Monday, April 26, 2010

Four Cheese Baked Penne

Who likes pasta?  I do!  Who likes cheese?  I do!  Who likes four cheese pasta from Self Magazine, so it’s somewhat light and healthy?  I do!  I do!

I actually made this recipe for the first time a few months ago, but I recently made it again and remembered that I never blogged about it.  How silly of me! 

This pasta is creamy, delicious and comes together fairly quickly.  By using reduced fat cheeses, it’s lighter than most pastas and when paired with a green salad, you’ve got a delicious and healthy meal.  Plus, it feeds a lot.  Both times that I’ve made this, I’ve cut the recipe in half and we’ve had leftovers for 2 days.  Surprise, surprise…when making this I actually didn’t make any substitutions!  Well, except I used dried parsley, instead of fresh parsley because why would I just buy fresh parsley…what would I use it for besides this?  Anyway, I recommend this yummy and cheesy pasta, if you’re looking for a lighter pasta option.





Hot out of the oven.


Ready to eat.

Four Cheese Baked Penne, by

Serves 8

  • 1 1/2 cups small-curd lowfat cottage cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella, divided
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 pound whole-wheat penne
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 can (15 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (8 oz) no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
  1. Heat oven to 400°.

  2. Combine cottage cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella, ricotta and parsley in a bowl.

  3. Cook pasta until tender but still firm; drain.

  4. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.

  5. Add garlic; cook, stirring, 30 seconds more.

  6. Add tomatoes, sauce, oregano, rosemary, salt, pepper flakes and pepper.

  7. Bring to a boil; reduce heat; simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes.

  8. Add pasta; turn off heat. Stir in cheese-parsley mixture.

  9. Coat a 9" x 13" glass baking dish with cooking spray; transfer pasta mixture to dish. Top with remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella and Parmesan.

  10. Bake until heated through and cheese melts, 30 minutes.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hawaiian Cake

Boy, do I have a delicious cake recipe for you!  For Easter, Jeremy, Diesel and I went down to my parents house for dinner and you know I was all about making the dessert.  My grandma’s birthday was in a few days, so I thought a cake would be perfect.  More specifically, I thought this cake would be perfect!  My parents just back from a Hawaiian vacation, we’re Hawaiian and it’s delicious.

This cake is very simple to put together and would be great for get togethers or a pot-luck or a birthday celebration.  It is yellow cake, topped with a layer of pudding and pineapple, then frosted with Cool Whip and coconut.  Yummy!  Make this for your next party.  Seriously, it’s a-mazing.





Pineapple layer.




Ready to eat!

Hawaiian Cake, by Recipezaar
  • 1 (18 1/4 ounce) package yellow cake mix

  • 3 eggs (or as called for by your cake mix)
  • 1/3 cup oil (or as called for by your cake mix)
  • 1 1/3 cups water (or as called for by your cake mix)
  • 1 1/4 cups cold milk
  • 1 (3 1/2 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip (standard size)
  • 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut, toasted
  1. Prepare and bake the cake according to package directions, using a greased 13 in x 9 in x 2 in baking pan.
  2. Cool.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together milk and pudding mix; let stand to thicken.
  4. Stir in pineapple.
  5. Spread over cake.
  6. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth.
  7. Beat in 1 cup whipped topping.
  8. Fold in remaining topping.
  9. Spread over Pudding.
  10. Sprinkle with coconut.
  11. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Honey-Ginger Crunch Mix

I love snacks.  They are a great way to make your tummy stop rumbling in between meals.  Are you looking for a new snack?  Well, I suggest that you make this sweet Chex mix, because it is delicious!  I came across this recipe about a year ago when I had extra Chex to spare, after making the regular Chex mix.  It’s a nice change from the traditional savory Chex mix and it’s got some of my favorite ingredients in it. 

This mix contains nuts, pretzels, coconut, Craisins and honey.  Yum!  Plus, it’s got ground ginger in it.  I don’t know about you, but I love ginger.  It’s such a great flavor and it’s a bit unexpected in this mix.  Of course, I made a few modifications to the recipe, based on what I had in the pantry.  I used cashews and peanuts instead of almonds, and I added chopped, dried apricots with the Craisins.  Mmmm, I love this mix.  If you’re ever looking for a new type of Chex mix, head on over the the Chex website because there are a bunch of delicious varieties to try.







Ready to eat!

Honey-Ginger Crunch Mix


  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger or cardamom
  • 6 cups Rice Chex® cereal
  • 2 cups bite-size pretzel twists
  • 1 cup unblanched whole almonds
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 cup dried cranberries or pineapple


  1. Heat oven to 250°F. Spray large roasting pan with cooking spray.
  2. In 1-quart saucepan, heat brown sugar, butter, honey and ginger to boiling. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Into roasting pan, measure cereal, pretzels, almonds and coconut. Stir in brown sugar mixture until evenly coated.
  3. Bake 50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on waxed paper or foil to cool, about 15 minutes. Place in serving bowl; stir in cranberries. Store in airtight container.