Easy Tomato Sauce

Homemade tomato sauce is so easy to make…so easy to make you’ll never want to crack open a jar of tomato sauce again. Easy tomato sauce only uses a few ingredients, and you can let it simmer for hours until you’re ready to serve dinner. The best time to make this easy tomato sauce is on a Sunday, let it simmer for a few hours, serve dinner, then save the leftovers for dinners throughout the week. Baked ziti, lasagna, stuffed shells, tortellini, or ravioli all make easy dinner ideas that can use this easy tomato sauce throughout the week.

I know garlic bread is a popular side dish for tomato sauce, and trust me I’m a fan of that. But something I love just as much is a fresh crisp salad like a garden or Caesar salad. I think that the robust rich flavors of a tomato sauce really calls for a fresh bite that a salad can provide. This doesn’t have to be involved, romaine lettuce, Caesar dressing and some Parmesan cheese and you’ve got an easy side salad to accompany your easy tomato sauce dinner.

Now, you’ll notice that this recipe is just for the easy tomato sauce but this is photographed with meatballs. But the easy tomato sauce can be made without meatballs. I wanted to make a tomato sauce with no meat in it so that anyone who doesn’t eat meat, or doesn’t have it on hand, can make this tomato sauce and enjoy the same robust garlicky flavors that don’t depend on meat for the flavor. I do love the crumbles of fresh mozzarella on top, the cool texture is a welcomed bite and really adds a depth of flavor…I highly recommend adding the fresh mozzarella to your easy tomato sauce dinner!

If you like easy pasta dinners you might also like these:
Sun-dried Tomato Burrata Pasta
Pesto Cream Sauce Pasta
Penne Vodka


Easy Tomato Sauce

Easy tomato sauce is a robust tomato sauce you can make and have plenty for leftover meals throughout the week. A few easy ingredients combine to make an easy sauce that will have you choosing this over jarred sauce from now on!

  • Author: aseasonedgreeting
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes


-3 garlic cloves
-1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
-2 28oz cans tomato puree
-1 28oz can crushed tomato
-1 tablespoon garlic powder
-2 teaspoons onion powder
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon pepper


1. Over medium heat, heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large pot and grate the garlic into the oil. Cook for 2 minutes, then add in both cans of tomato puree and the can of crushed tomatoes. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, pepper and salt and stir until full blended in the sauce.

2. Bring sauce to boil then cover and simmer until ready to eat! Recommended at least 1 hour. To serve, toss with cooked pasta and sprinkle with fresh mozzarella cheese.

Easy Margherita Pizza

You know I love a good easy pizza recipe for dinner.

I’ve talked about this before, homemade pizzas deserve a gold medal. Homemade pizzas can save dinner time, they can save you from ordering takeout one too many times. An easy homemade pizza recipe requires very little preparation, minimal slicing and dicing, and is a warm, homemade dinner you can be eating in less than 30 minutes.

This Margherita Pizza is the homemade pizza dinner recipe you need.

This easy margherita pizza recipe would be ready to eat faster than any takeout you’d order. Dinner in under 30 minutes, and isn’t that the goal? A feel-good, easy, full of fresh and robust flavors that was fast to make.

The sauce in this margherita pizza uses crushed tomatoes, which gives it an extra sweetness, and the garlic cloves grated into the crushed tomatoes means this sauce is anything but bland and boring. Keep these ingredients in your fridge, and the next time you walk in the door too tired to even think of what to make for dinner you know you have this recipe in your back pocket…and you’ll be eating in less than 30 minutes!


Easy Margherita Pizza

Easy margherita pizza is the perfect pizza comfort food that’s quick, easy, but packed with robust tomato and basil flavor. Topped with melted fresh mozzarella cheese, this pizza is ready in less that 30 minutes!

  • Author: aseasonedgreeting


-1 refrigerated thin crust pizza
-1 15oz can crushed tomatoes
-4oz ball of fresh mozzarella cheese
-8-10 fresh basil leaves
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
-For brushing the crust: olive oil, salt, garlic powder


1. Preheat oven to 425. Unroll the pizza crust onto your large baking sheet, and prebake for 8 minutes.

2. While the crust is prebaking, pour the crushed tomatoes into a bowl, grate the garlic cloves and stir to combine. Season with the 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Slice the ball of mozzarella into thin slices and chop the basil into thin pieces.

3. After the crust has prebaked, cover with the tomato sauce and spread to cover the crust leaving a small edge for the crust. Next, sprinkle with the 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese, then layer with the sliced Mozzarella, and sprinkle with half of the fresh basil. Brush the edge of the crust with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and garlic powder. Bake for 12 minutes.

4. After 12 minutes, remove from oven and sprinkle with the remaining sliced basil.

Eat Green Recipe Roundup

Eating your greens has never looked so good.

We all know we should be eating more greens, eating more vegetables. But why can it be so tricky to fit them into your dinner menus? Eating green veggies doesn’t have to be boring. I’m not talking about steaming some broccoli or spinach and throwing that on a plate and trying to just smile through every bland bite. Oh no. These green recipes below range from bright and cool to savory and robust, packed with savory spices, packed with flavors that will leave you wanting these greens every night.

Try one of these recipes? Leave me a comment and let me know which was your favorite!

Cucumber Green Goddess Wraps

I’ll tell you a true story. I made these Cucumber Green Goddess Wraps for a get-together along with a few other snacks. These Green Goddess Wraps were the first thing to go. Everyone loved these and couldn’t get enough of them. The Green Goddess Dressing has just enough peppery flavors from the basil, parsley, and Greek yogurt…the right amount of crunch from the Romaine lettuce and cucumbers, and the final treat is a little grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled in. These not only make a great party snack but a light and refreshing lunch.

Almond Butter Tahini Bowls

Hands down one of my favorite things to make for dinner. Packed with roasted broccoli, roasted sweet potatoes, roasted crispy chick peas served with brown rice then smothered with an almond butter tahini. Want to feel full but feel good about what you ate? This is it. Once you have an almond butter tahini you’re going to be thinking up new recipes to use this.

Green Beans with Toasted Almonds and Lemon Zest

Be the hero of Thanksgiving dinner this year and don’t bring the old expected green bean casserole and instead bring these Green Beans with Toasted Almonds and Lemon Zest. This green bean recipe is so fresh and light and zesty and will make everyone ask for seconds of green beans. I think this is the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving because it’s so light and fresh, and we all know how heavy a Thanksgiving dinner can be so this will lighten things up and have everyone asking for the recipe.

Spinach Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Boring spinach? Not here. The sweet potatoes are brushed with olive oil then sprinkled with warm curry powder and roasted until tender. Then stuffed with cooked frozen spinach, crispy chick peas and drizzled with an almond butter tahini. This dinner will leave you feeling good about what you ate, and feeling full and feeling good about what you just ate.

Honey Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic

If you want to incorporate Brussels Sprouts into your dinner menu more often but stumped on what to do with them, this Honey Roasted Brussels Sprouts is just what you need. The little bit of sweet from the honey, and hint of char from roasting them, then the tang and acidity from the balsamic make this a green you can eat again and again. And, it’s super easy!

I hope these recipes help you eat more greens!

Easy Pasta Recipe Roundup

Easy pasta dinner recipes are recipes you need to keep in your back pocket.

We all know that feeling of walking in the door after a long day at work, there was more traffic than usual, it was raining, and you had to make a stop for diapers. Those are the nights when you walk in the door you need to have these easy pasta recipes ready for you to prepare.

Many people might be quick to order take out, but I understand that that just isn’t an option for everyone. You might live in a rural town with limited access to restaurants that deliver, you might be watching your budget and an extra night of takeout just isn’t possible, or you really just want to eat something home cooked but that doesn’t take a long time to make or require lots of slicing, dicing, and chopping. If you can relate to that, this easy pasta recipe roundup is for you.

What I love about these pasta recipes is that you can make he sauce in the time it takes to boil the water and cook the pasta. That’s the pinnacle of multitasking! Set the water to boil, prep the sauce ingredients, when the water has boiled throw in the noodles, while the noodles boil cook the sauce, and about 12 minutes later dinner is ready. A savory, homemade pasta dinner that will nourish you and your family, and save money on ordering out! Let me know which one is your favorite.

Penne Vodka

Penne vodka combines cream (or half & half which I use often in place of light cream) tomato paste, garlic, cheese and vodka for a savory comfort food. The vodka in the dish enhances the tomato flavor.

Creamy Curry Pasta

Creamy curry pasta is going to be your new favorite pasta dish. Whip up an easy creamy curry sauce that’s vegan, then topped with roasted broccoli and crispy chick peas. Feel full and satisfied but healthy and good about what you ate.

Sun-dried Tomato Burrata Pasta

This is going to be your new go-to easy pasta dinner. This is so good, so much savory flavor from the sweet sun-dried tomatoes, fresh lemon zest, and warm basil then topped with cool and creamy burrata cheese. This is one of our family favorites.

Easy Baked Mac n’ Cheese

Is there anything that says ‘comfort food’ more than baked macaroni and cheese? Not only is this an easy pasta recipe, but it’s an all around crowd-pleasing and kid-friendly dinner. Adults and kids alike all love a good baked macaroni and cheese.

Creamy Marsala Pasta

This easy pasta recipe is a fun take on the traditional chicken Marsala. Make a cream sauce with Marsala wine, then top with crispy mushroom pieces. Easily make this vegetarian, honestly I prefer this with no chicken and just enjoy the Marsala cream sauce and crispy mushrooms.

Pesto Cream Sauce Pasta

Creamy pesto is one of my favorite sauces. This easy pasta recipe is also great because the cleanup is so easy. After the pasta is done cooking and you’ve poured it into the strainer, in the same pot that cooked the pasta you make the sauce…meaning you only have one pot to clean. ONE pot to clean! Isn’t that music to your ears? Top the pesto cream sauce with diced cherry tomatoes and fresh mozzarella balls.

I hope some of these easy pasta recipes make your weeknight cooking a little easier! If you made one leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

Soft and Chewy Molasses Cookies

Soft and chewy molasses cookies are probably one of the greatest cookies that has ever lived. Cinnamon, ginger, and cloves combine with molasses and sugar combine to create the warmest and chewiest cookie you could ever have. I truly think it’s impossible to eat just one!

Soft and chewy molasses cookies are a great way to enjoy the warm spices of Fall with feeling like you’re baking a Christmas cookie. Which brings me to a very important question:

What’s the difference between a molasses cookie, a gingersnap cookie, and gingerbread cookies?

So you’re probably wondering what makes a molasses cookie different from a gingersnap and gingerbread cookies. The truth is, they all share basically the same ingredients with just small variations in the amount of ginger and the baking time. Gingersnaps and gingerbread cookies have more ginger than a molasses cookie. Gingersnaps bake for a little longer than a gingerbread cookie, making them the crispiest of these three cookies. So we’ve got molasses cookies using the least amount of ginger and baking only 9 minutes so nice and chewy, then we have the gingerbread made with more ginger than the molasses and baking a bit longer, but still being soft, and last we’ve got the gingersnap using about the same amount of ginger as a gingerbread, but baking the longest putting the *snap* in gingersnap.

Now, there are two ways this recipe can be made. The original recipe calls for shortening. I typically don’t keep this in stock, so for my first test of this cookie I used butter. Just a note, whenever you’re wanting to substitute one ingredient for another always research if the substitution is an exact 1:1 or if you need adjust the amount up or down. For substituting butter for shortening, you need to use a bit more butter. When I did the second test of this molasses cookie, I used the shortening.

So, which was better, the butter recipe or the shortening recipe?

Using butter in chewy molasses cookies as a richness to the flavor. You taste all the spices from the cinnamon to the ginger to the cloves, and the butter is adding this warm dense flavor to the cookie. The cookies came out soft and chewy, and even the next day were still soft and chewy, so I didn’t find that they crisped up by using butter.

With the shortening in place of the butter, I found that the spice taste shines through a bit more. There isn’t that added robust butter flavor, so I found I was really detecting the spices a bit more. Still chewy, however I did think that the butter cookies were just a tad chewier.

The verdict? Both were incredibly chewy, warm, spiced, and so good you can’t eat just one..or two. But, when I make these again I’m going to be using butter. In the recipe below I’ve noted the amounts needed for both shortening and butter so feel free to choose which you prefer, or make them both ways and find out which way you prefer!


Soft and Chewy Molasses Cookies

A warm and chewy cookie spiced with cinnamon, ginger, cloves and molasses. The best way to enjoy the flavors of Fall anytime of the year! Important note: the dough needs to chill for 2-3 hours before baking!

  • Author: aseasonedgreeting
  • Prep Time: 2 hour 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 27 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 42 minutes
  • Yield: 30 cookies


-3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons butter, softened (or 3/4 cup shortening)

-1 cup dark brown sugar, packed

-1/4 cup molasses

-2 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

-2 teaspoons baking soda

-1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

-1 and 1/2 teaspoons ginger

-1/2 teaspoon cloves

-1/2 cup white sugar for rolling the cookies


1. In a large bowl with a handheld mixer, or in your stand mixer, beat the butter (or shortening) with the 1 cup dark brown sugar. Beat about 1 minute until smooth. Add the 1 egg and the 1/4 cup molasses and beat until smooth.

2. On top of this molasses mixture, pour the 2 and 1/4 cups flour (don’t mix yet!!) then pour on top of the flour the 2 teaspoons baking soda, the 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, the 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ginger, and the 1/2 teaspoon cloves. Gently stir with to start to incorporate these dry ingredients into the molasses batter, then using you mixer again blend until combined. Don’t over mix! At the end, use your spoon again to make sure all the dry ingredients have blending into the batter. Place the bowl in the fridge for 2-3 hours.

3. After the 2 hours, preheat oven to 350. Pour the 1/2 cup of white sugar into a bowl or on a plate. Roll to cookie dough into ball about the size of a walnut, then roll in the sugar to completely cover all sides of dough. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 9 minutes. I needed to bake 3 batches, hence the cook time of 27 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with a little more white sugar.


Do not skip the step of chilling the dough! If you do you’ll have cookies that are way too flat.

Adapted from: The Food Charlatan

Meatless Meal Idea Roundup

Have you heard of Meatless Monday?

It’s kind of an unofficial movement that on Monday you make meatless meals. How’s that for alliteration?

If you typically eat meat, going meatless every so often is a great idea. I find that in many cases, even though I’m not a vegetarian, I’m gravitating to the dishes that just so happen to be meatless. It’s a great way to reduce meat consumption, discover new recipes you might not have tried, use new cooking methods, and add new favorite meatless meals to your dinner menus.

Here’s one thing that’s very important: don’t confuse meatless with boring, bland, salads-only, unfilling, or uninspired. You definitely don’t want to make that mistake. These meatless meals I’ve listed below are all very filling, lots of flavor, plentiful meals that will leave you planning for more meatless meals.

Which one will be your favorite?

Sun-dried Tomato Lemon Basil Pasta
Green Beans with Lemon Zest and Toasted Almonds
Curry Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Almond Butter Tahini
Enchilada Twice Baked Potatoes
Curry Coconut Cauliflower
Baked Mac n’ Cheese
Roasted Sweet Potato and Broccoli Rice Bowls
Creamy Curry Pasta
Penne Vodka

Curry Coconut Cauliflower

Your vegan, dairy-free but not even a tiny bit flavor-free dinner has arrived.

I’ve been loving Indian cuisine lately, and saw this Indian Coconut Butter Cauliflower on Half Baked Harvest that had to be on my dinner table. This curry sauce is so creamy, so spiced, and so savory you’re going to want this on everything. Something very important to note, I make my coconut curry sauce without any added heat. You can add up to 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, but I love to let the flavors of the sauce shine through on their own without too much heat to cover them up.

Curry powder, turmeric, garam masala…these spices have such strong warm flavor you’ll want that those to be the stars of this show.

This coconut curry cauliflower is the feel-good meal of the summer. Feel satisfied by roasted cauliflower in a thick coconut curry sauce and topped with crispy chick peas. What is not to love about this?

Serve over Basmati or Jasmine rice and warm naan. You’ll be adding this into your dinner rotation!

For the Cauliflower
-1 head of cauliflower, chopped into medium to small pieces
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-2 cloves garlic, grated
-1 teaspoon ground ginger
-1 15.50z can chick peas, drained
-1/2 tablespoon oil
-Dash salt

For the Sauce
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1/2 white onion, diced
-2 cloves garlic, grated
-1 teaspoon ground ginger
-1 13.6oz can full fat coconut milk
-1 6oz can tomato paste
-1 tablespoon water
-1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon garam masala
-2 and 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
-1/2 teaspoon turmeric
-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
-1/2 teaspoon white sugar
-1 teaspoon salt
– Optional 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the chopped cauliflower in a bowl and stir with the 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 cloves grated garlic, and 1 teaspoon ground ginger, pour onto a large baking sheet. Drain the chick peas and place in a separate bowl, coat with the 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and a few dashes of salt and pour onto the baking sheet with the cauliflower. Roast everything for 20 minutes.
  2. While the cauliflower and chick peas are roasting, begin making the sauce. Heat the 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat and pour in the diced onion. Saute for 5 minutes, then stir in the 2 grated garlic cloves and the teaspoon of ground ginger, cook for another minute then pour in the garam masala, curry, turmeric, and garlic powder. Stir to combine then stir in the coconut milk, stir so all the spices have blended together. Pour in the tomato paste, the salt, sugar, and the 1 tablespoon water and using a whisk, stir until the tomato paste has completely blended into the coconut milk. Simmer until the cauliflower and chick peas are done roasting.
  3. Once everything is done roasting, pour the cauliflower into the sauce and stir until all the pieces are coated. Place the naan in some foil and place in the oven for about 1-2 minutes so it can get warmed.
  4. To serve, fill a bowl with the rice, top with the curry cauliflower sauce, then the roasted chick peas. Serve with warm naan.


Tahini Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Do you have seasonal eating habits?

In the Fall, I’m more inclined to treat myself with a richer cream sauce pasta or a hearty chowder. But in the Summer, in this way too hot so humid my makeup is melting Summer, I want light and fresh dinners. I want dinners that don’t weigh me down, don’t make me feel sluggish or like I need to pop a button on my jeans to make things a little more comfortable.

In the Summer I want something like these curry roasted sweet potatoes stuffed with spinach then topped with crispy chick peas and an almond butter tahini. These stuffed sweet potatoes are warm, filling, seasoned with curry, and you’ll feel like you did something good for yourself if you eat these for dinner. And this almond butter tahini? I literally dip tortilla chips in it it’s that good.

It’s very important that your sweet potatoes are small….don’t go for those monster sized potatoes that look more like a melon than a sweet potato. Those will be entirely too hard to cut in half before roasting them. Sweet potatoes are quite tough on their own, so get the small ones and you’ll be able to get your knife through them.

Look at all that vibrant green! Nothing to feel guilty about here!

For the Sweet Potatoes
-3 small sweet potatoes
-1/2 tablespoon olive oil
-Curry powder
-1 box frozen chopped spinach

For the Chick Peas
-1 10.5oz can chick peas, drained
-2 teaspoons olive oil
-Dash salt and dash garlic powder

For the Almond Butter Tahini
-1/4 cup almond butter
-1 lemon, juiced
-1 tablespoon soy sauce
-3 gloves garlic, grated
-1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
-3 tablespoons water

1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Carefully, carefull, slice your 3 small sweet potatoes in half. Score each with a knife, I cut 3 horizontal lines and one down the center. Brush the tops of each half with some olive oil (it’s OK if you don’t use all the oil, you just want to lightly brush the tops). Sprinkle each with a few dashes of curry powder, and season with salt. Bake for 30 minutes.

2. Drain the chick peas, coat with the 2 teaspoons of oil and lightly season with 1-2 dashes of garlic powder and a sprinkle of salt. Place in the oven with the sweet potatoes and roast for 25 minutes.

3. Place the spinach in a microwave safe bowl and cook for 7 minutes.

4. To make the almond butter tahini, combine all ingredients in a bowl. If it’s too thick, add more water a teaspoon at a time until your consistent is able to drizzle over the potatoes.

5. When the potatoes are done roasting, remove from oven and use a fork to mash each slightly to make a space where you can spoon in the spinach. If the potatoes are too tough, keep roasting in small increments until they can easily be mashed. 30 minutes was perfect for me, but if you’re potatoes are too large they might need more time. Stuff the potatoes with as much spinach as you want, fill with chick peas, then generously cover with the tahini. Eat with rice.


Inspired By: The Last Ingredient
Almond Butter Tahini

Chicken Enchilada Bake

When it’s dinner time, is there anything better than an easy recipe with an easy cleanup?

For me, that’s what does me in at the end of the day is the clean up. I’d wish I had a dishwasher the size of my fridge so I can just shove everything in there, no order or organization needed, press a button and *poof* everything’s sparkling clean. I think most moms will agree with me, sometimes it’s that one lone dirty plate that can turn a happy evening into meltdown.

Don’t be fooled by these photos, if you follow me on Instagram you’ll see what my behind the scenes photos look like. Behind this organized photo is 1,001 toys all strewn about the floor, stray puffs that were once contained in a cup, and most likely a sink full of dirty dishes and a dishwasher full of clean dishes that I’ve been too lazy to unload. Sure, I dream about having a picture-perfect home like the ones I see on HGTV, but when I think about it, that’s not a real expectation for real people. Real people, we work all day, we come home exhausted and want to spend those moments with our children, we’re preparing our meal that we’ll share together, we’re reading bedtime stories and finding lovies and blankies and finally pouring a glass of wine. Making my house perfect? That’s just going to have to wait.

This chicken enchilada bake makes an easy dinner that has so much substance and flavor, and an easy cleanup. Onions, corn, beans, and chicken all cooked in an enchilada sauce then baked with pepper jack cheese and corn tortillas and topped with lime juice and queso fresco….are you hungry yet? I’ve made this twice in the same week, and ate the leftovers for lunch that’s how good this is. Your family will be asking for “Chicken Enchilada Bake”!

If you have a cast iron skilled you can make this even easier by cooking everything up in the skillet then placing the skillet under the broiler to bake. For those that don’t have a skillet, no worries, cook everything up in a large pan then pour into a 9×13 baking dish. While the dish is broiling the cheese, wash out the pan to clean up!

-1 large chicken breast
-1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
-1/2 white onion, diced
-1 10.5oz black beans, drained
-2 fresh ears of corn
-2 15oz cans crushed tomatoes
-1 cup water
-1/2 tablespoon onion
-1 teaspoon garlic powder
-1 teaspoon cumin
-1 and 1/4 teaspoons salt
-5-6 corn tortillas
-2 and 1/4 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
-Limes and queso fresco for garnishing

1. Diced the chicken breast into small chunks, diced the onion, cut the corn off of the cob (you don’t cook the cob you’re cutting the corn kernels off of the cob and then we’ll cook them) and lastly grate the pepper jack cheese.

2. Heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next add the corn, cook an additional 4 minutes until pieces are lightly browned. Pour in the crushed tomato and water, then season with the onion powder, garlic powder, cumin and salt. Then, stir in the chicken pieces and the drained beans. Simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes. You want a slight bubble happening to the sauce as the chicken cooks.

3. After 15 minutes, pour into a 9×13 baking dish. Tear the tortillas into smaller pieces and place over top of the enchilada mixture until it’s completely cover, then cover with the shredded cheese. Place under the broiler for 5-6 minutes until the cheese is browned and bubbly. Now, if you have a cast iron skillet you can make the entire dish in the skillet, including placing under the broiler. But if you don’t cook everything in a large sauce pan then pour into the 9×13 baking dish for the final baking.

4. To serve, add a generous amount of queso fresco and fresh squeezed limes.

Inspired by: Half Baked Harvest

Raspberry Jello Cake

I know what you’re thinking.

You saw that the title is called Jello Cake and this looks nothing like a cake made of jello. I promise you, this in indeed a jello cake. This incredibly easy, quick, and gorgeously colorful cake is given this deep rosy color by, wait for it, a packet of jello! This recipe was passed down to my mom by her aunt, and it was something she made when we were kids. It’s fun and a little whimsical with the jello and was something I wanted to add into my baking rotation. I can imagine Lilly asking to make the “jello cake”! What kid doesn’t get a total kick out of mixing in a packet of jello into the cake mix, then watching it swirl around as you stir seeing a boring beige vanilla cake turn into this vibrant beauty below? And in case you were wondering, it’s just as fun when you’re an adult.

This wins a prize for being one of the easiest cakes you can throw together but it certainly doesn’t look boring or average, does it? Make this for a party and you’ll have everyone asking for the recipe.

The cake itself is delightfully sweet without being overpowering or unpleasant. The hint of raspberry gives a fresh burst and gives the cake a light and airy flavor. Now, the recipe I’d have has a kid didn’t have any icing, but instead was dusted with powdered sugar. For my spin, I really wanted to give this a subtle almond flavor in an almond cream cheese frosting and garnish with some toasted shaved almonds to add a bit of a crunch.

Oh my this was the perfect combination of sweet raspberry and warm almond.

Make this and it will become a family favorite!

For the Cake
-1 box vanilla cake mix (don’t follow the recipe on the box, follow below)
-1 packet of raspberry jello (don’t follow the recipe on the box, follow below)
-2/3 cup water
-2/3 cup vegetable oil
-4 eggs

For the Frosting
-handful of sliced almonds
-3 oz softened cream cheese
-1 tablespoon softened butter
-1 teaspoon almond extract
-3/4 cups powdered sugar

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil, and pour on a handful of sliced almonds, up to 1/4 cup. You can find sliced almonds in your baking aisle. Bake for 8 minutes until brown and toasted.

2. In a mixing bowl, with a handhold mixer or in your stand mixer, blend together the box of cake mix, the packet of jello, eggs, water, and oil. Pour into a greased bundt cake pan and bake for 40 minutes.

3. While the cake is baking, make the frosting. It’s very important the cream cheese and butter are softened, blending with them if they aren’t will create lumps and bumps and no one wants a lumpy frosting! So blend together the softened cream cheese, softened butter, the almond extract and the powdered sugar. It might look like there won’t be enough frosting, but you only need enough to cover the top and have a little spill down the edges.

4. Allow the cake to cool almost all the way before frosting then spread the frosting over top. Having the cake slightly warm is good, it helps the frosting melt a little bit and spill over the edges. I find it easiest to spoon the frosting all around the top in a circle, then using my spoon or frosting spatula to press down on it and smooth it back and forth to help it pour over the edges. Lastly, top with as much of the toasted almonds as you like. They really add a warm crunchy flavor so I like a lot.