A Toast to Tiffany!

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

Spinach and Pesto Lasagna February 4, 2013

Filed under: Max,Pasta — tiffanyrose913 @ 6:42 pm

spinach lasagnamax smile
One of my favorite meals to make ( and eat ) , is when me, my mom, and my sister do “Pasta Trio”. We stole the idea from Lidia’s restaurant, and each of us make a pasta for Sunday dinner. This time around, my mom made Shrimp Fra Diavolo, Nicole made Linguine with Roasted Red Peppers and Herbed Goat Cheese, and I made Mario Batali’s Spinach Lasagna. Everything was soooo delicious!
Please don’t mind the horrible picture, we were so hungry and everything smelled so good, we just wanted to eat!!

I also threw in a picture of Max cheezing it up 🙂
ice water
1/2 teaspoon EVOO
3/4 pound store-bought or homemade lasagna noodles
5 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk, warmed
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup store-bought or homemade pesto
1 cup grated pecorino-sardo
2 10 ounce box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/4 cup breadcrumbs

1.Preheat the oven to 400 degrees . Fill a large bowl with ice water and stir in the EVOO to help prevent the cooked noodles from shrinking.
2.In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the noodles until al dente; remove and transfer to the ice bath. Cut each noodle crosswise into 5-inch pieces, then transfer to a kitchen towel to drain.
3.Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Cook, stirring, until light golden, about 5 minutes. Working with about 1 cup at a time, whisk the warmed milk into the butter-flour mixture until very smooth. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Cook, whisking, until thickened, about10 minutes; remove from the heat. Season with the nutmeg. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. (If you want to make the sauce in advance, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.)
4.In a medium bowl, stir 2 cups of the sauce together with the pesto and cheese. Grease four 5- or 6-inch gratin dishes, then place 1 layer of noodles on the bottom of each. Top each with 2 tbsp. spinach and 2 tbsp. of the pesto sauce; add another layer of noodles. Continue layering until you have 4 layers of noodles and 4 layers of the spinach and pesto. Finish with a fifth layer of noodles, followed by a thin layer of pesto; sprinkle with the breadcrumbs. Place the dishes on a baking sheet and bake until bubbling and golden-brown on top, 20 to25 minutes. Serve immediately.


Pot Roast Pappardelle January 18, 2013

Filed under: Beef,Pasta — tiffanyrose913 @ 6:41 pm

Roast - Copy

This recipe popped up on my google reader and it was perfect timing…I have at least 3 roasts in my freezer that I need to use LOL!

This was really good, and I think it might be even better ( and easier ) in the crockpot!  Oh, and I added peas at the end, because Mike loves peas 🙂

1 (2½ to 3 pound) boneless chuck roast, tied
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
1½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
1 cup dry white wine
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 batch fresh pasta, rolled to the third-to-last setting, cut into ½-inch strips
freshly grated parmesan cheese, for serving

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Season the roast on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, place the roast in the pot and brown it on all sides, turning it every 3 to 4 minutes for even coloring. Transfer the browned roast to a plate. Reduce heat to medium, add onions, carrots, celery, and garlic, and sauté, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the onion is golden. Stir in the thyme, wine, tomatoes, and ½ teaspoon salt. Return the meat to the pot, along with any juices that accumulated on the plate. Bring liquid to a simmer, cover, and place the pot in the oven.

2. Braise the meat, turning it every 45 minutes or so, for about 2½ hours, or until the meat is fork-tender and the sauce has thickened.

3. When the meat is almost done, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and stir to separate the noodles. Cover the pot until the water returns to a boil, then uncover and cook the pasta for just a few minutes, until al dente. Drain the pasta.

4. Remove the roast from the pot, and slice or shred it. Serve with the pasta and sauce, topped with the cheese.


Toasted Almond Pasta Salad December 29, 2012

Filed under: Pasta — tiffanyrose913 @ 7:07 pm

pasta salad

I love when I have a recipe starred, and I happen to have all the ingredients on hand!  Like when do I ever have toasted almonds, ditalini, AND fresh thyme in my pantry/refridgerator?  Anyways, this was sooo delicious – will definitely be making this again!! 🙂


1/3 cup sliced almonds


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.


Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs, then drain and rinse under cold water. Transfer to a serving bowl and toss with the olive oil, parmesan, lemon juice, shallot, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt and about half of the almonds. Season with salt and pepper. Top with the remaining almonds and the red pepper flakes.


Squash and Sage Canneloni November 5, 2012

Filed under: Max,Pasta — tiffanyrose913 @ 3:03 pm

If I ever see canneloni on a menu, I typically always order it!  For some reason, I don’t know why, I always thought it would be hard to make?  Well, it wasn’t!   I was so thrilled with this method, it was a perfect “fall” meal, with all the tastes of the season that makes this time of year so great!  Also, a pic of the two cutest boys, watching tv in their new favorite place – storage fabic boxes!  LOL


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for baking dish and sheet
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 8 wide lasagna noodles
  • 1/2 butternut squash (about 1 pound), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage leaves, plus 8 to 10 whole leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups ricotta (15 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 2-quart or 8-inch square baking dish. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente. Using tongs, transfer pasta to a lightly oiled rimmed baking sheet. Add squash to boiling water and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain squash and transfer to a bowl.
  2. In a small skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium. Add shallots, season with salt and pepper, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl with squash and add 2 tablespoons milk, chopped sage, and nutmeg; season with salt and pepper. Mash with a fork until a rough puree forms.
  3. Spread 1/4 cup squash mixture crosswise down the middle of each lasagna noodle; roll up noodle and place, seam side down, in baking dish. In a bowl, combine ricotta, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and 1/4 cup milk and season with salt and pepper. Spread ricotta mixture over cannelloni and top with cup Parmesan. Bake until warmed through, about 25 minutes. Broil until top is browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high. Fry whole sage leaves until crispy, 15 to 20 seconds. Drain on paper towels. Serve cannelloni topped with fried sage.

Pierogi Lasagna October 11, 2012

Filed under: Pasta — tiffanyrose913 @ 4:29 pm

Does it get any more perfect than, A beautiful fall weekend, Pittsburgh Steeler Football, and Polish Food?  I don’t think so!  This was a great find on Pinterest… wayyyyy easier than making pierogi’s , believe me!  Very close second in taste though – there is NOTHING like a good pierogi… especially made by me and Nicole.. aka – Polish Princess Pierogi Makers! 

1 lb lasagna noodles
4 lbs red or white potatoes
1/4 c sour cream (optional)
1/2 c milk
2 c shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 c butter (1.5 sticks)
1 onion, sliced in rings

Cook the noodles. Chop potatoes into 1″ cubes, place in pot of cold water (enough to cover), and allow to come to a boil. Continue boil until potatoes are soft enough to yield to a fork stab. Drain, mash, blend with a mixer. Toss in the optional sour cream and milk, mix some more. Add salt to taste. Stir in cheddar.

Melt all the butter over medium-high heat, then sautee onion until the rings no longer hold their shape.

Preheat oven to 375. Grease the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish with some of the onion-butter. Lay noodles on the bottom of the dish, then spread the potatoes, a dollop at a time, along the length of each noodle. Once done, smooth the potatoes, then spread about a quarter of the onion on top, and drizzle a small amount of butter as well. Repeat this twice (or more if your dish can accommodate), then top with noodles and the remainder of the onions and butter.

Pop in the oven for 20 minutes. Allow to cool 10 minutes before cutting and serving.



Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad September 5, 2012

Filed under: Chicken,Pasta — tiffanyrose913 @ 12:45 am

This one rounded up our pinterest recipes!  My sister made this and it was delicious!  Everyone loves buffalo chicken dip , and everyone loves pasta salad… so why not pair them together?  Why didn’t we think of this sooner???  LOL


Marie’s Blue Cheese Salad Dressing (1 whole jar)

Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (as much as your taste buds enjoy, I usually do about 3/4 bottle)

{mix these together}

 Celery (about 5 stalks) 

Red Onion (1 whole one)

Chicken Breast (as much as you want. I usually buy a rotisserie chicken and cut it up)

Noodles – you pick your favorite. Cook as you would normally cook noodles and then flash them with cold water right away to stop the cooking process. I use an entire box of the noodles. 

{chop all of these into similar size}

 Now, mix everything together!

Add a little salt and pepper to taste.

It’s best when it’s chilled for a little while, but I ate it the next day heated up and it was fantastic too!

You can make it as spicy as you want – the more Frank’s the spicier.


BLT Pasta July 9, 2012

Filed under: Pasta — tiffanyrose913 @ 4:32 pm

Since I work from home, I always have the TV going on in the background so it isnt totally silent in my office… I heard Rachael Ray making this recipe in the background, and I knew immediately that I wanted to try it – so glad that I did!  I used orrechiete pasta instead of Penne because I had some on hand, and I like them sooo much more – they were perfect in this dish!  I also substituted spinach for leeks in this dish because, well, who has leeks on hand?? Haha

  • Salt
  • 1 pound penne or other short-cut pasta with lines
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 5-6 slices lean, thick-cut good quality bacon, sliced across into 1/2-inch thick sticks
  • 3 medium leeks, trimmed, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • Black pepper
  • 1 round tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 package Boursin cheese (5.4 ounces) or 1/2 cup crème fraiche combined with 3 tablespoons minced mixed herbs, such as thyme, sage, rosemary and parsley
  • Grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once at a full rolling boil, salt the water and cook pasta to al dente.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon EVOO, one turn of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and brown to crisp. Remove from the pan and reserve. Add the leeks and garlic and season with pepper. Stir for a few minutes to soften, then add the tomato paste and stir for a minute more; add the wine and reduce by half. Add the tomatoes and put a lid on the pot. Let the tomatoes burst, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in the cheese; reduce heat to low.

Reserve about 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water just before draining pasta, then drain and add the pasta to the sauce. Add the bacon back in and toss, using the starchy cooking water to combine. Adjust the seasoning of pasta, to taste; serve in shallow bowls topped with the cheese and garnished with the tomatoes.


Blue Cheese and Arugula Pasta

Filed under: Pasta — tiffanyrose913 @ 4:26 pm

One of the reasons I love summer so much is grilling out and all the yummy sides that go along with it.  I love traditional pasta salad, but sometimes I like to shake things up a bit – this one was DELICIOUS .. doesn’t hurt that I am obsessed with Arugula 🙂


  • 1/2 pound penne pasta
  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • Add: 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup reduced-fat milk (I used 1.5 cups light cream)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (I love a lot of freshly ground black pepper in this dish)

Directions (in my own words)

  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta to al dente, drain, set aside.
  • Melt butter in a large saute pan. Add garlic and saute 1-2 minutes.
  • Add cream and bring to a simmer. Mix in the blue cheese and whisk until creamy, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Add pasta and toss.
  • Add arugula and toss until wilted.

Walnut Campanelle April 19, 2012

Filed under: Max,Pasta — tiffanyrose913 @ 4:45 pm

I got this recipe from Martha Stewart, and it was one of those occasions that I had every ingredient in the recipe, so I figured why not?  I am so glad that I did!  It was perfect, and didn’t taste heavy at all!  Also, some more pics of Max!  LOL


  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound campanelle pasta
  • 1 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, divided, plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley stems (from 1 small bunch)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (from 3 large lemons)
  • 4 ounces walnuts, toasted well and roughly chopped (1 1/4 cups)
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese


  1. Heat oil in a medium pan over medium heat until shimmering. Meanwhile, very thinly slice garlic with a mandoline (you should have 1/4 cup). Add to oil, and cook, stirring constantly, until garlic is pale golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes. Drain garlic chips in a sieve set over a large bowl (reserve oil). Spread garlic chips on paper towels; season with salt.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until just barely al dente. Drain. Add pasta to oil, and toss. Partially cover, and let cool at least 20 minutes and up to 1 1/2 hours.
  3. Roughly chop 3/4 cup parsley leaves, and add them with parsley stems, lemon zest, and walnuts to pasta. Toss to combine. Dot with cheese, and season with salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine, being careful not to fully incorporate cheese. Garnish with remaining parsley leaves, and serve with garlic chips

White Cheddar Chicken Pasta February 22, 2012

Filed under: Chicken,Pasta — tiffanyrose913 @ 6:42 pm

For the chicken:
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tsp dry mustard
1 T fresh thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 T olive oil

For the pasta:
1 pound rotini or other short cut pasta
2 T butter
2 T flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely diced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 T Dijon mustard
8 oz sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups milk (I used skim milk but mixed in about 2 T heavy cream)
1 T fresh thyme
1 T fresh oregano
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
Parmesan cheese to taste

What you’ll do:
For the chicken:
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Mix together mustard, thyme, salt and pepper and sprinkle over chicken pieces. When pan is hot, add chicken and brown about 3 minutes per side until cooked through. Remove to a plate and cover with foil.

For the pasta:
Heat water to boil in a large stock pot for pasta, add salt and pasta and cook to al dente and drain according to directions. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add flour and whisk to combine. Add wine, garlic, onions, and mustard. Cook about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent. Reduce heat to low and slowly add milk, stirring to combine. Cook about 5-7 minutes more until mixture begins to thicken. Add cheese and stir to melt. Add chicken and pasta, toss to incorporate sauce. Add thyme and oregano and serve topped with crushed red pepper flakes and Parmesan cheese.