Bytes to Bites

Pasta with the Works
January 15, 2012, 10:00 am
Filed under: Dinner, Pasta, Weekday Meals | Tags: ,


At first glance, this seems like a very strange recipe. The recipe is designed to be pizza in pasta form. It doesn’t quite accomplish that, but it’s not bad. I wonder if it might be a bigger hit with kids who would be intrigued by the pizza similarity.


1/2 cup thinly sliced pepperoni

1 medium green pepper, diced

2 cups pasta sauce (Traditional Italian or Mushroom Italian)

1/3 cups pitted black olives, cut in half (can also use sliced olives)

4 cups corkscrew-shaped pasta, cooked and drained

4 oz shredded mozzarella cheese (about 1 cup)

grated Parmesan cheese


1. Cook the pepperoni and pepper in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat until pepper is tender crisp, stirring often.

2. Stir the sauce and olives in the skillet and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes.

3. Stir the pasta and mozzarella cheese in the skillet. Serve with the Parmesan cheese.


I would make this again, but not often. It’s different, breaks up the monotony of weekday meals and is kind of a novelty.

Our Home Rating? 1/5 bites

Source: Campbell’s Kitchen


Cheddar Penne with Sausage and Peppers
January 14, 2012, 10:00 am
Filed under: Dinner, Pasta, Weekday Meals | Tags: , ,


One of my biggest kitchen battles is weekday meals. By the time we get home, it just seems too exhausting to get a good meal on the table in a reasonable amount of time. But, I’m determined to feed my family as many fresh meals as I can and avoid the boxed solutions. Campbell’s Kitchen has been an excellent source of options, which I receive through their emailed “Meal Mail”. Fine dining, they’re not, but the recipes allow me to put a fresh meal on the table in a short amount of time.


1 tbsp olive oil

1 lb sweet Italian pork sausage, cut into 1/2 inch slices

1 large green pepper, diced

1 large onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’s Condensed Cheddar Cheese Soup

1/2 cup milk

2 cups penne pasta, cooked and drained


1. Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until well browned, stirring occasionally. Remove the sausage from the skillet. Pour off any fat.

2. Add the pepper and onion to the skillet and cook until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir in the soup and milk and heat to a boil. Return the sausage to the skillet. Reduce the heat to low. Cook until the sausage is cooked through, stirring occassionally.

3. Place the pasta into a large bowl. Add the sausage mixture and toss to coat.


I love a sausage pasta (particularly penne) and this recipe has satisfied my desire for a decent home cooked version. In particular, the sauce is easy to make and coats the penne nicely, giving it good flavor. There are two changes I regularly make to this recipe. First, I use a cooked sausage, allowing me to bypass the first step altogether. We actually ues a venison smokie in our favorite version. Second, I add mushrooms as an extra vegetable option.

Our Home Rating? 3.5/5 bites

Source: Campbell’s Kitchen

Mango-Banana Oatmeal Muffins
January 13, 2012, 10:00 am
Filed under: Breads and Muffins | Tags: ,


Mangos are a fairly new addition to our household and I was looking for ways to eat them other than in the raw form. This recipe was a great solution. Not my favorite muffin recipe, but a good choice for a mango flavor.


1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup oatmeal

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup butter

1 egg, beaten

1 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup banana, mashed

1/2 cup mango, chopped


1. Combine flours, oatmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon. Combine milk, egg and vanilla. Cut butter into flour mixture, then moisten with milk, egg and vanilla mixture. Fold in banana and mango.

2. Spoon batter into greased muffin pan 2/3 full and bake at 400 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes.


My biggest complaint about these muffins is that they got very moist and gooey after sitting for a day or so. I suspect that has to do with the fresh fruit, but I tend to like a dryer muffin. Our home rating indicates these aren’t a regularly used recipe, but definitely an okay option when you want something a little different.

Our Home Rating? 2/5 bites

Source: The Organic Box News (

Olive Toasties
January 12, 2012, 10:00 am
Filed under: Appetizers, Entertaining | Tags: ,


This is another easy entertaining favorite that we’ve made again and again! You probably have to be a fan of black olives to enjoy this as much as we do.


1 1/2 cups shredded aged cheddar cheese

1 cup pitted black olives, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup light mayonnaise

1 green onion, chopped

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

1/2 baquette, cut diagonally into 1/3-inch-thick slices

3 tbspns (approx.) olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, combine cheese, olives, mayonnaise, green onion, curry powder.

3. Brush both sides of the baguette slices lightly with olive oil. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until bread is starting to turn golden.

4. Adjust oven temperature to 400 degrees F. Top baquette slices with the olive and cheese mixture and return to oven until cheese has melted.


The original recipe called for English Muffins instead of toasted baguettes, but I’ve always used baguettes. The original recipe also suggests substituting the cheddar with mozzarella or Gruyere (or half and half), but I have not tried this option yet.

Our Home Rating? 4/5 bites

Spicy Shrimp and Crab Brushetta
January 11, 2012, 10:00 am
Filed under: Appetizers, Entertaining | Tags: ,


We’ve used this recipe a couple of times when entertaining a small crowd and it’s always popular (if you like seafood). I like that the spread can be prepared ahead of time so that I can spend more time visiting with my guests when they arrive instead of working in the kitchen.


1/4 cup bottled clam juice

6 oz uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined

6 green onions, thinly sliced

1/3 cup mayonaise

1 tbspn fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

4 oz crabmeat, drained

1/2 baquette, cut diagonally into 1/3-inch-think slices

3 tbspns (approx) olive oil


1. Bring clam juice to a boil in medium saucepan. Add shrimp; reduce heat to medium, cover and cook just until shrimp are opaque in centre, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer shrimp to cutting board; cool. Coarsely chop shrimp.

2. Mix sliced green onions, mayonnaise, lemon juice, paprika, and cayenne in a medium bowl. Mix in shrimp and crabmeat. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill.)

3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Brush both sides of baguette slices lightly with oil; arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until bread is golden, about 10 minutes. Cool. Mound shrimp mixture atop bread. Place on platter and serve.


Many of the reviews I read suggested cutting down the mayonnaise by as much as half. Knowing that, I didn’t measure it and just added a spoonful at a time until I was happy with the consistency of the mix.

Our Home Rating? 4/5 bites

Source: Epicurious Website

Easy Chicken and Broccoli Divan
January 9, 2012, 10:00 am
Filed under: Dinner, Weekday Meals | Tags: , ,


This is one of our favorite weeknight meals. It’s great for leftover chicken or turkey, but we’ve also been known to quickly pan fry some chicken specifically for use in the meal.






1 1/2 cups minute rice

3 cups broccoli spears, cooked and drained

2 cups cubed cooked chicken or turkey

1 can (10 oz) Campbell’s Condensed Cream of Broccoli Soup

1 3/4 cups hot water

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

3 tbsps fine dry bread crumbs

1 tbsp butter or margarine, melted


1. Sprinke rice in the bottom of a greased 2-quart shallow baking dish. Arrange broccoli and chicken on top.

2. In a small bowl, mix soup, water and thyme; pour evenly over the broccoli and chicken. Sprinkle with cheese.

3. Mix bread crumbs and melted butter; sprinkle over cheese. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes or until the rice is tender.

Options: If leftover chicken or turkey isn’t available, then you can sauteĀ  12 oz of boneless chicken breasts (cubed) in vegetable oil for about 5 minutes (or no longer pink) and continue on with the rest of the recipe.


My household is a big fan of mushrooms, so I substitute the Broccoli Soup with Cream of Mushroom for a slightly different flavor. We also love the crumb topping, so I tend to increase that a bit as well. The key to the crumb topping is the large quantity of bread crumbs to relatively small amount of butter. Keep mixing and you’ll get a nice topping you can sprinkle with your fingers. If it seems too runny, just add more crumbs.

Our Home Rating? 4.5/5 bites

Source: Campbell’s Kitchen

About My Ratings…
January 9, 2012, 3:30 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I rate each of my recipes on a 5 bite scale.

Please keep in mind, this is my recipe box and one doesn’t very well keep recipes in their box that they don’t like. Therefore, even a “one bite” rating indicates the I would at least consider making the recipe again.