Cheese and Pesto Italian Baked Spaghetti Recipe

Who doesn’t love a good baked spaghetti recipe? And this is just such a recipe! Plus, I adore Paula Deen, and well, this is an adaption of one of her great recipes!

Cheese and Pesto Italian Baked Spaghetti Recipe

Cheese and Pesto Italian Baked Spaghetti Recipe

I love cookbooks. I have a ridiculous amount of cookbooks. I almost never follow a recipe fully and I’m always substituting or adding my own twist to every meal we make from a recipe. However, my over flowing bookshelf of cookbooks needed a little dusting off and when Tina made This Week’s Cravings a recipe from our favorite cookbook, I knew it was time. The problem is, which cookbook. It took me days to decide which cookbook I wanted to use, and then another week to decide which recipe. I’m a little addicted to Taste of Home, but I might also equally be addicted to Paula Deen. I went with Mrs. Paula Deen because she cooks like me. Well, okay without all the butter… I probably don’t use as much. ANYWAY.

I finally settled on this awesome Cheese and Pesto Italian Baked Spaghetti Recipe from Paula Deen’s The Deen Family Cookbook. We had never made it before and it really turned out good. I think that next time I will probably nix the goat cheese (only because it was expensive) and add some low fat cottage cheese, simply to add a little more moisture to the recipe. But honestly the flavor was amazing and it is definitely hearty and rich.

Cheese and Pesto Italian Baked Spaghetti Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 8-10
  • 1 pound uncooked spaghetti noodles
  • 1 pound ricotta cheese6-7oz) jars of prepared pesto
  • 2½ cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup crumbled goat cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 13×9 dish.
  2. Cook the spaghetti for 2 minutes less than the pkg directions say to cook it. Drain the spaghetti well and transfer it to a bowl. Stir in the ricotta, pesto, 1 cup of the mozzarella, ½ cu. of the Parmesan and the goat cheese.
  3. Toss the mixture well and transfer it to the baking dish.
  4. Sprinkle it with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.
  5. Bake until the cheese is melted, about 15-20 minutes. Turn the oven to broil and broil for 1 minute or until golden (we skipped the broil setting.)
  6. Serve hot!

Cheese and Pesto Italian Baked Spaghetti Recipe

Cheese and Pesto Italian Baked Spaghetti Recipe

I am proud to be co-hosting This Week’s Cravings along with Tina over at MOMS CRAZY COOKING and Kristi from Veggie Converter. Go visit them and tell them I said hi!

If you are a regular link-up we’re excited to see what you made this week. If you are new please read and follow the simple rules, so that everyone can enjoy the linky party and your recipe doesn’t get deleted!

If you forget to follow the theme, your post will be deleted. Please don’t feel hurt, just come back and link up a recipe that follows the theme. Thanks a million, we look forward to blogging with you!

The LINKY PARTY is opened ALL Week!

Recipes Coming Up on the Daily Dish

Yes, I’m hoping this will make you want to come and visit me several times in the next two weeks. Some delicious things have been cooking and baking in our kitchen and I’m ready to share them with you.
Here are some sneak peek photos to get your mouth watering. Just so you know, this is just a sampling – there are more than what is here. Like I said… a sneak peek.

What do you think these four things are? Are you going to come back to find out?

Monday morning is the first new recipe.

A Toast to Champagne

Who doesn’t love champagne? In fact, coming up on the site, I have some delicious Champagne Cupcakes I will be sharing in honor of Valentine’s Day. It’s interesting the flavor and moisture that using Champagne or Wines in your cooking can add. Do you use either in your recipes? If you’re not, you are missing out.

Learn more about delicious champagne by checking out this awesome infograph created as a toast to champagne. There’s all kinds of fun facts and history and information to be had in this colorful infograph. Enjoy! infographic
Brought To By, Purveyors of Fine Wine and Champagne

Write Creatively:Think Positive, Look Past the Negative

Inspiration QuoteFace it, negativity surrounds us whether we want it to or not. It’s part of life.

Years ago, I took great measures to cut out as much negativity from my life as I could – which basically means I don’t do drama, I avoid it all costs and rather than seeing that proverbial glass as half empty, I will always find it half full, even when there is only a sip remaining.  Obviously – negativity still surrounds me, there is no way to completely avoid negative things from happening.

In fact, the past couple of weeks have been challenging. While filled with some super positive things,  it feels as if for every single positive thing that comes my way, at least 5 negatives drop in to say hi around the same time.

They say bad things come in three’s. I don’t agree. I used to, but not anymore.

With all of the negative things that have happened, I have had to spend a great deal of time focused on thinking positive. Finding good things even in those bad things. Thinking good thoughts can do a lot to change your attitude.

The problem is really in that people don’t really know how to see the positive. I wake up every morning and remind myself I’m alive. That might seem silly to some of you, but it IS a positive. And each time I tell myself something positive, I feel better.

I also try to surround myself with positive people. If you’re negative most of the time, chances are I won’t spend much time with you. That’s not to say that I don’t recognize that everyone has a bad day now and then, and I would never turn my back on someone in need. Ever. I’m not talking about those people or those situations. I’m talking about the ones that just tend to be very bitter and everything seems like a catastrophe.

It’s time to stop thinking that way. It brings to mind the overused metaphor “find the silver lining”. But really, do it. It just feels better looking for the good things in life. So maybe you spilled coffee on yourself this morning, and you didn’t have time to change and so now you feel like your day is ruined, but it isn’t. There are so many other things in your world that are beautiful and wonderful.

Do you  have children? That’s a beautiful, precious gift. Even when they are acting nutty, crazy, crabby or any other fun adjective you’d like to use.

Do you have enough to eat? With our economy the way it is, that is a blessing. Don’t look past what it is.

Do you have a roof over your head?  Again, there are many who do not. It is another gift, don’t forget to remember it.

The point is just, that for every negative thing that comes your way, if you look hard enough, there is a positive that is lurking. You just have to learn how to look through new eyes and find the happy, beautiful, perfect moments and cherish them – your new way of thinking will bring on a happier, brighter attitude.

Easy Grasshopper Pie

grasshopper pie recipe

It’s time again for another round of This Week’s Cravings.

Our theme this week is Homemade Pies which made me excited because I’ve really never tried a completely from scratch, homemade pie. Guess what? I still haven’t. But more on that in a moment.

I am so proud to be co-hosting This Week’s Cravings along with Tina over at MOMS CRAZY COOKING, Angie from Big Bear’s Wife  & Kristi from Veggie Converter.

We host this party every Monday, so be sure to check out the upcoming themes at the bottom so you can join in too!

Have you made any Homemade Pies and want to link up with us? Go ahead and link it up down below in the linky, just please make sure it’s a homemade pie and not something else. Also, please make sure you read the simple rules first so your post isn’t removed.

Now, onto the yummy recipe and the story behind it.

So at the time we made this delicious pie, I was fresh out of surgery from my severed Achilles Tendon. I am still on the long road to recovery, but that’s okay because mini-chef has stepped up to the plate and is helping me out. I should probably add her bio to my blog too – she’s done a lot on here.

Mini chef is my 13 year old daughter Brielle. She has big dreams and aspirations to attend cooking school someday, so having her in the kitchen is exactly where she wants to be. When she saw the upcoming theme of homemade pies, she decided it would be fun to make a super easy Grasshopper pie and pair it with a wonderful meal she made us all.
Here’s her recipe!

grasshopper pie recipe

Homemade Grasshopper Pie Recipe

1-1/2 cups cold milk
1 package (3.9 ounces) instant chocolate pudding mix
2-3/4 cups whipped topping, divided
1 package (4.67 ounces) mint Andes candies, chopped, divided
1 chocolate crumb crust (9 inches) (she made her own with Smashed Oreos and butter)
1/4 teaspoon mint extract
2 drops green food coloring, optional

In a bowl, whisk together the milk and pudding mix for about 2 minutes. Let it stand for a few minutes or until it is soft-set. Next, fold in 3/4 cup whipped topping. Then fold in 3/4 cup of the Andes candies.

Spoon into your crust.

In a new bowl, combine the mint extract and the remaining whipped topping. Add some food color if you’d like. Spread the mint topping over the pudding layer and then sprinkle with remaining candies.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until set. We usually allow it to solidify overnight – plus it tastes better and better.


Here are more pictures Mini Chef took:

grasshopper pie recipe

chocolate mint pie

Participate in upcoming linky parties:

  • 1/16/2012 Week # 64 CHEESE LOVER DAY… YUMMY Cheese recipes
  • 1/23/2012 Week # 65 Homemade Pies
  • 1/30/2012 Week # 66 Recipe from Your Favorite COOKBOOK
  • 2/6/2012 Week # 67 Nutella DAY (Peanut Butter, Almond Butter & More)
  • 2/13/2012 Week # 68 Valentine’s Day Treats or Romantic Dinners
  • 2/20/2012 Week # 69 Avocado Recipes & Homemade Salsa
  • 2/27/2012 Week # 70 Smoothies & Shakes
  • 3/5/2012 Week # 71 5-Ingredient Meal

This is a BLOG Party hosted by MOMS CRAZY COOKING and co-hosted by the blogs listed in the top paragraph.

If you are a regular link-up we’re excited to see what you made this week. If you are new please read and follow the simple rules, so that everyone can enjoy the linky party!

If you forget to follow the theme, your post will be deleted. Please don’t feel hurt, just come back and link up a recipe that follows the theme. Thanks a million, we look forward to blogging with you!

The LINKY PARTY is opened ALL Week!

PLEASE do not link more then 3 recipes per week.

This week’s theme is: Comfort Food: Casseroles & Soups.

Please only link recipes with our theme!

Dinner with Triberr


We’ve been hinting at it for awhile over on the Triberr bonfires, and finally we have opened the site and brought it to life. The members have spoken and what they wanted? Easy to understand, step by step guides to doing the things that can be done on Triberr. Ask, and you shall receive. Go ahead and hop on over to AllTriberr and check it out. Also be sure to comment and let us know what you think, what you’d like to see and any questions you have. There’s a place for all of that. Also, thanks so much to a few select people who supported this project from start to finish – Dan, Dino, Isabel and Christina, and those who will continue to help support it.

Just to keep this post food related, the night that I was getting ready to launch, my 13 year old daughter took over the kitchen and made dinner for everyone without asking for a single bit of help. Dinner for 7, made by a 13 year old includes a Spicy Cajun Alfredo Pasta, Garlic Roasted Green Beans with Sea Salt, a Fresh Salad and Garlic Bread. Yes, I am proud. Yes, I’m bragging. Hey, I don’t do it often.

Brielle's Dinner

Creamy Ham Pasta

ham and noodle pasta

This is one of my kids favorite meals, and its easy enough that the kids can do most of it. (trust me, I know this because I’m still laid up with the bum Achilles – ha!) This recipes makes 2 casseroles, sometimes 3.


Creamy Ham Pasta

  • 10 c. uncooked tri color spiral pasta
  • 4 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 med. green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1/4 c. butter, cubed
  • 3 cans of cream of cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 4 c. cooked ham, cubed
  • 2 cans mushroom stems and pieces, drained
  • 1 c. crushed butter-flavored crackers
Cook the pasta according to pkg. directions. In a pan, saute the celery, green pepper and onion in butter until tender. Stir in the soup mixture, ham and mushrooms. Drain pasta; add to soup mixture and toss to coat.
Divide the mixture between two greased 13×9 baking dishes. Top with cracker crumbs. Cover and freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to serve, thaw in your refrigerator overnight. Remove from the fridge about 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 350  for 50-55 minutes or until heated through.
COOKING IMMEDIATELY: If you decide you want to make one of the two casseroles as soon as you make them, you will need to preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake, uncovered for 20-25 minutes, or until the topping is a golden brown.
  • We have left out the green pepper, celery, onion and mushrooms and instead added a bag of frozen mixed veggies – cans would work.
  • We have used different noodles – spaghetti, bow tie, penne
  • We have substituted beef & chicken for the ham. Tastes amazing.
  • We leave off the crackers most of the time because we don’t actually like them.
There are so many ways you can change this casserole up and make it work for your family (and make casseroles you are freezing taste different!)
Creamy Ham Noodle Casserole

Funny Friday: The Real Story of the 3 Bears

Three BearsNow before any of you tell me that I’m so clever and an awesome storyteller (because I am, you know) – I did not write this. I wish I had, but I did not. Maybe I’m not that clever, afterall.  I got this forwarded to me, and normally I delete everything but this was so cute I thought I’d share.

Besides, it’s true!

The True Story of the 3 Bears 

A far more accurate account of the events of that fateful morning….

Baby bear goes downstairs, sits in his small chair at the table.
He looks into his small bowl. It is empty.

‘Who’s been eating my porridge?’  he squeaks.

Daddy Bear arrives at the big table and sits in his big chair.  He looks into his big bowl and it is also empty.

‘Who’s been eating my porridge?!?’ he roars.

Mummy Bear puts her head through the serving hatch from the kitchen and yells,

‘For goodness sake, how many times do I have to go through this with you idiots? It was Mummy Bear who got up first. It was Mummy Bear who woke everyone in the house. It was Mummy Bear who made the coffee. It was Mummy Bear who unloaded the dishwasher from last night and put everything away. It was Mummy Bear who swept the floor in the kitchen. It was Mummy Bear who went out in the cold early morning air to fetch the newspaper and croissants. It was Mummy Bear who set the table.’

‘It was Mummy Bear who walked the dog, cleaned the cat’s litter tray, gave them their food, and refilled their water.’

‘And now that you’ve decided to drag yourselves downstairs and grace Mummy Bear with your grumpy presence, listen carefully, because I’m only going to say this once….’


Lemon Sour Cream Muffins

This is my first time participating in the Improv challenge, mostly because I could not commit during the holidays. This month’s Improv challenged us to use sour cream and lemons. So I started with this Basic Sour Cream Muffin recipe because its one of our favorites and I really wanted to keep it simple. I went back and forth between adding lemon zest to the muffin batter and actually decided against it, only because I said I wanted to keep it simple. So instead I create a quick lemon glaze to drizzle over the top. I also decided to give the muffins a little more oomph with some simple lemon extract, of course you could use lemon zest instead.

Lemon Sour Cream Muffins
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 24 Muffins
For the Muffins:
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1½ c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. lemon extract
  • 4 large eggs (or 8 egg whites + 4 tsp. oil)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ c. sour cream
  • 2¾ c. all purpose flour
For the Lemon Glaze:
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Grease the muffin cups or line with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and creamy, about a minute. Next, beat in the lemon extract, eggs, salt and baking soda.
  3. Next, fold in the sour cream and then the flour.
  4. Scoop the batter into muffin cups. Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.
  5. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes in pan.
  6. Remove from pan and place on wire rack. In a bowl, combine the powdered sugar and the lemon juice to create the muffin glaze; drizzle over muffins. Serve warm.



Lemon Sour Cream Muffins Recipe

Salmon Croquettes Recipe

Salmon Croquettes - Salmon Patties Recipe

Salmon is one of my favorite fish, and then beyond that it’s really one of my favorite foods, period. I love that most of my kids will eat Salmon in any form. They really enjoy it too, and it’s so healthy. This recipe is probably the least healthy recipe I make when it comes to Salmon, but Salmon patties aka. Salmon Croquettes are delicious. We usually serve them over a bed of rice with different sauces for dipping. One of my kids loves smearing mayo all over a hamburger bun and eating it like a “Salmon Burger” as she refers to it. So delish!

Salmon Croquettes Recipe

  •  1 1/2 c. fresh salmon or 1 (14.75) can salmon in water
  • 1 heaping Tbs. onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 stalk celery, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 c. all purpose flour
  • Olive Oil for cooking
In a heavy skillet, pour olive oil – enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Heat over medium.
Flake the Salmon, removing any bones or skin.
In a medium sized mixing bowl combine the salmon, onion, celery, dijon mustard, pepper and eggs.
Add the flour and mix well. If the mixture is a little loose, add a bit more flour.
Now it get’s messy.
With your hands, pat into about 8 patties (depending on size).
Place the patties into the heated skillet. Cook until Golden Brown – about 2-3 minutes per side.
While they can be eaten as is, they taste so much better if served over a bed of rice, and with dipping sauces. A Lemon Dill is amazing!