Parmesan Pasta with Butternut Squash & Bacon

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We love our parmesan pasta recipe and we make it quite often.This time, I decided to add bacon and sautéed butternut squash to it. It was delicious! The sort of sweet, creamy butternut squash mixed with the salty and crunchy bacon and the always delicious parmesan pasta…this dish is amazing. The unfortunate thing was I pretended that I was eating something really healthy because of the squash so I ate way too much.

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Parmesan Pasta with Butternut Squash & Bacon

1/2 pound of bacon

1 pound of butternut squash

1 red onion

1 Tablespoon of minced garlic

1/2 tsp. of salt

1/4 tsp. of red pepper flakes

Ingredients for pasta:

1 lb. dried pasta

1 stick of butter (I know, it’s a lot but totally worth it)

1/2 cup milk (I use 1%, cuz I’m healthy that way)

1 tsp. minced garlic

1/2 tsp. garlic salt

1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish, along with fresh herbs if desired.

I started out with pre-cut organic butternut squash from Costco – so easy! After frying up the bacon, I scooped out most of the grease. I probably kept about 1 T of bacon grease in the pan. I added a chopped red onion and garlic and I cooked it for about 1 minute. I then added about 1 pound of cubed butternut squash. Sauté for several minutes, until soft. Add about 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes and continue cooking, until squash is soft. Once the squash is to the desired consistency, add the chopped bacon, and set aside until the rest of your pasta is ready.

While the squash is cooking, start cooking your pasta and preparing the sauce:

Cook pasta following package directions. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce: put all of the sauce ingredients into a large measuring cup and heat it in the microwave. It normally takes about 2 minutes, but you want to watch it – you don’t want any of that yummy goodness to boil over and end up in the microwave instead of on your pasta! So I normally microwave it for one minute and check it and then just let it sit until the pasta is finished and then heat it for the next minute once the cooked pasta is drained and back in the pot. Pour the completely melted and sort of bubbly sauce mixture over the top of the cooked pasta and mix well.

Add the 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese and mix well. Then add the bacon and squash mixture and mix again.

When serving, we grate a bit of fresh Parmesan cheese over the top and if we are feeling particularly fancy, we add some fresh herbs such as basil or Italian parsley.

And now in honor of Thanksgiving, here are a few recipes that would be perfect to complete your delicious Thanksgiving spread!

Corn Casserole

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Crockpot Mac & Cheese

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Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

pumpkin cake 1 editedFaux Banana Cream Pie

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And in case you have any leftovers…

Ham & Swiss Cheese Quiche

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Chicken Pot Pie– just substitute turkey.

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Cindy

Oatmeal Cake

My Daughter and I- Oatmeal Cake

 

This may be one of the more surprising successful recipe attempts. After I baked it, I was pretty much resigned to the fact that it was going to be a failure. The ingredients are a little unusual, and, frankly, the cake isn’t very pretty.

But! It’s absolutely delicious! The cake itself is super moist and the brown sugar flavor is prominent and yummy. And the unusual, caramelized topping is delicious. This is a definitely a keeper recipe- everyone loved it. We ate it with a little squirt of whipped cream and that only added to the yumminess.

My Daughter and I- Oatmeal Cake 2

Oatmeal Cake

    • 1 1/2 cups hot water
    • 1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
    • 1 cup brown sugar
    • 1 cup white sugar
    • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Topping
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 cup flake coconut

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine the water and the oatmeal and allow to soak while you prepare the remaining ingredients.

Cream together the butter and both sugars. Beat in the eggs. In another bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Add half of the flour to the creamed butter mixture, followed by the soaked oatmeal, then the remaining flour, mixing between additions. Pour into the prepared baking dish and bake until set, 38-42 minutes.

For the topping, turn the oven to broil. Combine the butter, brown sugar and milk in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, while stirring. Boil for one minute. Stir in the coconut. Pour over the cake, spread, then broil for one minute.

Original recipe from Taste and Tell

Jordan 

Easy Crockpot Lasagna Roll Ups

My Daughter and I- Easy Crockpot Lasagna Roll Ups. Click through for full recipe!

I love lasagna – it is one of my all time favorite dishes! This lasagna variation is hardly gourmet and I can barely call it homemade, but it was easy and delicious! I realized I had some ricotta cheese and a block of mozzarella that were almost passed their sell by date and I knew it was time to make something yummy! I dug through the pantry and found a box of lasagna noodles and a jar of spaghetti sauce. The recipe calls for two jars of sauce, but I had some leftover spaghetti sauce with ground beef in it, so I used it along with the jar of sauce. I threw this dish together in a matter of minutes – really! I cranked the crockpot to high and by the time we got home from church we had a delicious Sunday lunch to enjoy! I love days like that, don’t you?

My Daughter and I- Easy Crockpot Lasagna Roll Ups. Click through for full recipe!1

our growing edgeThis post is part of the monthly link up party Our Growing Edge. This event aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things. This month is hosted by Christine and Kath over at Garden Eats.

 

 

 

Easy Crockpot Lasagna Roll Ups
Ingredients
1 box lasagna noodles
15 oz container ricotta cheese
1 16 ounce block of mozzarella cheese, grated
⅓ cup parmesan cheese
2 eggs
Italian seasoning
2 jars of spaghetti sauce

Instructions
Cook the lasagna noodles, al dente. I prefer my noodles to be firm. The noodles will cook a bit more in the crockpot. Drain and set aside.

Mix together ricotta cheese, eggs, half the shredded cheese, parmesan and 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning.

Pour one jar of spaghetti sauce in the slow cooker and turn on.

Lay the cooked lasagna noodles on a cutting board a couple at a time. Plop about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture at one end of the noodle and carefully roll up. Place the lasagna rolls in the sauce in the slow cooker vertically. Continue until the slow cooker is full, just a single layer. Don’t double stack the roll ups. The roll ups will expand a bit. I was able to use the entire box of noodles. Pour the second jar of sauce over the top of the roll ups and shake on some additional Italian seasoning. Top with the rest of the shredded cheese. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Serve with salad and bread.

I found this recipe on The Gunny Sack, and just made a few minor changes

 

Cindy

Throwback: Cookies & Cream Chex Bars- Gluten Free!

My Daughter and I- Cookies and Cream Chex Bars

I was asked by a friend of mine to make several desserts for a party she was having. The catch was that she asked me to make one of the desserts gluten free. I also needed to make the desserts portable and easy to eat since it would be an outdoor/casual event. I have to admit that I’m not at all familiar with gluten free recipes so I was stumped. However, I found this delicious looking recipe on Iowa Girl Eats and knew it was the one to try.

The bars came together easily and the flavor was good. I was skeptical of the gluten free “Oreos” and they really weren’t bad. I found them in the baking aisle at Walmart too, so that was great. The crushed Oreos and the extra chocolate on the top made them look a bit better – but they still weren’t the most attractive dessert ever. Once they were all cut up and on the cute platter – all was good. The dessert were a huge success and I would make this recipe again for a quick and easy dessert. It also made a ton which is nice when attending a party or potluck. Another bonus was that these are no bake bars, which made them even easier.

I also made lime squares and oatmeal raisin cookies with white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts, which are quickly becoming one of our most favorite cookies!

My Daughter and I- Cookies and Cream Chex Bars 2

Cookies & Cream Chex Bars

Ingredients
1/4 cup butter
10oz bag mini marshmallows
12.1 ounce box Vanilla Chex
20 Oreos or a gluten-free version, divided
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions
Spray a 9×13″ baking dish with nonstick spray then set aside.

Roughly chop 16 Oreos then add to a very large bowl with the Chex and set aside. Chop remaining 4 Oreos a little more fine then set aside.

Add butter to a microwave-safe bowl then microwave for 30 seconds or until melted. Add marshmallows then stir to coat and microwave for 1 minute and 20 seconds. Stir until smooth then immediately pour over Chex mixture and mix until evenly coated. Scoop into prepared baking dish then press into an even layer, I used a piece of wax paper with a bit of nonstick spray on it to press the mixture evenly into the pan.

Melt the semisweet chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl for approximately 2 minutes. Stirring every 30 seconds – don’t over heat it. You just want it melted enough to drizzle over the top of the bars. Drizzle the melted chocolate and then sprinkle the crushed Oreos and lightly press so they stick. Allow the bars to cool completely before cutting into squares. I was able to cut into about 4 dozen squares.

Cindy

Throwback: Kale Salad with Man Candy and Roasted Tomato Bruschetta

kale salad with roasted bruschetta 1 - My Daughter and I

Hey there,
Well we’ve been a bit distracted around here by fires burning all around us. It’s hard to get anything done when you’re constantly checking the news, Ham radio, responding to sweet phone calls and texts etc. So I completely forgot to do Monday’s post. Here it is a bit late-

Several weeks back, after dropping Travis off at school, Jordan and I had an epic food afternoon. First we stopped at this amazing bakery called SweetItaly (their website must be brand new, but the address and phone number are at the bottom) and had a cannoli and an eclair. They were both delicious and worth the drive to Point Loma. Not only were the desserts delicious, but the atmosphere was great – we felt like we had been transported to Italy. Needless to say, we plan to visit that bakery again.

So onto the main course. We headed to Liberty Station to see if we could find some dinner. I know weird – we ate dessert first. Ok, really it’s not that weird for us! We found this cute place called The Fig Tree Cafe. It was adorable. We both loved the interesting decor. We were there a bit early so we had the inside to ourselves. Several people were outside enjoying the patio. We decided to split the kale salad and split the bruschetta- it was the perfect amount of food. The kale salad had something called man candy on it. It is bacon that is cooked with brown sugar and cayenne pepper. I knew we had to try this at home (if nothing else because of the name. I mean, come on- how could you not want to know more?? ;)) It also had a light vinaigrette dressing on it that was just delicious and perfect with the other flavors. The roasted tomatoes on the bruschetta were so sweet and flavorful – it was just an amazing meal. Normally I don’t dream of salads and roasted tomatoes, but have been dreaming of this meal and was excited to recreate it at home. So below is my version of that incredible meal. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. This recipe was enough for two of us for lunch. We gobbled up the leftover man candy after we finished our salads.

kale salad with roasted bruschetta 2 - My Daughter and I

Kale Salad with Man Candy Bacon
Kale, washed and torn into bite sized pieces – approximately 4 cups
4 to 6 slices of man candy, recipe below
1 green apple, thinly sliced
1/8 -1/4 cup Manchego cheese, thinly sliced. Manchego is a slightly sharp sheep’s milk cheese. If you can’t find it, I would substitute fresh Parmesan, sliced.
Citrus vinaigrette dressing, recipe below.

Wash and tear kale and put into a medium sized bowl.

Start cooking bacon. Put slices into skillet and cook over medium heat until one side is completely cooked. Flip bacon over and top with brown sugar, cayenne pepper combo. I just mixed 1/4 cup brown sugar with 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper. Using a teaspoon I carefully coated the top/cooked side of the bacon. I continued to cook the bacon, not turning it again. Remove from pan and place on a plate until you’re ready to use it.

While bacon is cooking, slice apple and cheese. Prepare citrus vinaigrette dressing. Once all the elements are ready, toss kale with dressing and serve onto two plates or in two bowls. Top with chopped man candy, sliced apples, sliced cheese. Enjoy!

Citrus vinaigrette dressing
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a jar and shake to mix.

kale salad with roasted bruschetta 3 - My Daughter and I

So the second part of our delicious meal was the roasted tomato bruschetta. When you roast tomatoes they get so sweet and wonderful, but I don’t like to overcook them. They tend to get sort of mushy. With the toasted french bread this was a wonderful addition to our salad lunch.

Roasted tomato bruschetta
4 slices French bread
1 pint grape tomatoes
1 T olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
A bit of salt
Basil
Balsamic vinegar

Wash and slice tomatoes. Put into oven safe pan. Add olive oil, garlic and salt and mix well. Cook at 450* for about 10 to 15 minutes until tomatoes soften and sort of pop. Stir and check frequently.

Remove from oven and add about 1 -2 T fresh chopped basil and about 1 T balsamic vinegar. Give it one more quick stir. Serve immediately over freshly toasted, warm fresh bread.

To prepare the French bread, slice 4 thick hunks of french bread from a loaf. I just picked mine up at Walmart, nothing fancy. Mist with a bit of olive oil and put in oven or toaster over until just slightly crisp. You don’t want this to be hard and crunchy- it will be too difficult to eat. Just watch carefully as it is toasting.

Top with the fresh tomato bruschetta mixture along with additional fresh basil if desired and a bit of fresh Parmesan shavings.

This was wonderful with our salad, but would have been a great appetizer on its own.

Cindy & Jordan