Friday, February 14, 2014

Raspberry Cream Cheese Tartlets

Today is Valentine's Day and the kids have come to expect something a little special for breakfast. Yes, I know. I have put this pressure upon myself. It's the life of a blogging mom. And since I still happen to be finishing class Valentines, I am thankful for these 5-minute tartlets that look amazing and couldn't be simpler to put together.

All you need are some pre-made mini phyllo shells, some cream cheese frosting and some raspberries.

Is this not the perfect little bite?  Cream cheese frosting trumps pastry cream any day!  These would be great to make in large quantities.  You could assemble hundreds of them in minutes. Put your cream cheese frosting in a gallon freezer bag and snip a corner to pipe it into the shells.  If you don't want your shells quite so toasty, don't call your mom right after you place the empty shells in the oven. Don't ask me how I know this.

Happy Valentine's Day!


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Queso Dip Pasta (Day After Dinner)

Here's what I love about hosting the Super Bowl: People bring lots and lots of yummy food and then they leave it. For me.

Much to my husband's chagrin, I happen to love cleaning out the fridge and creating something delicious.  It's not that He's opposed to delicious dinners, it's just that he's never quite sure what's going to end up on his plate. Sometimes I imagine myself as a contestant on Chopped. "….And the mystery ingredients are……… Queso Dip, Little Smokies and Quinoa Pasta." This is how I think.  This is how I live.

I had two cups of queso dip left after Super Bowl Sunday. You know the kind - Velveeta and Rotel tomatoes? It was the perfect start to a cheesy pasta dinner.

First, boil 2 packages (16 ounces total) elbow noodles.  These are quinoa and corn noodles, in case you were wondering why they were bright yellow.  But any kind will do.  After cooking them al dente,  reserve 1 1/2 cups pasta water and then drain them.

Meanwhile, trim the ends off and wash an entire heart of celery. It seems like a lot, but it's a pretty big recipe.  Use less if you want to. Dice the celery. Peel an onion. Dice that, too. Then, add two tablespoons of olive oil to a Dutch oven. Saute' until soft.

Take one pound of little smokies (or whatever meat you have on hand) and slice them at a diagonal.  If your sister-in-law brought chicken cheddar ones, you are really in for a treat. Add them to the celery and onions. Add the cheese dip and reserved pasta water and stir until the cheese sauce is thinned.  Add a can of tomatoes.

Add the drained pasta back in and pour into a casserole dish.  Top with cheddar cheese and leftover crushed Fritos (or Doritos or potato chips.)

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.
Enjoy your "Day After Dinner!"

Queso Dip Pasta
by Rachel @ Simple Girl

16 ounces elbow pasta, cooked reserving 1 1/2 cups pasta water
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 celery heart, washed, trimmed and diced
2 cups queso dip (you know, Velveeta and Rotel tomatoes)
1 can Rotel Tomatoes (regular or mild)
1 pound little smokies or whatever leftover meat you have
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1-2 cups Fritos, crushed

Boil noodles and drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups pasta water.  

In a large sauté pan or dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Cook onions and celery until softened. Add queso dip and pasta water.  Mix until combined.  Add tomatoes and Little Smokies.  Stir. Add the pasta back in.

Pour into a greased casserole dish. Top with cheese and Fritos.

Bake @ 350 degrees for 20 - 30 minutes.