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Cream Cheese Spaghetti

Cream Cheese Spaghetti

Sometimes it’s funny how a new recipe is discovered. This one, in particular, was quite amusing;  Cream Cheese Spaghetti. Now, before you go getting judgy on me let me tell you all about it.

I aim to do a bi-weekly meal plan. Like many people I get paid bi-weekly. Doing a bi-weekly menu, meal plan, and food prep can work well for that. Anyone who has ever planned meals for years on end knows that this task isn’t always just writing down a list of meals and then making them. There are schedules involved and the household members who are being cooked for.

As I many times do when preparing a meal plan I asked D3 and D4 what they wanted to eat over the next couple of weeks. Sometimes I get rapid fire answers and at times I get vague non-answers such as I got this past meal planning time. D3 replied, “Something with Cream Cheese.” As is in my nature I asked some probing questions. “Like a dip? Or an entrée?” She said an entrée.

I racked my brain for some time trying to determine what would make a good cream cheese centric main dish. Who can’t think of dips or sides that have cream cheese in them? I wasn’t going to add meat to the dish because that wouldn’t make it a cream cheese entrée.

The two things that I could come up with were spaghetti or tacos. Spaghetti and tacos become conduits for many things in my house, so why not cream cheese. I added Cream Cheese Spaghetti to the menu.

Finally the night came to make Cream Cheese Spaghetti. On my way home from work I called The Hubs and asked him if he would start the pasta water. “Oh, yeah. It’s that night, “ he said. Apparently he had not been looking forward to this meal.

I got home and made dinner, rounding the meal off with green beans and garlic toast. Everyone looked a little bit nervous as they were trying it. The looks said everything. They liked it. Seconds were dished out. The Cream Cheese Spaghetti recipe was a success.

As we were dining on this new recipe The Hubs asked why this was chosen. I went through the story above. When D3 heard that the other idea had been Cream Cheese Tacos she made an exasperated sound and said, “And you didn’t go with that?” The Hubs quickly reminded her that the likelihood of that dish making it into the rotation with another roughly 360 days left in this year was very high. We love tacos.

Cream Cheese Spaghetti ticked off all of the boxes that make it an excellent weeknight meal:

  • Quick
  • Easy
  • Cost-Effective
  • Crowd Pleasing
  • Delicious

While this isn’t going to tick any boxes for low-fat or low carb it will definitely be hitting our table again this year!

Cream Cheese Spaghetti

16-ounces spaghetti noodles

1 cup reserved pasta water

8 ounces cream cheese, softened and cubed

Seasonings to taste

Cook pasta according to the package directions. At the end of the cooking time, remove 1 cup of water from the pasta pan. Drain pasta and set aside.

Add the cubed cream cheese to the empty pasta cooking pan, or a Dutch Oven. Turn on medium  low heat. Whisk in about half of the reserved pasta water and continue to whisk, adding more liquid to thin. Whisk until cream cheese has melted and you have a sauce to your desired consistency.

Stir in salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley or your preferred seasonings to taste. Turn off heat.

Add drained pasta to the sauce and toss to coat.

 

 

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2020 in Dinner Recipes, Recipe

 

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Garlic Parmesan Fries

Garlic Parmesan Fries

While I am definitely in favor of home cooking and not using pre-made and processed foods I do cheat occasionally. One of my favorite cheats is also a guilty pleasure; frozen French fries. However I like to make them as fancy as I can, like this recipe for Garlic Parmesan Fries.

Growing up I was fortunate to always get homemade French fries at home. My parents always took the time to peel, slice, and deep fry potatoes if we were going to eat fries.

When I grew up and left my parents house I realized that making homemade French fries can be a real undertaking. That’s when I learned to love frozen French Fries.

I know that Garlic Parmesan fries and everything else have become popular all across the United States. However, the first time I ate them Garlic Parmesan fries were a novelty. It was back in 2009 on a trip I took to Seattle with Mom. We were going to visit her brother and we went to a local eatery and drinkery. My uncle insisted we try the Garlic Parmesan Fries. I was hooked.

Ever since that trip I have been making them at my house. I always use frozen French fries to make my Garlic Parmesan Fries. In addition to the ease of using pre-made fries the fact that they are frozen makes the seasoning stick perfectly.

Another wonderful thing is that whether I buy steak fries, crinkle cut, waffle fries, or classic cut fries they all work with this seasoning. I personally like the classic or traditional cut French fries best for Garlic Parmesan Fries, but any unseasoned frozen fry will work.

Do you have a favorite guilty pleasure food? If you tell me I promise I will keep it a secret. I might even try it so we can be guilty together!

Garlic Parmesan French Fries

  • 1 28 ounce bag Frozen French Fries
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup diced parsley (Italian if available)
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Into a large bowl pour the French fries. In a small bowl mix together olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Cover the fries with olive oil. Toss gently to coat.
  3. Bake in preheated oven about 20 minutes, turning once, until crisp and golden brown.
  4. Remove from oven and toss with cheese and parsley.
  5. Serve immediately.

NOTE@: You may add more garlic depending on taste. The same with salt and pepper. This can be served with garlic aioli or other dipping sauce.

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2018 in Side Dish Recipe

 

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Shredded Cheese Wafers

Shredded Cheese Wafers

As I begin the process of working out a meal plan for the weekend, coming weeks, and broadly the entire month of March I find myself sitting in a stack of recipes in the form of books, cards, and computer typed printed out pages. A page just next to me, typed by my dad and printed out, is for Monterey Jack Shredded Cheese Wafers.

I can remember when my dad first made these for me growing up. While I am quite sure he did not make them for me, it seemed at the time that when dad cooked amazingly awesome stuff, especially with cheese, he was cooking for me. These easy and delicious cheese wafers were always a special treat.

More recently, my husband has been making cheese wafers in his copper skillet. During the time he has had the skillet he has made shredded cheese wafers no less than 10 times. In all of these times I am not sure if he has used Monterey jack or not. He mostly uses cheddar. The best part for me, though, is that I love cheese wafers as much today as I did when I was a child.

How does this have to do with meal planning? The Oscars are this Sunday and I like to make food based on holidays and happenings as much as I can. Although sometimes I can get extravagant with this, it doesn’t have to be. The most important thing is really about the taste and quality of the food. If the food is delicious and people like it what does it matter if it took 5 hours and 20 ingredients to make. Sometimes the best foods are the simplest to make.

Shredded Cheese Wafers

Shredded Cheese Wafers

These shredded cheese wafers are a perfect example of that. Whether they’re made in the oven or in a skillet on the stovetop they are an easy, delicious, and in their own right elegant dish.

Do you have a very simple but delicious food in your culinary collection?

Shredded cheese wafers

  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheese (such as Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Manchego, Parmigiano-Reggiano)
  • ½ – 1 Tablespoon olive oil (for skillet)
  • Parchment paper (for oven)

Oven Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Using about 2-2 ½ tablespoons of shredded cheese make mounds on baking sheet, leaving 2-3 inches between for wafers to spread.
  3. Bake 10-15 minutes, turning over mid-way. Crisps will brown on edges. Watch carefully, do not overbake.
  4. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Skillet Method

  1. Lightly grease skillet; heat over medium heat.
  2. Spoon 2 Tablespoons of grated cheese onto hot skillet.
  3. Cook for 3-4 minutes until lightly brown. Turn wafer over with a spatula. Continue cooking another 2 minutes until crisp.
  4. Remove from skillet and drain on paper towel.

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2018 in Recipe

 

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Roasted Chicken – Slow Cooker

Roasted Chicken – Slow Cooker

As you know I have become a huge fan of slow cooker cooking over these past few months. I especially love making ahead and freezing slow cooker meals, and then popping them in the slow cooker before work; returning home to dinner ready or nearly ready. This amazing time saving Slow Cooker Roast Chicken recipe is one of the reasons I love the slow cooker.

However, I have discovered a few downfalls to the slow cooker thing. One of the downfalls is that my newest slow cooker does not cook the potatoes at the same speed that it cooks everything else. That means that I either need to change the way I cut my potatoes or always use one of the older slow cookers if there are potatoes in a recipe.

Another thing I have discovered is that cooking a whole chicken in the slow cooker makes it very mushy. I love to stew whole chickens on the stove top to make other recipes with, but not so much in the slow cooker. Also, there is no way to ‘oven roast’ a whole chicken in the slow cooker. Or is there?

I had discovered a slow cooker roast chicken leg recipe several months back and started wondering if I could do that same technique with a whole chicken. I tried it last week and “voila”! It worked! Everyone in the house just loved it! Even The Hubs… it was cooked to near perfection. It was similar to a rotisserie style chicken.

I did use my new slow cooker, because it is oval and not round. The shape lent itself nicely to the shape of the chicken.

While this recipe doesn’t seem to be able to lend itself to the freezer to slow cooker idea, it does not take much time to prep before heading out the door to work, or staying in to work, or home schooling your children, or however you spend your very busy days.

I sincerely hope you try this excellent slow cooker roast chicken recipe and that you enjoy this morsel as much as we did!

Slow Cooker Roasted Chicken

  • 1 whole roasting chicken (3-4 pounds)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon celery salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  1. Remove the giblets from the chicken. Wash thoroughly inside and out. Pat dry with paper towel.

  2. Mix the spices together in a bowl. Rub the spice mixture over the chicken. 

  3. Tuck the wings behind the chicken, and tie the legs together with cooking string. 

  4. Loosely crumple up some aluminum foil and put it on the bottom of the slow cooker. 

  5. Place the chicken on top of the foil. 

  6. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. 

  7. The chicken should not touch the bottom or sides of the slow cooker.

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2013 in Recipe

 

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