Bytes to Bites

Cheddar and Broccoli Orzo
July 14, 2014, 10:29 pm
Filed under: Pasta, Side Dishes | Tags: , ,


I love orzo! This recipe caught my eye because it had veggies right in it. Saves me some cooking!


1 cup orzo pasta

1 tablespoon butter

1 1/4 cup chick broth, divided

1 cup water

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup frozen broccoli florets, thawed and finely chopped

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tablespoon flour



1. In a medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add orzo and stir until some of the pasta is brown.

2. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper in. Pour in 1 cup broth. Stir until liquid is absorbed.

3. Pour in water in 1/2 cup intervals, stirring until water is absorbed and pasta becomes tender.

4. In a separate pan over low heat, add 1/4 cup broth, milk, and cheddar cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Spoon 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture into a small bowl and stir in flower until dissolved. Pour thickener into the pot of melted cheese.

5. Once the orzo is tender, add in chopped broccoli and melted cheese sauce.

6. Adjust seasoning if needed and add more broth to get desired consistency.


I used fresh broccoli instead of frozen and put it into the pot a bit earlier so that it cooked while the rice was cooking. It turned out fine.

Our Home Rating? 4/5 bites

Source: Pinterest via


Chicken Noodle Casserole
December 9, 2013, 3:30 am
Filed under: Dinner, Weekday Meals | Tags: , ,


This was a Pinterest find. I changed the recipe quite a bit, mostly to save on cooking time and to accommodate what I had on hand. Below is my version of the recipe.



2 cups uncooked egg noodles

1 lb ground chicken

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 cup fresh mushrooms

1 cup frozen peas

1 can Cream of Mushroom soup

1 can Cream of Chicken soup

1/4 cup milk

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp italian seasoning


1. Cook the noodles according to the package directions.

2. Saute onions in a bit of olive oil. I added some minced garlic to my pan at this step. Brown the ground chicken with the onions and garlic until browned. Once browned, add the fresh sliced mushrooms.

3. Mix the soups (2 types), milk, salt, pepper and italian seasoning together. Pour into the ground chicken and mushroom mixture. Mix well, stir in frozen peas. Simmer on medium low until the noodles are done.

4. Mix the cooked noodles into the meat and sauce. Serve.

Our Home Rating? 4/5 bites

Source: (via Pinterest)

Orzo Pilaf with Mushrooms
May 20, 2012, 4:54 am
Filed under: Pasta, Side Dishes | Tags: , ,


I love orzo!! This is a good, easy recipe.


2 tbspns olive oil

1 onion, chopped

8 oz mushrooms, sliced

2 cups canned low-salt chicken broth

1 cup orzo

3 tbspns pinenuts, toasted


1. Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and mushrooms and sauté until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

2. Add broth and bring to boil. Stir in orzo. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until orzo is tender and has absorbed all liquid, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Stir in pine nuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.


I like to add a 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese as well and stir it in about the same time as the pine nuts.

Our Home Rating? 3.5/5 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