Deviled Egg Pasta Salad


This is the pasta salad that I make the most for my family, because everyone chows it down! It’s super easy to make and if you and your family love deviled eggs or egg salad, I really think that you will enjoy this particular pasta salad as much as we do.

Another bonus, I always have the ingredients on hand, so that is another reason it’s my “go to” pasta salad.

Of course you could tweak it, too. A little bacon crumbled over the top wouldn’t be a bad thing. I use dill pickle relish because that is what our family likes, but if you prefer sweet pickle relish you certainly can use that. Coarsely chop up some baby dills or gherkins to make the pickle more prominent.  I use the brine from the sweet relish jar, to give it some sweet twang. You could always use vinegar. If you use dressing instead of mayo, I won’t judge! Play around with it. Use the ingredients that you like to use when you make deviled eggs. To me, this recipe just has a great balance.

Deviled Egg Pasta Salad

Ingredients:
1 pound Pasta ( I used half bow ties & half medium shells, because that is what I had on hand when I made this )
6 Large Hard Boiled  Eggs, chopped*
2 cups Mayo
1/4 cup Yellow Mustard ( a mix of yellow & dijon is also yummy! )
1/3 cup Dill Pickle Relish
2 TBSP Sweet Pickle Relish Brine
1 tsp Sugar
Sea Salt & Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste
Paprika for garnish

Optional for those that don’t have picky eaters:
1/2 cup Finely Chopped Vidalia Onion
1/2 cup Finely Chopped Celery

Cook your pasta in salted water until al dente.
Drain and let cool in the strainer, but do not rinse with cold water
In a large bowl add the mayo, mustard, dill relish, sweet relish brine, sugar & chopped eggs ( onion & celery if using )
Mix thoroughly. Add pasta to the mixture and give it a good mix.
Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
You could add more sugar, too if you find that it is too tart or tangy.
Transfer the pasta to your serving bowl and evenly sprinkle the top with paprika

Cover and place in fridge until completely cooled and ready to serve.

Enjoy!!!

*If you are looking for a “no fail” way to prepare hard boiled eggs, this is what I do:

Place eggs in a small pot ( one that has a lid ) and cover eggs with water.
Bring to a boil, uncovered. Turn the heat off and cover the pot with a lid.
Set a timer for 15 minutes and leave the pot of eggs alone.
In a medium size bowl add 6 ice cubes and about 3 cups of cold water.
When the timer goes off, with the lid on the pot, drain the hot water off of the eggs.
Give the eggs a good shake with the lid still on the pot, to crack the shells.
Drop the eggs into the ice water and let sit for 10 minutes.
Peel the eggs while holding them under the water.

To easily chop the eggs, use a cooling rack.
Place the rack over a bowl and press the eggs down through the grates.
Easy, breezy & you’ll never chop eggs any other way 🙂

 

 

LAZY LASAGNA {AKA: SOUR CREAM NOODLE BAKE}


Lazy LasagnaOh, yes… Lasagna. It has to be my favorite food of all time. I love it. I don’t always love making it.

Although, since discovering no-bake lasagna noodles, I have to say it’s not as tedious as it once was. If you have been afraid to try the no-bake noodles, don’t be! This version does not have lasagna noodles of any sort. I’m using wide egg noodles!

This, however is a quick alternative to the classic lasagna. You can easily adjust the ingredients and make it your own. Fancy it up or dumb it down. Even the most finicky kids will chow this down. Use your (or their) favorite ingredients!

This is the basic recipe that I use. It was adapted from a Sour Cream Noodle Bake recipe that I discovered courtesy of The Pioneer Woman. I tried it her way first. It was too plain for me. I had to doctor it up quite a bit to get it to my liking. So I hope that you will try this version and make it your own, too!

If you already make your own pasta sauce, use that if you want! You’ll need about 4 cups to make this. I make a really good sauce, this is just an easier recipe

I have made it with Italian sausage and sauteed mushrooms, too. It’s SO GOOD!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 – 2 lbs ground chuck
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 (29 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 12 oz wide egg noodles ( I like the EXTRA WIDE )
  • 16 oz cottage cheese ( with chives is REALLY GOOD! )
  • 1 cup sour cream, add more if desired
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Handful of parmesan cheese, grated

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grab a 9×13 casserole dish
  • In a large skillet, brown the ground chuck with the onion and garlic. Salt & pepper to season
  • Drain the fat, then add the tomato sauce, paste, brown sugar, Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Adjust red pepper flakes to your heat preference.
  • Simmer for at least 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. If you feel it is too rich, just add 1/2 to 1 cup of water and it will mellow it out, but let it cook down a little bit, too!
  • While the sauce is simmering, bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook the egg noodles until al dente**
  • Drain and set aside
    **To save time and and extra step, You can also make this without cooking the noodles first, they cook during the baking process! Just be sure to cover the casserole with aluminum foil for at least 20 minutes**
  • In a large bowl combine the cottage cheese and sour cream. Add plenty of fresh cracked black pepper
  • Add the egg noodles to the cottage cheese & sour cream mixture. Mix really well to make sure all of the noodles are covered in the mixture. It’s actually easier to do this with uncooked noodles. You know how noodles can stick together after they have cooked. It doesn’t do it as much when they are dry! Whodathunk!? But, it does make sense, huh!?
    egg noddles - lazy lasagna
  • Place a light layer of sauce on the bottom of your casserole dish
    sauce layer
  • Top with half of the egg noodle mixture
    noodles
  • Layer half of the meat sauce evenly over the noodles
    layering lasagna
  • Sprinkle half of the grated cheese over the meat sauce
    cheese layer - lasagna
  • Repeat, to make another layer. Sprinkle grated parmesan on top of the shredded cheddar cheese
    cheese - lasagna
  • Bake for 35 – 40 minutes until cheese has browned slightly and it’s bubbling around the sides. Just remember to cover with foil if you’re starting with uncooked egg noodles. After 20 minutes or so, remove the foil and let it bake a little longer ( like 10-15 minutes ) so the cheese has a chance to brown a little and the sides get a little crispy
    baked lasagna
  • Let it rest for at least 10 minutes
  • Serve with crusty bread and salad
  • ENJOY!!!
    lasagna11

ROASTED PARMESAN CAULIFLOWER (WITH MAC & CHEESE)


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So, I had some leftover homemade mac & cheese that is delicious all on it’s own. That recipe is posted here >> Creamy No Bake Mac & Cheese Recipe <<

Then I found some leftover roasted cauliflower that we had with a yummy grilled steak.

I hate wasting good food! Use up those leftovers. Mix it up, like I did here! It was a delicious combination.

Make them both at the same time, which is what I will do next time. Serve separately or mix them together.

They are both easy to make and equally delicious.

This is how you make the roasted parmesan cauliflower…

Ingredients:
1 head cauliflower- cut into thick sections/slices
1 Vidalia onion- sliced
6 Thyme Sprigs
4-6 garlic cloves peeled and smashed
3-4 Tbsp Olive Oil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
½ cup grated Parmesan

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Instructions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Clean cauliflower and cut in sections. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with sliced onion, thyme sprigs, garlic and drizzle with olive oil.

Season with salt and pepper and gently toss again.

Spread cauliflower mixture on a roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes.

Turn the cauliflower over to brown other side and add the parmesan cheese.

Roast for another 10-15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Creamy Stove Top No-Bake Mac & Cheese


This macaroni and cheese is simply made on the stove top. No roux to make. No baking required. Creamy & cheesy & delicious!!!
This macaroni and cheese is simply made on the stove top. No roux to make. No baking required. Creamy & cheesy & delicious!!!

This is one side dish that the kids devour. They always ask for. They get very excited when they hear it’s part of dinner. Besides, who doesn’t love mac & cheese!?

Have you ever thought to
Host a “Macaroni & Cheese Bar” Party?!

We did this for my daughter’s 16th Birthday Party! It was a HUGE hit!

For this you definitely need to double the recipe!

Just have a variety of toppings & mix in items
and your guests can personalize their own mac & cheese!

This is what we had for toppings & mix in items:

mix insWe also had bottled ranch dressing, Texas Pete’s Hot Sauce and Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce off to the side

I didn’t even have a chance to get a “before” picture
because the teenagers took over before I had a chance!
You’ll notice the lack of bacon & blue cheese below 😉

Oh, and the Sweet Heat Meatballs were keeping warm in a crock pot

mix ins2

I left the mac & cheese on the stove, covered to keep warm
with the bowls & forks on the counter next to it for them to grab
they made their way over to the table where they had
everything they needed to make their mac & cheese their own!!!

This is an easy way to make it. No baking required. No roux to make. It doesn’t very take long to make either.

You can change it up and use the cheese(s) your family likes.

Every time I make it I try a different combination of cheeses
– the basic is 2 types of cheddar
but you could certainly just use one type of cheese
– I’ve heard that pepper jack is really good, too!

mac


What you will need to make 4-6 servings:

8 oz of dried pasta – I like to use cavatappi

4 Tbsp unsalted butter

10 oz block of cheese – PLEASE Do Not Use Packaged Shredded Cheese

( I use half mild cheddar and half sharp cheddar – Gruyere on special occasion)

2 large eggs

*5 oz can of evaporated milk

*1 oz half & half (milk is fine, too)

1 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp ground mustard

A few cranks on the pepper mill

1/8 tsp granulated garlic

Optional:

A few shakes of Tabasco sauce or Texas Pete – don’t worry, it’s not hot or overpowering, it gives it a little flavor kick

pinch/dash of nutmeg

Very easy to double, if you have a houseful of hungry people to feed!

– 16 oz pasta
– an entire stick of unsalted butter
– (2) 10 oz blocks of cheese
– 12 oz can evaporated milk
– 4 large eggs
– 2 tsp kosher salt
– freshly ground black pepper – about 1/2 tsp
– 1/2 tsp ground mustard
– 1/4 tsp of granulated garlic

I recently made this with these four cheeses:

sharp cheddar, monterey jack, gruyere & fontina

2 oz each for single batch, half of a block for a double batch

and I left out the tobasco sauce and it was SO GOOD!!! SO GOOD!!!

*The original recipe called for 6 oz of evaporated milk BUT you can only get it in 5 oz or 12 oz cans. I would always buy the 12 oz and only use half of the can and I would never get around to using the rest of it, so it would go to waste. So I finally thought it through and figured, why not buy the 5 oz can and just use some half & half, that we always have for coffee, to compensate for the other 1 oz. I’m kicking myself for not thinking of that a long time ago!

Steps:

Boil pasta in a medium sized pot. Be sure you generously salt the water when boiling pasta. This is very important! It imparts a lot of flavor into the pasta, otherwise it will be bland.
It won’t look like a lot of pasta, but believe me it will be enough to feed 6 hungry people, easily.

While the pasta is boiling – Grate your cheese(s) and set aside

In a bowl combine eggs, evaporated milk (and half & half is using), salt, pepper, ground mustard, garlic and optional ingredients.

Mix well and set aside until pasta is ready.

Drain the pasta well. You don’t want any water getting back into the pot.

In the same pot the pasta was prepared, melt the butter over medium heat

Add pasta back into the pot and toss to coat the pasta with the butter.

mac6

Lower the heat & Slowly pour the egg mixture in and stir quickly. You want to make sure the pasta isn’t too hot or else you will end up with scrambled eggs.

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Heat through for 3 minutes, constantly stirring.

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It should tighten up a little bit, but you still want it to be “liquidy”

Add the shredded cheese by big handfuls…

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Mix thoroughly until everything comes together all nice and melty and gooey and cheesy!!!

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It sets up a little bit the longer it sits. I cover it until it’s ready to serve & give it another stir

It’s READY!!!

mac

Optional bread crumb topping:

In a small pan and over medium heat melt 3-4 tsp of butter, add 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs and 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs. Stir constantly and make sure the bread crumbs start to brown. When you turn the heat off, it will still continue to brown so either serve immediately or keep stirring until ready to serve. When it has cooled down, taste and add salt if needed.

bread1

bread2

Sprinkle on the breadcrumbs to individual servings. We have one or two that prefer their mac & cheese all by itself with no breadcrumbs!? If you ask me, that’s sacrilege!

So, anyway… this is it. The only macaroni and cheese I make.

Any other, just won’t do!