Pasta

I WAS EXHAUSTED. It turns out that having a toddler and a baby (plus a husband, house and job) is tiring. I just needed a quick dinner but it had to be healthy. We’d been relying too heavily on pizza around here, being Rome you can imagine how often this possibility comes up, and I was craving something more fresh. That’s when I saw these giant shrimp at the store. Sold!