Tested: Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo and Energy Bites

Double post! I was busy the last couple of days 🙂

First up, the Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo. Now, I am not a fan of alfredo sauce. You’d think I would be since I don’t really like red sauce, but I think it has a weird taste. But when I saw this recipe for Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo on Pinterest, I had to give it a shot. Cheese and red peppers with pasta? Yes, please.

I did modify the recipe a little bit… it calls for half and half and goat cheese. I never buy half and half because I never use it. However, due to my super-Googling skills, I discovered that you can substitute evaporated milk for half and half. Done. I also used Boursin (garlic and herb) cheese instead of goat cheese. Reason one for that: they didn’t have garlic and herb goat cheese at my store. Reason two: hubby doesn’t really like goat cheese. Since I was messing with sauce and pasta (you never mess with an Italian’s pasta), I thought I’d use something he would still potentially like and not be mad!

This stuff was freaking delicious. Kinda messy to make between the roasting, sauteeing, boiling and mixing – but so good. I also had to substitute my blender for a food processor. I’m not fancy enough to have a food processor, but hey, the blender worked just fine. I’m also not anywhere NEAR fancy enough to have an immersion blender like Lauren’s Latest used!!

The recipe says to use one half pound of pasta for the sauce – I made a full box and there was more then enough sauce for all of it.

Image from Lauren’s Latest

Once again, I forgot to take a picture while cooking and while it was on my plate. So you get the leftover tupperware version.

My version – our leftovers

On to the Energy Bites…

These are super fast to make and really good. I usually make a batch and store it in the freezer to eat whenever I need a little something sweet. The great thing about these is that you can pretty much use whatever ingredients you have on had and they will taste amazing. There’s a lot of different recipes out there for these, but I really think the one from Food Doodles is the best!

For mine, I used peanut butter, honey, shredded coconut, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, mini chocolate chips and chopped nuts. I use a melon ball scooper to make them – they all come out at a good snack size. Make sure to leave the mix in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before rolling them… they get mushy fast when they’re out too long!

Image from Food Doodles

Another tupperware version. But this is how I store them in the freezer!!

My version all ready for the freezer

Get to cooking people.

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Tested: Peanut Butter Granola

Peanut butter. Possibly my favorite condiment. Too bad it doesn’t go with hamburgers or pizza.

So when I saw this on Pinterest, clicked on the link and it proclaimed that it was a healthy peanut butter recipe, I had to give it a shot. Thanks Shape: 10 Healthy Peanut Butter Recipes.

It also seemed pretty easy… mix up some peanut butter, honey, vanilla, cinnamon and oats. Bake. Eat. I can do that.

Image from Shape

It smelled great while it was in the oven. When I took it out though, it wasn’t a clumped together real pretty like – as their picture shows. It was all pretty much separated into a one-piece-of-an-oat-at-a-time type of deal. But it still tasted good. Although I was hoping it would be crunchier. And more peanut-buttery. I’ll make this again, but I’ll doctor it up a bit.

My version. Not as pretty.

I was going to put it in a container and make it spill out all over some fancy tablecloth like their picture, but who cares? It’s in a bowl and I was eating it.

Tested: Meatloaf Muffins

These were too cute not to try. Found a pin on Pinterest, but the recipe here: Food Network.

They were easy to make (a tad time consuming with all the chopping needed) and they cook fast. I’ve never made regular meatloaf before, but I’ve heard it takes longer. 20 minutes and these babies were done! And they really were super good. I made a dozen and between the two of us, we ate them all. Guess I shouldn’t brag about that. Oh well.

Picture from myrecipes.com

I don’t have a picture of mine, because we ate them all. And then I remembered I needed a picture. Oops. Mine also didn’t look like this when they came out of the pan… they fell apart a little. So we had a pile of hamburger meat, onion, peppers and sauce. But they were still good so I don’t even care. It just made it easier to mix with the mashed potatoes we had on the side.

Tested: Mango Salsa

I cheated on this one. I didn’t see a mango anywhere in our store, so I grabbed some peaches. By the time I found a mango, I already had the peaches in the basket and was prepared to use them.

So I only had peaches, onion and cilantro instead of all the ingredients this mango salsa called for. BUT! It was yummy. We both liked it so much that we used it again a couple nights later. First night = peach salsa on fish (halibut) tacos. Second night = peach salsa on top of turkey taco salad.

I found the recipe here: Simply Gourmet.

Picture from Simply Gourmet

I don’t have a picture of mine, but it’s salsa. They all pretty much look the same!

I made sure to chop/dice everything about the same size and threw it in the fridge for a while before eating it to let the flavors combine.

Tested: Spaghetti Squash Casserole

This recipe was either going to be a huge hit or a complete disaster. Hubby doesn’t like veggies (except corn, green beans and carrots), so getting him to eat squash was going to be a challenge. I debated not telling him what was in it, but he saw the squash on the counter. Busted. Plus, I have never made spaghetti squash before, so I was convinced I was going to totally screw it up. Recipe courtesy of Hungry Girl.

Verdict came in… and it was fantastic. Hubby ate almost the whole thing, even though I wanted to save it for leftovers for our next dinner. It did need some garlic salt to give it a little kick, but I can now say that we are spaghetti squash converts. I’m already looking up more recipes to use it in!

Photo from Hungry Girl

My version

The picture doesn’t do it justice – I already ate half of it before I rememberd to take the picture. I served it with some fish – yes, it’s breaded, but it’s baked so it’s okay. Each fillet is only about 230 calories!

Tested: Crockpot Breakfast Casserole

Since hubby and I are trying to eat better/less, I decided that we needed to have a big, healthy breakfast each morning on the weekend so that we didn’t stuff our faces when lunch came around. Enter the breakfast casserole. AND you make it in the crockpot the night before so it’s ready when you finally roll out of bed the next morning.

I found this recipe on Southern Lovely. It claimed to be “delicious” and “so great and easy!” – I beg to differ. Well, on the delicious part.

It was super easy – you dump everything in the crockpot and pour an egg mixture over it. Turn it on and let it cook. Okay, except that I used turkey sausage instead of ham (which may be the problem, I don’t know) and it didn’t really seem like there were enough eggs to get everything moistened, as the directions say to do. Also, I like my hashbrowns crispy. These were definitely NOT crispy.

Hubby liked it though and ate several large helpings. There is definitely enough to feed a family – we had leftovers for Sunday morning and there’s still some in there today (and probably tomorrow).

Photo from Southern Lovely

Remember to add some salt and pepper. It needs it.

My version

Tested: some random organization tip

I went wild with Pinterest this weekend. I tested all kinds of things… and surprisingly they all worked. Somewhat.

The first thing I did was go on an organizing binge. Our junk drawer and the cabinet above it were a complete mess. So I bought some fancy dancy little trays at Target and set to cleaning them. The cabinet tray was inspired by a pin on Pinterest, although I can’t find it now so I can’t say where it came from or show you what it looked like. But it was a little wicker basket type tray with pretty little labels for each slot to show what needs to go in there. Yeah, mine didn’t look anything like that and I definitely didn’t have labels. But it does the job.

The “after” of the junk cabinet. Let’s see how long it stays this way!!

The junk drawer, which I don’t have a picture of, now consists of a two-tier plastic tray with all sorts of random compartments for all the random crap we throw in there. Looks pretty good now though, if I do say so myself.