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Entries in Onion (18)


Vodka Spiked Spaghetti 

I don’t know about you but I happen to love simple recipes that pack a punch. For instance, pasta is an easy dinner any weeknight. I was not one of those kids that loved pasta growing up either in fact I detested it. However, every week, without fail, my mom would make spaghetti. I ate it, but I never understood why we had to have it. I mean, I would have rather had fried shrimp and French fries.

You don’t know this, but I’m chuckling out loud because now it all makes sense. You see, my mom was a hard-working woman who not only had to work a hard day each day, but also had to juggle a picky eater, she had to maintain a household and a husband. She was an amazing mom and woman; she still is. But I never appreciated that spaghetti each week. It was a humble meal, but it was hot and she always put a little twist on it.

I always thought we were having spaghetti because she liked it and wanted to have it for dinner, which annoyed me because I did not want it. I remember she used to pile her plate with spaghetti and top it off with a bunch of grated Parmesan cheese. I do that now, you know. Often times I wonder if it is because my mom did it or if it was the beginning of my love for cheese. I still do that to this day – pile a load of cheese on my spaghetti. It reminds me of my mom. It makes me thankful that she took the time to make me a hot dinner after a hard days work. She could have easily come home and made me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich; I was lucky!

As I got older I realized pasta was not so bad. I actually like it and crave it now, especially with my individual twists. I try not to use bottled sauces, so my pasta usually comes in different sauce flavors so I don’t get bored with it. Take a look at my newest addiction.



Nutritional Value:
Servings: 4
Serving Size: 2 ounces pasta
Calories: 421.7
Fat: 11 g
Carbohydrates: 52.3 g
Fiber: 5.5 g
Protein: 9.1 g
Points+: 9


 Recipe Adapted from 6 Bittersweets

  • ½ pound dry angel hair pasta
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon chicken bouillon
  • ½ cup vodka
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • ¼ cup whipping cream
  • ¼ cup half & half
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
  • Salt &pepper
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, to garnish



  • Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain & keep warm.
  • Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat
  • Add onion to pan, sauté 4 minutes or until tender
  • Add pepper, garlic and bouillon, sauté 1 minute
  • Add vodka and bring to a boil
  • Reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until liquid is reduced by about half
  • Stir in 1/3 teaspoon salt, pepper and tomatoes then bring to a boil
  • Reduce heat and simmer 15 to 20 minutes
  • Remove skillet from heat and let cool slightly
  • If you have an emulsion blender, puree the sauce in the pan {otherwise, place tomato mixture in blender and process until smooth.}
  • Return tomato mixture to pan. Mix in the cream, and then cook the sauce for 2 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly
  • Remove from heat. Stir in cooked pasta & basil.
  • Serve & Enjoy!! 





Hearty & Creamy Tomato Soup w/ Grilled Cheese Croutons

I {sometimes} have a serious addiction to QVC and their food-related products. Often times you could find me sitting in front of the television on a Sunday afternoon watching In the Kitchen with David. I happen to love David. He has a great attitude and personality and, most importantly for QVC I suppose, he’s a great sales person. I would probably buy anything he sells on television. Obviously, I cannot afford to buy everything but I have scored some seriously awesome items from QVC. One of my favorite things, however, is David’s cookbook. My mom gave it to me for Christmas and I got started making his recipes right away.

Oh, and he has an extremely splendid array of recipes. The first one I ended up trying was a homemade tomato soup recipe. I have been dying to make tomato soup with an awesome crouton topping and I noticed he had a great recipe that suited my needs so I gave it a shot.

I have to tell you this is probably the BEST tomato soup I have ever had in my life. Since I made it Nick has been raving about it to everybody who will listen. I think I may have to make it again before he is deployed. He loved it that much. Take a lookie look!


Nutritional Value
Servings: 6 
Serving Size: about 1 1/2 cup soup + 3 croutons
Calories: 226.2
Fat: 14 g
Carbohydrates: 23.2 g
Fiber: 4.9 g
Protein: 5.1 g
Points+: 6



Reciped Adapted from In the Kitchen with David, Comfort Foods that take you Home, 69-70

{Creamy Tomato Soup}

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ large onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup heavy cream 

{Grilled Cheese Croutons, makes 72}

  • 4 tablespoons Smart Balance Butter
  • 6 slices bread
  • 4 ounces American Cheese {I used Land ‘o Lakes deli cheese}


To make the soup ~

  • Heat the butter and olive oil in a large stockpot over low heat
  • Add the onion, salt and pepper
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, 6 to 8 minutes
  • Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more
  • Sprinkle with the flour to make a roux, and stir constantly for 3 more minutes
  • Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar and chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes
  • Taste the soup and add salt and pepper, if necessary
  • Remove the soup from the heat and allow it to cool slightly
  • Working in batches, puree the soup in a food processor or blender {or with an immersion blender}
  • Return the soup to the pot and stir in the cream
  • Reheat over low heat just until hot. Do not boil


To make the croutons ~

  • Heat a skillet over medium high heat
  • Spread the butter on one side of each slice of bread
  • Place 3 slices of bread, butter side down, in the hot skillet
  • Top each slice with cheese, then the remaining bread slices, butter side up
  • Grill until the sandwiches are toasted and browned and the cheese has melted, 3 to 5 minutes per side
  • Remove the sandwiches from the pan and allow them to cool slightly
  • Cut the sandwiches into 1 inch squares
  • Serve the soup, accompanied by the Grilled Cheese Croutons
  • Enjoy!!






Guest Post: Slow Cooker Balsamic Pot Roast

Good Morning everybody! I'm so excited to have a guest blogger today - Bobbi, from Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen! I love Bobbi. She is always so bubbly and is always so friendly! Like me, Bobbi has battled weight issues during her life. It is always inspiring to find people who can sympathize and encourage you along this journey of life and food. She managed to lose a significant amount of weight and keep it off. Much of what she blogs about is inspired by her need to stay healthy without compromising flavor or quality. She's totally my type of girl! When she agreed to do a guest post for me today I was elated, and she doesn't disappoint. I practically drooled all over my keyboard when she shared this recipe! 


Blog | Facebook | Twitter 

My name is Bobbi. Just like Mel I did not coming from a “cooking” background. Quick and easy and fast food were what was on my menu most of the time. Due to those choices my weight skyrocketed and I ended up faced with a huge life decision. I chose to have gastric bypass surgery. After my sugery and subsequent weight loss. I learned to change my thinking when it came to food. I used to be all about quick and easy. Then I realized it was more about quality. I learned to love fresh herbs and veggies, and found out I really enjoyed cooking for my family and friends. Where food had been my enemy for so many years, it was now my friend.

Now food has also allowed me to meet new and wonderful friends via food blogging. I have to admit I did not jump enthusiastically. My kids basically pushed me kicking and screaming into it. I thought they were crazy to think that other people would want to read my rantings or cook my food. But I promised I Would give it a shot. Now I can’t imagine doing anything else. Oh my kids get a real kick out of that and never let me forget that they were the ones that made me do it. But all joking aside, they are my biggest fans and I adore them!

Mel is one of the first “foodies” that I got to know when I started this journey, we clicked off the bat and I am so proud to say she is my friend. But I don’t have to tell you how wonderful she is right? OK I will anyway, she is true gem that I will treasure always! I am so thrilled an honored that she asked me to guest post. I hope you all enjoy it!!

I have talked about how my slow cooker had been banished to the bottom of my pantry some time ago. I don’t know why exactly. I guess it had something to do with the fact that I could never find slow cooker recipes that my family enjoyed. It seemed all I had to do was mention I was thinking about making a slow cooker meal and the whole family would groan. Not a big vote of confidence that the meal would be met with enthusiasm and praise.

Also, many recipes called for canned condensed soups or packets of seasoning mixes. I am not saying that using those things are a bad thing, but when I am trying to reduce calories, fat, and sodium, those ingredients don’t really fit the bill. So that left me with trying to come up with flavorful recipes that my picky family would eat, that didn’t use those items and still wouldn’t break the bank. A challenge I shied away from for quite some time. But I have now chosen to pick up the gauntlet and face the challenge dead on. WOW that was quite dramatic wasn’t it? I will bet you would never guess I was a theater major in my younger years? No way right? Ok Bobbi quit yapping and get to the food!

I am happy to say that this recipe was able to fit all of my criteria. The family loved it, the flavors were fantastic, and at about $15.00 for ingredients it was a great budget meal! 

Slow Cooker Balsamic Pot Roast   

Nutritional Value:


  • 1 Beef bottom roast (about 3 ½ pounds)**
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped (can sub 1 teaspoon dried thyme if fresh isn’t on sale)
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 6 carrots, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1  cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 ½ cups beef stock
  • Mashed potatoes 


  • Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on a paper towel and rub the inside of the slow cooker. Season the roast with salt and pepper and place in the bottom of the slow cooker. Place the onions, garlic, and carrots around the roast. Pour the stock and the vinegar into the cooker, cover and cook on low for 10 hours.
  • Remove the roast and allow it to rest for 10 minutes. Slice the roast and serve alongside the vegetables and mashed potatoes. Drizzle with the sauce.


**I bought my roast on sale. You can use a chuck roast if that is on sale though. The veggies can be swapped for whatever you enjoy and/or can find on sale, and I always have balsamic vinegar in my pantry. 


Nutritional Value*:: Servings: about 10; Serving Size: approx. 6 ounces; Calories: 327.9; Fat: 16.8 g; Carbohydrates: 2.4 g; Fiber: 0 g; Protein: 39.7 g:: Points+: 8

*Nutritional Value estimated based on the remaining liquid not used. Mashed potatoes not included in calculations.