A Toast to Tiffany!

“Just a small town girl, living in a lonely blog world” — My hysterical attempt to blogging.

Portillo Chopped Salad September 25, 2015

Filed under: Pasta,Sides — tiffanyrose913 @ 1:53 pm

I love summer because I love cooking out, and I LOVE sides! This one is just fabulous, so fresh, and so easy – just throw everything together!

2015-portillo pasta salad

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • 1 – 2 heads Romaine lettuce, depending on size
  • 1 small head red cabbage, minced or 1 bag sliced red cabbage, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely minced
  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 2  c. ditalini pasta, cooked and cooled
  • 1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 c. gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • Vinaigrette dressing, bottled or homemade (we used a Honey Mustard Vinaigrette)

1. Wash and dry the lettuces. Finely chop until the lettuce is in small pieces. Put in a large bowl.

2. Add remaining ingredients, except dressing, and toss to combine well.

3. Serve dressing along side the salad or pour on and combine just before serving.

The original Portillo’s Chopped Salad includes diced chicken breast, but we opted to leave that out to make it more picnic and side-dish friendly. I think I’ll be making this for just our family very soon and including the chicken. It would definitely be hearty enough to make a complete meal.


Artichoke Lemon Pasta March 27, 2015

Filed under: Pasta,Sides — tiffanyrose913 @ 9:35 pm


Yay!  Its spring!  So that means I am all about lemons, artichokes, and asparagus – which are all ingredients in this fabulous pasta!  Wonderful , quick find, that I saw in Taste of Home magazine 🙂


  • 2-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 cups uncooked bow tie pasta (about 12 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 can (14 ounces) water-packed quartered artichoke hearts, well drained
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Fill a 6-qt. stockpot three-fourths full with water; add 2 teaspoons salt and bring to a boil. Add asparagus; cook, uncovered, 1-2 minutes or just until crisp-tender. Remove asparagus and immediately drop into ice water. Drain and pat dry.
  2. In same pot of water, cook pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water. Return pasta to pot.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add artichoke hearts; cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until lightly browned. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add to pasta.
  4. Add asparagus, goat cheese, parsley, lemon peel, lemon juice and the remaining salt and oil; toss to combine, adding enough reserved pasta water to coat. Heat through. Serve with Parmesan cheese. Yield: 6 servings.

Thai Peanut Noodles with Veggies March 14, 2015

Filed under: Pasta — tiffanyrose913 @ 1:22 am

Saw this in Rachael Ray’s magazine and I knew I had to make it – Thai might be my fave type of food, and I have been craving a trip to my fave thai restaurant – Silk Elephant in Pittsburgh. But with no sitter ( sigh ) I decided to make my own! It was fantastic! I threw in some shredded chicken I had left over, and it was just perfect!
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp chili garlic sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp hoisin sauce
6 oz whole wheat linguine cooked
4 cups chopped bok choy
1 large carrot grated
1 garlic chopped
1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
1 cup roasted peanuts – chopped
1 cup scallions, parsley, cilantro for on top

In large bowl whisk first 6 ingredients. Toss with cooked veggies and pasta – sprinkle on peanuts and garnish!


Lemon Kale Goat Cheese Pasta November 1, 2014

Filed under: Pasta — tiffanyrose913 @ 9:13 pm

14-Kale PastaOmg this was soooo yummy – this will definitely be in my dinner rotation this winter! Fast, Easy , and Fresh!

12 ounces pasta (I used campanelle)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium shallot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Dash of crushed red pepper flakes
Zest of 1 large lemon
Juice of 1 large lemon
1 small bunch kale (about 5 cups), coarsely chopped, stems removed
5 ounces goat cheese
Salt and black pepper, to taste

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt the water and cook pasta according to package directions.

2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and garlic. Cook until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add a dash of crushed red pepper flakes. Stir in the chopped kale. Stir and add the lemon zest and lemon juice. Cook until kale leaves are wilted and tender.

3. Carefully drain the pasta. Return to pot. Crumble the goat cheese over the hot pasta and stir until creamy. Add the kale/lemon mixture. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.


Lasagna Bolognese March 24, 2014

Filed under: Beef,Pasta — tiffanyrose913 @ 1:40 pm

14-lasagna bolognese
I have been dying to make this recipe, and since it is still freezing here, this was a perfect sunday dinner! This, a delicious salad, and fresh bread with honey butter from Cenacolo? Perfect Dinner! Me and Mike did make the fresh pasta sheets for this, and it definitely made an enormous difference!! This tasted like something out of a gourmet restaurant. Never made a lasagna without ricotta cheese, but this will definitely be a keeper! Got this from the blog – Brown Eyed Baker – she is a fantastic cook, and from Pittsburgh! Does it get any better? 🙂

For the Béchamel Sauce:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2½ cups milk
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup shredded provolone cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

5 cups your favorite meat sauce
1 pound lasagna noodles (fresh or store-bought)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided


1. Make the Béchamel Sauce: In a medium saucepan placed over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the flour turns light brown and emits a nutty aroma. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly. Once all of the milk has been incorporated, whisk in the nutmeg, and allow the mixture to come to a simmer. Once simmering, cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat, and add the shredded provolone a handful at a time, stirring until it melts. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper, then set aside and let cool to warm room temperature.

2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

3. Assemble the Lasagna: Spread 1 cup of the meat sauce on the bottom of a 9×13-inch pan. Place noodles in a single layer on top of the sauce (if you are using store-bought lasagna noodles, this should be 3 noodles; if you made fresh pasta, you’ll probably use 2 sheets and can cut to fit as needed). Spread 1¼ cups of the meat sauce over the noodles. Drizzle one-quarter of the béchamel sauce over the meat sauce. Sprinkle ¼ cup Parmesan cheese and ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese over the béchamel sauce.

4. Place another layer of noodles on top of the cheese. Top with another 1¼ cups of meat sauce, a quarter of the béchamel sauce, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese and ¼ cup shredded mozzarella.

5. Place another layer of noodles on top of the cheese. Top with another 1¼ cups of meat sauce, half of the remaining béchamel sauce, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese and ¼ cup shredded mozzarella.

6. Place the final layer of noodles on top of the cheese. Pour the remaining béchamel sauce over the noodles and sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup Parmesan cheese and ¼ cup shredded mozzarella.

7. Cover the lasagna with a piece of aluminum foil that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake, covered, for 1 hour. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let stand for 15 minutes before serving. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Note: This lasagna can be assembled, covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days before baking. It can also be frozen for up to 1 month. If the lasagna was cold, bake it covered for an additional 15 to 30 minutes, checking to ensure it is heated the whole way through.


Sage Butter Pasta with Spinach January 28, 2014

Filed under: Pasta — tiffanyrose913 @ 4:26 pm


As everyone knows, one of my favorite restaurants in Pittsburgh is Lidia’s Italy. Her pasta tasting trio is just one of my favorite meals on earth! Recently , I had her spinach ravioli , and I found a deconstructed recipe on pinterest, which was perfect for a quick meal on a snowy weekend night 🙂 This sauce is unreal, so simple, but sooo tasty and different! I wish I had papperdelle pasta on hand , because this would have been even better – but I had to use rigatoni.

12 ounces pappardelle pasta
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 stick of butter
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped sage
Two 5-ounce bags baby spinach
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pappardelle pasta until al dente. Drain the pappardelle thoroughly, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.

2. Meanwhile, in a large deep skillet, heat the olive oil and butter. Add the scallions and sage and cook over high heat until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove Sage Leaves. Add the spinach in large handfuls and cook, stirring, until wilted. Add the pasta, butter and ricotta and toss. Add 3/4 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water and the Parmigiano and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately low heat, tossing, until the sauce is thick and creamy, adding more of the pasta water as needed. Transfer the pappardelle to bowls and serve right away, with grated Parmigiano.


Spaghetti Pie October 31, 2013

Filed under: Pasta — tiffanyrose913 @ 6:50 pm

spaghetti pie
This was so fantastic! Definitely a crowd pleaser, and will definitely be in my recipe rotation!! I used jarred marinara sauce, but you can make your own!

For noodle mixture

Thin spaghetti

12 Ounce

Cream cheese

5 Ounce, softened & broken into cubes

Mozzarella cheese

1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)

Parmesan cheese

1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)

For topping
Mozzarella cheese

To Taste

Parmesan cheese

To Taste


To Taste


1. Preheat oven to 400 degree F.
2. Grease a deep dish pie plate with non-stick spray.

For Spaghetti Sauce:
3. Place a large skillet over medium heat and brown meat until almost done.
4. Add onion and cook until tender and then add minced garlic and saute until fragrant. Drain the mixture and return to heat.
5. Stir in tomato sauce. Simmer for 30-45 minutes or until thickened.
6. Season generously with pepper, red pepper flakes, parsley, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Set aside over low heat to keep warm.
For Noodles:
7. In a large pot, take water, add salt and bring it to a boil.
8. Break noodles in half, drop in boiling water and cook for 6-7 minutes or until al dente. Do not overcook. Drain well and return to pot.
9. Immediately add cream cheese and stir until well coated.
10. Stir in cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese and 2 cups of spaghetti sauce.
11. Transfer the mixture into the greased pie plate and pack down firmly.
12. Sprinkle and cover the top with Parmesan and mozzarella cheese.
13. Pop in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden. Remove from oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes.

14. Garnish with parsley, cut into wedges and serve topped with spaghetti sauce.


Portillo’s Chopped Pasta Salad September 18, 2013

Filed under: Pasta,Sides — tiffanyrose913 @ 7:26 pm

Living in Pittsburgh, I have never heard of this Chicago – based restaurant, but I starred this recipe anyways, and OMG I am so glad that I did! This is so outstanding, and so different from your normal pasta salad. Had it for a friday night happy hour and everyone raved about it!


4 cups cooked Ditalini pasta
1 cup cooked and crumbled bacon
3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
3 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
2-1/2 cups chopped red cabbage
2 fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 cup sliced green onions
4 ounces crumbled gorgonzola cheese (about 1 cup)
Sweet Italian Dressing:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil


Cook Ditalini pasta according to package instructions. Make sure you salt the pasta water while cooking to give it some flavor. Drain and cool. Set aside.
Cook bacon in a skillet until done. Let bacon cool, then crumble it.
Combine romaine, iceberg, red cabbage, tomatoes and green onions in large salad bowl.
Add cooled pasta, bacon and gorgonzola cheese to salad.
Add dressing to taste right before serving so that it doesn’t get soggy.
For the Dressing: Place vinegar, garlic, sugar, oregano, salt and pepper in a blender. While the machine is running, slowly drizzle olive oil through the blender top or feed tube until dressing is combined and emulsified. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to two weeks.


Sausage Orecchiete with Broccoli March 18, 2013

Filed under: Pasta,Pork — tiffanyrose913 @ 5:14 pm

Broccolli Orechetti
I love when ingredients are sooo simple, and yet it turns out soooo good! The key to this by far was the toasted breadcrumbs on top… omg – it was delish!

1-1/4 lb. broccoli
Kosher salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lb. bulk hot Italian sausage, preferably with fennel seed
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 lb.dried orecchiette pasta
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino
1 cup fresh made toasted breadcrumbs

In food processor, combine 3 slices of crusty bread, handful of pasta, salt and pepper, 1 tsp of oregano, 1 tsp basil, 1 tsp garlic powder and pulse. Then in a small saute pan, combine breadcrumbs with olive oil and saute until golden brown.

Separate the broccoli florets from the stems and then pare the stems with a knife. Leave the floret clusters whole unless they’re especially large; if so, cut them in half.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the stems and cook for 3 or 4 minutes; add the florets, and cook for another 5 min. until both the stems and the florets are just tender (test with a sharp paring knife). With tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the pieces to ice water as they’re done. When cool, drain the broccoli well and chop it coarsely. Top up the pot with more hot water and return it to a boil.

Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over moderate heat. Add the sausage and cook, crumbling it with a wooden spoon, until it loses its pink color. Add the red pepper flakes and garlic and sauté briefly to release the garlic’s fragrance. Add the broccoli and season well with salt. Stir to coat the broccoli with the seasonings. Keep warm over low heat.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook it until it’s just shy of al dente (1 to 2 min. less than the suggested cooking time). Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid by removing it with a ladle or a measuring cup. Drain the pasta and return it to the warm, empty pot. Add the contents of the skillet to the pasta and cook it over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the pasta is al dente, adding as much of the reserved water as needed to keep the pasta moist. Remove from the heat, stir in 1/4 cup of the cheese, and portion the pasta into six warm bowls. Top each portion with some of the remaining cheese and breadcrumbs.


Polish Princess Pierogie Sisters !

Filed under: Pasta — tiffanyrose913 @ 5:03 pm


Pierogie SistersIt’s that time of year again, almost easter time, which means me and my sister get to whip out the pasta maker and make pierogies! We made potato cheese and Saurkraut this year… Plus we made noodles out of the scrap dough that made prob the best haluski ever! My recipe for the pierogies is on this blog under pasta … the secret is… Sour cream! Who knew!??