by amanda

Linguine with Garlicky Kale and White Beans

March 24, 2014 in pasta, spon, veggie by amanda

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Cooking Light and Real Simple, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #FreshandFab

I think this is my favorite time of year for food. I know I always get ridiculously excited for pumpkin in the fall but I think the vibrant berries and abundance of veggies in the stores right now get the win from me.

I have been making salads of pretty much just kale all winter so it makes my day to have a big salad full of color and fresh produce. I just feel better – body and mind – when my diet is full of fruits and veggies.

So last week I was bored and looking for a time waster and ended up driving to the big (Super) Target on the other side of town. Do you ever do that? Go to a different Target because they might have something different and better? It’s one of my favorite hobbies.

But I picked up a copy of the April 2014 issues of both Real Simple and Cooking Light. Real Simple because my house could use a good cleaning and the cover says it can help. Cooking Light because it’s just my all-time favorite food magazine.

And right now, you get a $5 Target gift card when you buy both! So hurry because it’s only while supplies last.

This Linguine with Garlicky Kale and White Beans comes from Cooking Light. This is what I love about Cooking Light. Pasta would usually be on my “no go” list this time of year but they do it in a way that makes it feel light and fresh and doesn’t ruin my diet!

Anything with kale just calls my name and beans are among my top 10 favorites foods. So this was a definite winner. I had it 4 separate times over the weekend and I’m still not tired of it. I’m really starting to dig “sauceless” pastas – the garlic really stood out in this dish and made the kale that much better.

It’s completely vegetarian and it’s light but still fills you up. I will definitely be making this one again.

Linguine with Garlicky Kale and White Beans

4 servings

Serving Size: about 1 3/4 cups

from Cooking Light, April 2014


8 ounces uncooked linguine
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh garlic
1/2 cup water
1 (8-ounce) package prechopped kale
1 (15-ounce) can unsalted cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid.
  2. Heat oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium heat. When garlic begins to sizzle, add 1/2 cup water and kale; cover and cook 5 minutes or until kale is tender, stirring occa­sionally. Add beans, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and salt; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally. Add pasta and reserved 1/4 cup cooking liquid to pan; toss to coat. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper over pasta. Serve immediately.

by amanda

Classic Cheeseburger #SayCheeseburger

March 20, 2014 in beef, spon by amanda

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.

We are approaching one of my favorite seasons: burger season!

I just love that time of year. The sun stays up a little longer which means you have extra time to get your burgers grilled and it’s just warm enough to enjoy your burger on the back porch.

We had snow two days ago. So yeah, I’m ready to #SayCheeseburger!

That also explains why I made my burgers on the stove instead of the grill. But you can definitely grill them if you’ve already escaped winter!

I went to Walmart earlier in the week with a mission to get ingredients for a classic cheeseburger. I think everyone in the world has a different opinion on what a classic cheeseburger includes. For me, the classic cheeseburger is meat, cheese, and veggies.

And bacon.

Bacon’s a classic, right?

So I picked up everything I needed including Kraft Lite Mayo and Velveeta Slices. If you haven’t tried the Velveeta Slices on a grilled cheese, please do me a favor and go buy some now. I won’t make a grilled cheese without it!

But this is about burgers.

I think burgers get better the more stuff you put on them so I loaded mine up. But you can, of course, leave stuff off or add more. I left the burger patties themselves pretty plain – just ground chuck, salt, and pepper – so add whatever flavor you want on top!

My trick for keeping bacon from sliding right off your burger? Put the bacon on top of the burger and the cheese on top of the bacon. The cheese gets gooey and melty and keeps the bacon in place! 

What’s YOUR idea of the Classic Cheeseburger?

Classic Cheeseburger

8 burgers


3 pounds ground chuck
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons canola oil
8 sliced bacon, cooked
1/2 cup Kraft Lite Mayonnaise
8 Velveeta slices
8 burger buns
lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, ketchup, mustard


  1. Divide the ground chuck into 8 even portions. Shape each portion into about 3/4 inch-thick burger. Season both sides of each burger with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a tablespoon of the canola oil over medium-high heat. Add 3 burgers and cook until deeply browned, about 3 minutes. Flip over and cook until done, another 4 or 5 minutes.
  3. Top each burger with a slice of bacon and then a slice of Velveeta. Cover and heat another minute, just until cheese in melted. Remove to plate and repeat with remaining canola oil and burgers.
  4. To assemble burgers, spread about 1 tablespoon of Kraft Lite Mayonnaise on each bun. Top with bacon and Velveeta-covered burger. Add other toppings as desired.

I have written this post as part of #CollectiveBias.

by amanda

P3 Portable Protein Pack

March 14, 2014 in spon by amanda

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.

Have you seen the new Oscar Mayer P3 Portable Protein Packs yet?

I found them recently at Walmart and I was super excited about it. I carry protein bars in my bag all the time because I am notorious for becoming hangry while out and about and I like to have a snack that’s full of protein. The problem with this is that I refuse to eat protein powder by itself because I feel like it’s fake and full of chemicals – but what are protein bars made of? Protein powder.

So you can see why I was excited about these Portable Protein Packs.

I picked up all four varieties: Applewood Smoked Turkey Breast, Applewood Smoked Ham, Rotisserie Seasoned Chicken Breast, and Slow Roasted Turkey Breast. Three of them come with delicious sharp cheddar cubes and the last one comes with Monterey Jack cubes. Two come with almonds and two come with peanuts. Something for everyone!

My life is super busy right now. I now have two kids in soccer so we’re at the soccer field 4 days a week, for a couple hours each time. Like I said earlier, I get hungry. And then I get angry. These P3 Snacks have proved to be perfect for times like that. They really are a more balanced, nutritious option for me.

It makes my life really easy too because I’m forever buying bags of nuts, cubed cheese, and meat. But those snacks aren’t super portable because on top of being forever-hungry, I’m also pretty lazy and won’t take the time to portion out those snacks into plastic bags. With these, I can skip that step and just toss a P3 Pack in my purse.

Make sure you keep an eye out for the P3 Portable Protein Packs! They definitely won’t disappoint and you’ll be happy to have them when you are struck by the hunger monster!

I wrote this post as part of #collectivebias. Search the hashtags #PortableProtein or #MeatCheeseNuts to find out even more about the Oscar Mayer Portable Protein Packs!

by amanda

FROZEN Yogurt Wafflewiches (#FROZENfun)

March 13, 2014 in frozen goodies, spon by amanda

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser.

Can we talk about how excited I am for FROZEN to be released on DVD? I haven’t been this excited for a kid movie since… well, I was a kid.

My kids and I headed to Walmart earlier in the week to pick up some FROZEN merchandise and a few boxes of Eggo waffles to make a FROZEN-inspired snack. And by the way, Walmart will have the FROZEN dvd for $14.96 on the release date, March 18th. And you can find a coupon for $5 off the dvd inside specially marked Eggo waffles (24-count).

The kids are equally obsessed with FROZEN – most likely because I remind them each day how many more days we have until we can watch it – so they loved all the toys. The sleigh is especially cute because the “snow” in the back pops around when the sleigh moves.

For my FROZEN-inspired snack, I made these wafflewiches! I used my favorite Eggo waffles (the Nutri-grain Honey Oat) and then filled them with frozen yogurt. Get it? Frozen yogurt? Like FROZEN the movie? I know, so clever.

And then since FROZEN takes place in a snowy world, I added some blue and white sprinkles to some of the wafflewiches and marshmallows bits to the others. It’s like a winter wonderland inside a waffle!

They were so good. If you are like me and only eat ice cream out of waffle cones, you will love them! And switch things up to suit your preferences: chocolate chip waffles, strawberry ice cream, maybe a layer of hot fudge? Just go for it!

FROZEN Yogurt Wafflewiches


8 Eggo waffles
1 pint vanilla frozen yogurt
blue and white sprinkles
marshmallow bits


  1. Toast the Eggo waffles well. You want them to be crisp enough so the frozen yogurt doesn't make it mushy. Let cool completely.
  2. Soften the frozen yogurt by microwaving it for about 10 seconds. Put 1/2 cup of frozen yogurt on 4 of the waffles and spread to the sides. Top with another waffle.
  3. Put the sprinkles in one bowl and the marshmallows in another. Roll the wafflewiches in the desired topping.
  4. Serve immediately!


by amanda

Easy Cheesy Meatball Lasagna

March 4, 2014 in beef, pasta, spon by amanda

Lasagna is one of those meals that you really can’t beat. It seems like everyone loves it and it doesn’t require a whole lot of fancy ingredients or complicated steps.

Today I’m bringing you a twist on the classic. Ragú asked me to turn lasagna into a New Tra-Dish with a fun spin. Since I love lasagna so much, I wanted to make it easier and faster to prepare while keeping the taste pretty close to the original.

I’m sure you guys know that lasagna is kind of a labor of love. You have to make the sauce which can take hours depending on your recipe, cook the meat, boil the noodles, and then layer, layer, layer.

In my version, you use the Ragú Old World Style® Traditional Sauce - which, if you didn’t know, has 11 juicy tomatoes in each jar – and frozen meatballs to cut down the recipe prep by more than half! I love using Ragú in recipes like this because it has than authenic Italian taste that I love and really tastes like it’s been simmering on the stove all day.

Everyone in my house loved this recipe! I think all kids love meatballs so of course mine went nuts when they realized there were meatballs in the lasagna. The whole dish took me about 15 minutes prep thanks to Ragú, the meatballs, and the no-boil noodles. This makes it a perfect weeknight meal!

For more easy and delicious Ragú recipes, head over to their Facebook page and then stop by the Ragú Better and Better Sweepstakes for a chance to win great authentic Italian themed prize packs, including the grand prize of a trip to Italy for 4!

Easy Cheesy Meatball Lasagna

15 ounce container ricotta cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
salt and pepper
12 ounce package frozen Italian-style meatballs, thawed and cut in half
2 24-ounce jars Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional Sauce
1 pound no-boil lasagna noodles
1 cup mozzarella cheese
½ cup Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350.

In a mixing bowl, beat together ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper until everything is combined. Set aside.

To assemble, spread about 1 cup of Ragú® Old World Style® Traditional Sauce onto bottom of a 9×13” casserole dish. Top with lasagna noodles in a single layer. Spread ⅓ of the ricotta mixture on the noodles. Spread 1/3 of the halved meatballs out on the noodles. Sprinkle with ⅓ of the mozzarella cheese. Top with ⅓ of the remaining sauce. Continue this pattern until you use all the ingredients. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over top.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until the noodles are cooked and the cheese is bubbly. Allow to cool about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.


NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  Legal residents of the 50 United States (D.C.) 18 years and older.  Ends 5/6/14.  To enter and for Official Rules, including odds, alternate method of entry, and prize descriptions, visit  Void where prohibited.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ragú®. The opinions and text are all mine.

Switch to our mobile site