My Favorite – and Easy – Recipes I Made in April

May 4, 2016

As I sat down to write my monthly recipe post, I struggled as I tried to recall what I cooked last month. And then I remembered – the infamous week of leftovers.

We hosted my husband’s birthday last month, and it was out first time hosting a cookout in our house. I’m half-Italian, which meant I went overboard with how much food is necessary for a party with 15 people. The menu included chips and salsa, carrots and hummus, pretzels and cookie dough dip,  hot dogs, BUBBA Burgers (we like these because they can be cooked frozen), salad, baked beans, pasta salad, cookies and dirt! The result – leftovers for days, where I may have eaten a burger or hot dog every night, and pasta salad for lunch daily. Whoops.

I didn’t follow a specific online recipe for pasta salad, but instead boiled the tri-color rotini pasta, and once cooked, mixed in my husband’s favorite veggies – broccoli and peppers, and tossed the salad with Italian dressing. As we found ways to eat it during the week, I sometimes used a short cut and added in from BJ’s Wholesale Club the grilled Tyson chicken breasts to get some protein in.

I also decided I would make dirt – I wanted an easy, no-bake dessert and remember falling in love with this dessert during all the high school grad parties years ago. Most of the recipes I found used cream cheese, and since I’m probably the only New Yorker who hates it, decided to find an alternative – pudding!  This dirt recipe from Le Food Snob combined instant pudding and crushed oreos to make a yummy dessert – but wasn’t complete without the gummy worms of course to create a true dirt look. I will warn you – the gummy worms got a little weird in the fridge – the parts that were in the pudding were slimy, and the part exposed was tough. I would maybe add a few for show, but let your guests add them to their dirt if desired.

We spent another week in Disney, a few nights were out with friends, and a couple days I was in Vancouver, which caused my kitchen to be quiet. However, I was able to meal prep one Sunday and make Cheeseburger Casserole from Skinnytaste. Personally in our house, this recipe is more like pasta, beef and tomato sauce – or pasta bolognese, with some cheddar cheese on top. My husband won’t eat mustard and doesn’t love the pickles on top, so it starts to loose the cheeseburger appeal. Still, it is a very easy casserole to make and great for lunches during the week. The portion size is a little small and left us a little hungry, so I recommend if you are taking for lunch, pair with a salad.

If you are on Pinterest, make sure to check out my I Cooked This board, and check out what else I made in December,  February and March. If you also have any favorite recipes, share them with me – always looking to try new dishes!

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