Sunday, January 1

Dinner Diary with Pictures -- Last Week of December

Sunday was Christmas and we were at Nate's parents house.
    His Mom made ham, green bean casserole, cheesy potato bake and a cheesy pineapple bake. It was some goooood eating. :)

Monday we were at Nate's parent's house for the big family Christmas get-together.
    Everybody brought something. There was a Baked Ziti, penne with sundried tomatoes, scalloped potatoes, venison sausage, salad, bread, and fruit. And then we brought pigs in a blanket and mashed potatoes. Then there was dessert. :) We brought Santa's chocolate chip cookies, layered mint fudge and butterscotch marshmallow fudge. My sister-in-law and her husband made a fabulously divine caramel cake. I ate one slice of that and was done. I didn't even try the other varieties of cookies that others brought. :)

Tuesday I made Tortellini Alfredo Casserole using an adapted version of a recipe I found in magazine.

      approx. 24 oz Alfredo sauce
      1 cup water
      1/8 tsp black pepper
      2 8-oz packages of dried tortellini
      10 oz frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and drained
      1/2 cup bread crumbs
      1 Tbsp olive oil
      6 slices of bacon, uncooked, diced
      small yellow onion, diced

    In a large pot of boiling water, cook the dried tortellini over medium-high heat for 8 minutes. (This is not the recommended cooking time on the package, but remember that the tortellini will be cooking again in the casserole and you don't want it getting too mushy.) When the cooking time has elapsed, drain the tortellini.

    Meanwhile, toss the onions in a pan with a tablespoon of butter and saute. Once the onions became translucent, turn the heat down and let them caramelize.

    While the onions are going, get a pan heated over medium heat and add the bacon. When the onions have a nice golden color on them, add them to the pan with bacon and turn the heat down just a bit. Stir occasionally.

    Heat oven to 375 degrees. Get out a 2 1/2-quart casserole dish and set it aside.

    In a medium bowl, stir Alfredo sauce, water and pepper.

    Pour 1 cup of the Alfredo mixture into the casserole dish.

    Arrange half of the tortellini in a layer over the sauce; add the broccoli.

    Top with remaining tortellini. Sprinkle the bacon and onions overtop.

    Pour the remaining sauce over everything.

    In a small bowl, blend bread crumbs and olive oil.

    Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.

    Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes. Check on it at about 15 minutes in. If the top is beginning to brown too much, cover with tin foil and return to oven.


Wednesday we went out to eat at California Pizza Kitchen.
    And it was just as good as I remember. :) Abby ate the kids' honey and chicken pizza with no sauce. I've never thought to put honey on a pizza, but that would be why they are a successful restaurant and I am not. haha 

Thursday we ate breakfast for dinner -- crepes!

      1 1/4 cup flour
      1/4 tsp salt
      2 eggs
      1 cup milk
      splash vanilla extract
      2 Tbsp olive oil

   Whisk the eggs in a large mixing bowl.
   Whisk in the milk and vanilla extract.
   Whisk in the flour and salt all at once.
   Now whisk in the olive oil.
   Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Using softened butter and a papertowel, grease the pan.
   Turn the heat down to medium and pour approximately 1/4 cup of the batter in the middle of the pan. Turn the pan in a circular motion to help the batter spread evenly.
    Let the crepe cook for a couple minutes. It is ready to be flipped when the edges become dry and start curling.
   I like to flip my crepes in the air (and the girls find it entertaining too :) ) but if you are going to use a spatula, take care not to rip or tear the crepe. They can be very fragile.

   The crepes should have a nice "doily" pattern to them when flipped. They will only need a minute or two on the second side.
The only limit to fillings for the crepes is your imagination. We like the sweet crepes. For instance, peanut butter or Nutella with mashed bananas and cinnamon. (It's also a good way to use those bananas that are starting to brown.) Then roll it up and top with some maple syrup. Mmmm :)

Friday we had pizza...but we mighta cut a few corners. ;)
    While we were at the grocery late Friday afternoon, Nate and I decided that we were going to be short on time and rather than skip Pizza and A Movie Night we ought to pick up some frozen pizzas and then "customize" them once we got home. Believe me, this definetly saved time.

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