April 28, 2016

Spaghetti Casserole for Spaghetti Stella's Birthday


Everything you love about spaghetti- rich sauce, gooey cheese, and delicious pasta - all baked together in a casserole! This comfort food dish will warm you right up, fill your tummy, and put a smile on your face!

Spaghetti Stella, our little foodie, loved this casserole and so will you!

Our "Prego" announcement and Stella's 1st Birthday!
 Little did we know how much our baby would love pasta :)
My darling baby girl, Stella Rose turned one this month and I cannot believe how time flies!
To celebrate we had a fun photo shoot with the talented Lisa Anne Photography.
Instead of the traditional cake smash, we let Stella enjoy a big, messy bowl of her favorite food: spaghetti! Then she got to take some adorable bath tub pictures after. I know I am biased but is she not the cutest baby ever?!

Stay tuned for the bath tub pics!
Little Miss was all pretty in pearls in the beginning....
 then things got fun...
and very messy!
She's pretty darn proud of herself!
My girl has a good appetite for sure!
Slurp!
Spaghetti Stella photos by Lisa Anne Photography.
Prego baby announcement photo by Megan Keys Photography.
 

Ingredients:

Makes 9 servings
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground pork or beef
  • 1 lb spaghetti, broken in half
  • 24 oz jar marinara sauce
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella or cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8oz cream cheese, softened 
  • olive oil, for saute
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Italian seasoning, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Start by cooking spaghetti according to package directions. I use the pot size spaghetti or you can break the noodles in half. 
  3. Drain and set aside.
  4. In a large saute pan, add onions and a swirl of olive oil and cook over medium heat for about five minutes, until they start to soften and brown.
  5. Add garlic and cook another minute.
  6. Add ground pork and cook, crumbling with a spoon.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Once pork is no longer pink, drain any fat and add cubed cream cheese.
  9. Mix until combined and melted.
  10. Now stir in marinara sauce.
  11. In a 9x13 pan, add a ladle or two of sauce on the bottom of the dish, spreading to cover. 
  12. Now add half of the pasta, then half of the remaining sauce, then 1/2 cup shredded cheese.
  13. Top with remaining pasta, the rest of the sauce, and the last 1 cup of cheese. 
  14. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes or until bubbly and the cheese has melted.
  15. Serve hot with bread and a side salad {to be healthy, of course!}.
Start by cooking spaghetti according to package directions.
 I use the pot size spaghetti or you can break the noodles in half.

Drain and set aside.
In a large saute pan, add onions and a swirl of olive oil and cook over medium heat.

 Cook for about five minutes, until they start to soften and brown.
Add garlic and cook for another minute.

Add ground pork and cook, crumbling with a spoon.
Season with salt and pepper.

Once pork is no longer pink, drain any fat and add cubed cream cheese.
Mix until combined and melted then stir in marinara sauce.
In a 9x13 pan, add a ladle or two of sauce on the bottom of the dish, spreading to cover.
Now add half of the pasta..
then half of the remaining sauce...
then 1/2 cup shredded cheese.
You can use any cheese you like.
I was low on mozzarella so I used a mix of cheddar and sliced mozzarella.
Top with remaining pasta...
 the rest of the sauce, and the last 1 cup of cheese.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
The cheese should be melted and the casserole hot and bubbly.
Top with a sprinkle of Italian seasoning and scoop onto plates.
This is definitely a messy but good family meal but it is worth it!
Me? Make a mess? No way!
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April 23, 2016

Chocolate Pudding Dirt Cups with Strawberry Ladybugs and Earth friendly prAna clothing

For Earth Day this year Ava and I decided to make Chocolate Pudding Dirt Cups for our special treat.
This easy dessert is simply chocolate pudding covered in crushed Oreos. You can top with any fun creepy crawly candy you want such as gummy bugs or worms but Ava and I decided to use our fresh local strawberries and make chocolate dipped ladybugs with chocolate chip spots! The perfect Earth Day- and summertime- treat for the kiddos in your life! 

Scroll down for the recipe and a prAna clothing review and giveaway. 

Started the day with Earth colored pancakes. 
 Exploring a local park on Earth Day 2016.
Cooling down with sno-balls. A Louisiana tradition.

Selfies with my Stella Rose.
 Our Earth Day craft- flower pens!
Here's another green topic I wanted to cover in this Earth Day post.
I had the pleasure of trying prAna sustainable clothing and I am loving the styles, comfort, and message prAna offers. A couple weeks ago I was sent a complete outfit, the Liana Sweater and the Kara Jeans, to wear and review.

Be sure to scroll down- I am giving away the exact same out to one lucky reader!


I chose the dusted blush color, which is a soft pink, for my Liana Sweater. I love how lightweight and sheer it is. Perfect for spring time. It's stylish too with it's wide neck and asymmetrical hem. It is made out of  Hemp and Organic Cotton and retails for $79.

For my Kara Jeans, prAna's most popular pants, I chose the fun Silver Spain print. They come in 10 bright colors and prints. These slim fit pants are made of 75% Organic Cotton and are soft and stretchy with foldable cuffs. The Kara Jean retails for $89. 
 prAna loves to combine classic & urban style with sustainable materials, and they are always mindful of where and how their creations are made. 
 I love how soft and comfy the Kara Jeans by prAna are.
 Perfect for relaxing at home with my little ones.

prAna is an ancient Sanskrit word for breath, life, and vitality of the spirit. They started out in 1992 making clothing that worked well for climbing and yoga. prAna creates versatile, stylish, and sustainable clothing and accessories that you can wear during every activity, every adventure, every day. They are about promoting conservation and creating positive change. prAna proudly supports sustainable materials like organic cotton, hemp and recycled poly along with Fair Trade and Renewable Energy initiatives.

Want to try prAna sustainable clothing?
Visit www.prana.com and use this special discount code for 15 % off your first order!
Discount code: MMS16FTLF

Discount code details: 

Valid for 15% off at prAna.com
One-time use per customer
Not valid on gift certificates or with any other offers.
Valid thru May 30, 2016

Connect with prAna online to see their latest
products and get exclusive access to discounts
and special offers!
prAna.com
facebook.com/prAna
twitter.com/prAna
pinterest.com/prAna
instagram.com/prAna
youtube.com/prAna

Ingredients:

Makes 4-6 individual servings
  • 2oz box instant chocolate pudding
  • 2 cups milk 
  • 12 mini Oreo cookies, crushed {or about 4 large Oreos}
  • 6 large strawberries, tops removed and sliced in half width wise
  • 1 1/4 cups mini chocolate chips, divided

Directions:

  1. Prepare pudding in a large bowl, according to package instructions, mixing in milk.
  2. Scoop pudding into clear cups or shot glasses and chill for at least 5 minutes.
  3. Top each pudding cup with crushed Oreos.
  4. To make the strawberry ladybugs: melt 1 cup chocolate until smooth.
  5. Dip bottom tips of each strawberry half in chocolate to make the ladybug face.
  6. Lay on parchment paper to dry.
  7. Next push 6 mini chocolate chips all over each strawberry.
  8. Top each pudding with one or two ladybugs.
  9. Serve with a spoon for digging into the dirt!
There are so many cup options for these pudding cups. Any will work as long as they are clear.
I use plastic small drinking cups for the kids, which are great for parties and picnics. I like mini mason jars and goblets at home, served with mini silver spoons.
Dirt cups are a classic kids treat I remember from my childhood.
Simply chocolate pudding topped with crushed oreo "dirt". 
Traditionally you would top these with gummy worm candy but Ava and I decided we liked strawberry ladybugs better!
It's strawberry picking time!
Remove the stems from 6 large strawberries then slice in half width wise.
Make your chocolate pudding according to the package directions.
Basically just whisk 2 cups of milk with the pudding mix.
Scoop into cups or jars and chill for at least 5 minutes. 
To make the strawberry ladybugs: add 1 cup of chocolate chips to a bowl.
Microwave until smooth and melted, about 45 seconds- 1 minute.
 Dip bottom tips of each strawberry half in chocolate to make the ladybug face.
Lay on parchment paper to dry.
Now time to make the ladybug spots.
Push 5-6 mini chocolate chips all over each strawberry.
Add the Oreos to a food processor and crush.
 Sprinkle on top of chilled puddings.
 Try not to eat all the Oreos.
 Ava loved adding spoonfuls of Oreos the puddings.
 She may have been sneaking a bite or two...

Top each pudding cup with a ladybug or two.

Serve with a spoon and dig right in! 
My little helper, Ava, is always ready to cook and 
bake with me...and eat the treats afterwards too!
 I was sent a free prAna outfit to review from the Moms Meet program (greenmomsmeet.com) and prAna sustainable clothing. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion
on my blog. All opinions are 100% my own.

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