The Shady Porch: 03.14

3.31.2014

Our Homemade Pizzeria-Style Pizza...Saves money!

We've had a regular pizza night (usually Fridays) at our house for ages. It is a time-saver to pick-up dinner on the way home, especially to kick off the weekend. The hubby was such a regular at one local place that they sent us a Christmas card! That made us think about just HOW often we were buying pizza from this shop; that led us to look at how much pizza was costing us. Once we became aware, we saw prices just continue to climb, but we weren't getting anything for the extra costs. Of course, if you've followed us here at the Porch, you know that we like to take our favorite food finds and create our own home-version of it so we can prepare it anytime... and that's exactly what we've done with pizza night! 
 
Close-up of the Best Homemade Pizzeria Style Pizza
We love Pizza Night!



3.30.2014

Faith Comes By Hearing #30

The Greatest of these is Love. 1 Corinthians 13

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Carrot Cake - No Oil, 
No Eggs
Flashback Post
Pasta Puttanesca



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3.28.2014

Cheesy Veggie Casserole with Chicken Sausage

The casserole has long been a menu favorite because it is usually easy on the budget and easy-to-make. Those qualities were the first things that drew me to Cheesy Vegetable Casserole with Chicken Sausage. The original recipe was intended as a side dish, but, with the hearty appetites I feed (who believe protein is essential), I added the chicken sausage. The next time I prepare this, I plan to use cubed ham; it should complement the cheesiness of this dish. I loved all of the veggies - the possible combinations and variations seem endless and can be tailored to your family's favorites...keep the veggie blend, change the protein (meat), or swap the veggie mix and maintain the same meat. Even the cheeses are up to your taste. I hope you give it a try...it is a cheesy-licious and flexible casserole.

Serving of Cheesy Vegetable Casserole with Chicken Sausage
Serving of Cheesy Vegetable Casserole with Chicken Sausage

3.25.2014

Party On The Porch: Rest, Rolls, Recipes & more

Hey Gang-
Hope all's been well since last we met. What a weird weather day here today! Snow shower covers ground, sun melts snow, snow shower covers ground, Sun melts... you get the idea... and, at the moment, it's snowing again and this will probably be on the ground through morning since the overnight is predicted to be in the teens. Hardly what I was hoping for when the calendar said Spring. 
The hubby starts his Spring Break next week and, although we're sticking close to home (need a new roof), I am hoping that the weather will allow us to BBQ, build a fire pit in the back yard, and get some garden work done! Fingers crossed.
We had SO many great projects last week. It was a great mix of recipes, tips, and crafts, with Spring- and Easter-themed projects, too. There really is an abundance of good ideas and information for those who take the time to look through the projects that you share. I just want to thank you all for sharing here! I appreciate you! 
Party On The Porch:  Rest, Rolls, Recipes & more
#partyontheporch

3.24.2014

Carrot Cake: Easy - Healthier Recipe

My mom's favorite cake was carrot cake. I remember learning to make homemade carrot cake...it was delicious but it took time too. Nowadays, I really enjoy finding shortcuts and tips to make healthier cakes, or mix cakes that are more like homemade. One of my favorite tips involves using yogurt rather than the ingredients called for on the cake mix box. It makes a dense cake (more like homemade), and it's somewhat healthier, to boot since there's no oil or eggs in the recipe and I've added fresh carrots and nuts! Here's a recipe for an easy-to-make yet delicious carrot cake. 

Carrot Cake: Easy - Healthier Recipe
Carrot Cake: Easy - Healthier Recipe

3.23.2014

Faith Comes By Hearing #29

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there Is Liberty! 2 Corinthians 3:17

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Muffin Pan Meatloaf
Muffin Pan Meatloaf

Easy No-Bake Cookie
Flashback Post
Easy No-Bake Cookie

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3.21.2014

13 Easy & Delicious Tortellini Recipes

I share the things we love at our house in hopes you might find you love them, too. Such is the case with this roundup of Tortellini recipes. We fix tortellini many ways, and I am always on the lookout for more to share with my family. Several Tortellini recipes were shared at a recent Party On the Porch, and so I started a new look-about for future dinners, and, once I got them together, had to share them with you. I included one of my own recipes - it was a recent success at our house - so I hope you will find a new favorite among these.

13 Easy & Delicious Tortellini Recipes...soups, salads, slow cooker recipes...all delicious!
13 Easy & Delicious Tortellini Recipes

3.18.2014

Party On The Porch: for the Senses - Style, Sight, Smell & Taste

We've been riding the weather roller coaster again this week. We had it all on Sunday night...sleet, wind, snow... and today? It's sunny and 60. Weeeee! To bring a sense of seasonal normal to our day-to-day, we're preparing for the eventual arrival of spring weather...potting seeds - both flowers and veggies, ordering mulch (school fundraiser) and scheduling a new roof. (Just your run-of-the-mill "getting ready for spring" to-do list!;) I just cannot wait for a l-o-n-g string of warm, sunny days to take the chill out of the air...and out of me!

We had another delightful Party last week. I am grateful for all the new faces that are joining the Party. Welcome! I am stumbling (StumbleUpon) more party projects lately, since I've been getting great numbers on my own Stumbled projects (you might want to check it out). Of course, I still use Pinterest, Twitter, FB, & G+ to share your projects, as well.  I enjoy seeing and sharing your creative labors. Thanks, everyone, for being here!

3.16.2014

Muffin Pan Meatloaf

Who doesn't love a good muffin? In the mid-80s, I went on a baking spree, for which I purchased a jumbo muffin pan. The results were large, delicious muffins of many varieties. Over the last decade or so, I have added a new muffin variety - meatloaf.
I have been making meatloaves for a long time and my meatloaf has changed over the years. As a young wife, I used the recipe on the oatmeal box, but, at some point, I learned that Italian bread crumbs added more flavor to the meatloaf. I tweaked the recipe for my meatloaf until the flavor was great, yet I struggled with the serving of the meatloaf. Everyone (at least in our house) likes the crusty corners on the traditional loaf pan. Using the jumbo muffin pan to bake the meatloaf allows everyone to have a crusty-edge Muffin Pan Meatloaf of their own. I like pairing it with my Bacon-Onion Green Beans and mashed potatoes.

Muffin Pan Meatloaf
Muffin Pan Meatloaf

Faith Comes By Hearing #28


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Loaded Smashed Potatoes
Loaded Smashed Potatoes

Easy Chicken Alfredo & Broccoli Dinner
Flashback Post
Easy Chicken Alfredo & Broccoli Dinner

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3.14.2014

Easy Cheese Tortellini Soup

I love making soups. The possibilities for variety and change - even within a single recipe are wonderful. The hubby is a huge fan of Cheese Tortellini in chicken broth. He sprinkles a little garlic powder and grated Parmesan cheese over his bowl and he is a happy camper. It is probably the easiest soup I've made. Now, simple is great...especially when the flavors are bold and savory. However, Porch folk know that I rarely have the good sense to leave a good thing alone. I am always interested in finding that switch that might turn good to 'wow, what was that? GREAT!' This one-dish version of Cheese Tortellini Soup features some chopped onion, diced pepper, minced garlic, and the wonderful cheesy tortellini prepared in chicken broth. It is a great version. I hope you try this, especially so you can tailor it to suit your family's palate. Let me know how it goes?

Cheese Tortellini Soup...certainly on the comfort food list!
Cheese Tortellini Soup...certainly on the comfort food list!

3.11.2014

Party On The Porch: Easter Sweets, Treats & Eats

Hey All- 
I sure hope Spring has dropped off an early calling card for you like the one we've had lately. It's 73 here today and I am loving it! I must say it is hard to fathom that, by this time tomorrow, the forecast is for freezing temperatures. Wow...what a winter this has been. Well, you might never know that we're still in the winter season by looking at the party projects...you guys have gone full throttle into  _S_P_R_I_N_G_! To which I say, YAY!
On another note of YAY!...the party has grown substantially the last two weeks...which is awesome! I hope I don't sound like a broken record when I thank you for joining the Party On The Porch. I am thankful for you all.
Party On The Porch: Easter Sweets, Treats & Eats
Party On The Porch: Easter Sweets, Treats & Eats

3.10.2014

Smashed Potatoes

News Flash: potatoes are the go-to side dish at the Porch. Fried or baked, breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The hubby is definitely a meat and potatoes kinda guy, while I am a fan of variety which means I am always working to change the preparation, seasoning, and toppings to make the potato dish new and delicious. That is how we arrived at today's recipe for Smashed Potatoes. I first heard the term 'Smashed Potatoes' from Rachael Ray, and I made it a point to make them. Preparation is simple, and, though mine are not pretty to look at (maybe I oversmashed?) this recipe does bring terrific flavor. A good side dish with pork chops and green beans, they would work equally well with beef or fish dishes.
baked Smashed Potatoes
Flavorful & Delicious Smashed Potatoes

3.09.2014

Faith Comes By Hearing #27


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Baja Chicken Soup: Slow Cooker
Baja Chicken Soup: Slow Cooker

Grape Salad...creamy and crunchy too!
Flashback Post
  Grape Salad...creamy and crunchy too!

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3.07.2014

Baked Broccoli-Ham & Cheese Calzone

I like the concept of the Calzone or the Stromboli...just wrap vegetables, meats, and cheeses you love in dough and bake or fry. Not only is it sure to be delicious, filled with all your favorite things, but it are also super easy to make, thus making it ideal for those busy weeknight suppers. 
The recipe I'm sharing today is Baked Broccoli, Ham, & Cheese Calzone. It is super cheesy with Swiss, Colby-Jack, and Parmesan and loaded with ham and broccoli. This combo makes for a most tasty meal. I hope you will agree.
Baked Ham, Cheese & Broccoli Calzone
Baked Ham, Cheese & Broccoli Calzone


3.04.2014

Party On The Porch: Our Sweet March to A Green Spring

Though outside my window is nearly a half-foot of snow and sub-freezing temperatures, the bright sun and blue skies makes me genuinely feel Spring is bounding toward us from right around the corner. A good part of that optimism comes from the many projects from last week's Party that used signature pastels, berry drinks, and desserts as well as some inspiring Spring holiday projects...so exciting and so Spring-y! 

The Party has continued to grow over the last couple weeks. Welcome to all the new Porch Party-goers! I hope everyone has a great time; I'm so glad and grateful to see you all here each week.


Party On The Porch: Our Sweet March to A Green Spring
Party On The Porch: Our Sweet March to A Green Spring

3.03.2014

Baja Chicken Soup: Slow Cooker

One of life's simple wonders is the power of a hearty soup on a cold, snowy day. More than just heart-warming, the aromas and flavors warm the whole house. That's what I really like about this recipe for Baja Chicken Soup. It will kill the chill and, to borrow a phrase from middle school, warm your form. A glance at the ingredients might suggest this soup brings the heat on several levels. I can tell you I am not a big fan of spicy hot, but this recipe is the perfect balance. It is spicy delicious and really a breeze to make. You can make it on the stove top, but I opted for a slow cooker version this time. Enjoy.
Baja Chicken Soup: Slow Cooker

3.02.2014

Faith Comes By Hearing #26

 
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Hasselback Potatoes
Hasselback Potatoes



Cornbread Salad...a meal or side dish
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  Cornbread Salad...a meal or side dish



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