Slow Cooker Copy Cat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

A creamy, cozy rustic soup- this Slow Cooker Copy Cat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana is the best way to soothe anything that ails you. Loaded with spicy Italian sausage, tender potato slices, and kale, it’s a full meal for the whole family when served with a slice of hearty bread.

Slow Cooker Copy Cat Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

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Ciabatta & Meatball Italian Style Stuffing

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #20MinutesToTasty #CollectiveBias

Ever heard the saying that something “looks to good to eat”. This is pretty enough to dress up any table. Don’t let that stop you from digging in and relishing every bite though. Quick & easy, 20 minute Ciabatta & Meatball Italian Style Stuffing is the best possible mixture of crisp and tender. With crusty ciabatta bread, tender, sliced meatballs, fresh veggies, and savory spices this picture perfect side dish is sure to be a new family favorite.

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Sausage Alfredo Stuffed French Bread Sandwiches

Do you ever take a trip down memory lane and thank the good Lord that the early 2000’s were over a decade ago and can’t believe you ever embraced those questionable fashion trends? Like using your Dad’s old neck tie as a belt, or those chunky hair highlights, aka zebra head? Yeah.

Sometimes updates are a good thing.

Sausage Alfredo Stuffed French Bread

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Chicken Florentine and Farfalle

For a little over two weeks the sons and the hubs and I were kicked back to the stone age while our internet was down and out. I know you’re probably thinking, and for a minute there so was I, what was I going to do without Pinterest and it’s abundance of delicious recipes to help me plan my meals? Ok, ok, not really but I wasn’t overly enthusiastic or anyhting about going off the grid for a couple of weeks. I mean I can’t keep all this awesomeness up all on my own all the time now can I? Well yes, I can, but then I start to feel like my life is as unorganized as the $5 bin at Walmart. So Internet, yeah, big help. Still, we didn’t let something like the lack thereof keep us out of the kitchen

Instead of habitually outsourcing ideas, we went back to the old days. We dug out and dusted off the family recipe box and got busy. And guess what? No internet meant no Netflix, and no online gaming. No teenagers trying to hide out in their little mini-man caves texting all afternoon. SO, not only did we rediscover some old favorites, I had lots of willing little helpers each day. And believe it or not (Sons 1 and 2 may have even been a little surprised themselves) they had fun. Good times.

So on our first day back, we’re still going to keep it pretty simple. Here’s an oldie, but a goodie from our recipe box to yours.

Chicken Florentine and Farfalle

chicken florentine and farfalle

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 lb box of Farfalle pasta
olive oil
1 bunch of fresh spinach, or 1 box of chopped frozen spinach, thawed and all excess water drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
4-5 oz cream cheese
salt & pepper, to taste
milk
1 jar of  Alfredo sauce
Parmesan cheese

Directions

1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. For the best taste, grill the chicken, then chop it up and set it aside. The chicken can also be pan cooked and then chopped if you prefer.
2. Prepare the pasta according to the package directions. Drain, and set aside.
3. In a large skillet add in 1-2 tbsp of olive oil, the garlic, and onions. Saute 3-4 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Add spinach and allow it to heat through, or until wilted if it’s fresh..
4. Next, add in the cream cheese and stir in until it’s melted and evenly combined. The mixture will be thick and that’s OK.
5. Add in the alfredo sauce, again stirring to evenly incorporate. Now, add the milk, and tiny bit at a time, until the desired consistency is reached
6. Stir the chicken into the sauce, Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
7. Add the pasta to the pan and stir it into the sauce until everything’s nice and ‘saucey’, err evenly incorporated! Serve warm with shredded or grated Parmesan cheese on top.

Don’t let this meal’s fancy sounding name fool you. It’s easy enough for any weeknight and can be surprisingly flexible.

Here’s our favorite alternative version: Italian Sausage Florentine with Penne (or whatever pasta Mom happens to have on hand) Pasta.

Sausage Florentine with Penne

Looking for a vegetarian version? Swap mushrooms for the meat! All you have is spaghetti noodles? Throw em in the pot. See? Flexible.

Crispy, Baked Italian Ranch Pork Chops

I try to stock up on meat when it goes on sale, and lucky for me, pork chops go on sale often. When I’ve forgotten to plan ahead and am wracking my brain for something simple to make, I know I’ve always got some pork chops handy. I love being able to just pull them out, let them thaw, and know that whatever recipe I choose to use, it will be relatively quick and easy. Originally, my favorite way to fix pork chops had always been to bread them, fry them, and serve them with gravy and caramelized onions. However, these tender, juicy chops have now been dubbed the ‘best ever’ in our house, and in many other houses. Give them a try for yourself and see what all the fuss is about.

Crispy, Baked Italian Ranch Pork Chops

4 Sons 'R' Us: Crispy, Baked Italian Ranch Pork Chops

  •  bottled Ranch dressing
  • 3 cups dry Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 package (0.6 oz) dry Italian dressing mix
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 6 pork chops

Directions

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare a sheet pan by lining it with aluminum foil.
  3. In a shallow bowl, or plate, pour a layer of ranch dressing.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine bread crumbs, Italian dressing mix, Parmesan, and garlic powder.
  5. One at a time, dip a pork chop in the ranch dressing, turning to evenly coating both sides.
  6. Next, put the chop into the bread crumb mixture, coating well on both sides.
  7. Place coated chops onto the prepared pan.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until the insides are no longer pink.