Quick & Easy Basil Pesto Pasta

Here’s another recipe from my delicious housewarming party; an easy peasy Basil Pesto Pasta dish. This is one of my favorite dishes to make after a long and exhausting workday because very little is involved but it comes out yummalicious and you can be as creative as you’d like with it.

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Ingredients

1 Box Gluten Free Penne Paste (I’m a fan of Barilla)

10 ounces of Pesto Sauce with Basil

4-6 Fresh Basil Leaves

Sundried Tomatoes (optional)

Instructions

Follow the usual cooking instructions for the noodles. Once cooked, mix in the basil pesto sauce and basil leaves. Done! #Boom!

Now I love garlic, so I’ll add in a couple of chopped garlic cloves and if you like sundried tomatoes they’d work well in this dish too. This is a super easy meal and there’s always leftovers :-)

Making Gluten-Free Mac & Cheese Using Coconut Flour

I was kinda happy with my Mac and Cheese at the housewarming. I’ve been experimenting with different gluten free flours and I’ve been trying to create a cheesey roux using coconut flour. This has been a real challenge and I haven’t mastered this yet. For my mac and cheese I typically modify a standard Mac and Cheese recipe – here’s a good one.

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Now, for gluten free recipes you have to mess around with the roux situation due to the flour (hence my issue with the coconut flour). I find that when I use rice flour blends, the portions for a nice cheesey roux are similar to wheat-based flour. This is my second time working with coconut flour, and I’m still fiddling around with it.

The coconut flour tends to absorb the milk and butter quickly, so more butter and milk are required. This go around (and this is try #2) came out moist, but not as melty, cheesey as I’d like. I’m committed to creating a gluten free mac and cheese using coconut flour though :-)  so stay tuned. Once I have this down, I’ll post the exact portions I used. Overall everyone enjoyed the Mac and Cheese!

Housewarming Recipe Recap #1: Gardein’s Bourbon Meatless Meatballs

So being the random cledo I am, I’ve decided to challenge myself with trying some of the frozen meatless products out there. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with Gardein’s Meatless Meatballs. They taste like REAL meatballs… oh, the memories… LOL. I purchased these about two weeks ago and began whipping up a few different meals with the meatballs when I decided to check out Gardein’s website.

Well wouldn’t you have it, they have some great recipes on their freaking website! One being their Bourbon Meatless Meatballs. So for my housewarming party I decided to try out the recipe (and I didn’t tell anyone they weren’t REAL (beef) meatballs… hehehe) and man oh man, those were some yummy meatballs.

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The only CHANGE I made was I didn’t use bourbon. LOL (big change right, I know).

The upside to this recipe is that it’s perfect for a party: the meatballs are the perfect size to yum down on. The downside is that it’s a little tough to gauge when the meatballs are done. I’d recommend baking the meatballs first then simmering in the bourbon sauce. I highly recommend this recipe and these dang meatballs. 

3 Reasons Why I Love Simon Says Brownies

As you all are probably aware, I love sweets. Today I am going to share with you my love for a small, Philadelphia-based brownie company called Simon Says Brownies. Simon Says Browniesprizes itself on being “oooey” and “gooey.” Welp, they truly are. Simon Says invited me by to try some of their newer flavors of brownies: The Twix Brownie and the SOOOOO delicious Oreo Cookie brownie (in addition to their classic Cheesecake Brownie and Dark Chocolate Brownie). 

**Note: These are amazing brownies and guess what? You can enter for a chance to win a tray of Oreo Cookie brownies! How? Check out my Instagram page (@cledos_kitchen) for details and a chance to win.

Here are the top three reasons why I LOVE these brownies:

#1: They Taste Just Like Their Titles

For those of us who do not like to read food product descriptions, Simon Says has somehow mastered unique brownie recipes for flavors like The Twix Brownie (featured below) and Oreo Cookie Brownie that taste exactly like their intended flavors. I have no idea how they have done this, but I enjoyed eating them and thinking about the “how” of it all. LOL!

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#2: They Are Oooey And Gooey

So when I was first introduced to Simon Says I was in LOVE with their Cheesecake Brownie; it tasted like cheesecake but a dang brownie! But during my most recent visit, I tried their newer Oreo Cookie Brownie (see below)… AND I AM IN LOVE! First, this brownie was sooooooo soft… moist…  super chocolatey, and Oreo cookie filled that I couldn’t stop eating them!

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#3: The Are Mini

These mini yummies are the perfect size to fit in your mouth as well as to buffer feelings of guilt associated with eating too many brownies. HA!!!

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If you love brownies or are looking for a new treat, you won’t be disappointed with these yummies. You can check out the Simon Says website here. Happy eating!