September 30, 2013

Spinach Ravioli Lasagna {recipe swap}

Spinach Ravioli Lasagna

1 Package (6-oz) baby spinach, washed and chopped
1/3 Cup of refrigerated pesto sauce
1 Jar (15 oz) Alfredo Sauce (I used Bertolli Light)
1/4 Cup of chicken broth
2 Packages of frozen, mini cheese ravioli (don’t thaw)
1 Cup of shredded mozzarella or Italian blend cheese
Chopped Basil (optional)
Paprika (garnish, optional)

Preheat oven to *375.  Mix chopped spinach and pesto in a medium bowl.

Whisk Alfredo sauce and chicken broth. Spoon 1/3 of Alfredo mixture in a lightly-greased baking dish. Top with half of spinach mixture. Arrange a layer of ravioli. Repeat layers once and top with remaining Alfredo sauce.

Bake at *375 for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and top with shredded cheese. Sprinkle lightly with paprika and bake 5 or so minutes until hot and bubbly.

Garnish if desired.

My husband loved this, said it’s a keeper; and it allowed me to sneak some greens to my kids.  Another successful weeknight dish and it’s even better the next day!

Thanks for visiting!

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage


September 26, 2013

Spider Wine Bottle Craft {Halloween craft swap}

Empty wine bottle
Silver or gold Sharpie
Plastic Spiders ~ black & orange
Hot glue gun
String of lights (optional)

With a steady hand draw your cobweb (or ghosts, or creative!)
Glue on your spiders in various spots
If desired, stick a string of lights in it.
Looks great, either way.

That's it!  Super easy and great for gift giving.

Thanks for visiting! Linking up with Layla at the Lettered Cottage.

King Ranch Mac & Cheese {recipe swap}

King Ranch Mac & Cheese

1 Package rotini pasta
2 Tablespoon butter
1 Medium onion, diced
1 Green bell pepper, diced
1 Can Rotel, diced tomatoes and chiles
8 Ounce Velveeta, cubed
3 Cups marinated shredded cooked chicken*
1 Can cream of chicken soup
½ Cup sour cream
1 Teaspoon chili powder
½ Teaspoon ground cumin
2 Cups shredded sharp cheddar

*Marinate your chicken in Italian dressing, or comparable marinade, for 24 hours.  I use 2 large chicken breasts.  Boil chicken breasts for 15 minutes, cool and shred.

Preheat oven to *350. Cook pasta al dente, according to package directions.

Melt butter in a large dutch oven over med-high heat, add onion and pepper.  Saute 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in Rotel and Velveeta; cook, stirring constantly, until cheese melts.

Stir in chicken and next 4 ingredients, and cooked pasta, and stir until blended.  Spoon mixture into lightly greased baking pan and sprinkle with cheddar cheese.

Bake at 350* for 30 minutes.

Comfort food at its finest (and the kids will eat it too!)

Thanks for visiting!

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage


September 25, 2013

Hutton Halloween Mantle 2013

I turned our Homegoods botanical print vertical and adorned it with black torn netting from the Dollar Tree.  A Pottery Barn feathered bat & happy halloween garland along with a Dollar Tree furry brown spider add to the look.

{I snuck in a dining room pic, the Halloween house tour will come later}

It glows beautifully at night and the kids are getting a kick out of it.

A string of old pumpkin lights, an orange-striped pillar tucked in a burlap bag, wrought-iron/Silvery accessories...

Orange textured vase, black pillar in a sheer spiderweb bag, more silver and wrought-iron accessories.  Fun of those really creep pictures, where if you turn it the right way two seemingly sweet girls become skeletal.  Of course, we have two boys... 

It's fun, it's festive and hopefully the trick-or-treaters will get a kick out of it!

Do any of you remember the old Roseanne Show Halloween episodes?  They were awesome and you can get some great ideas from them.  I hope to try some of those tricks as the boys get older and I have more time.  More time....yeah.

{Sneak Peek Foyer}

Stay tuned for my Autumn Indoor & Out House Tour next week...

Thanks for visiting!

September 24, 2013

Fancy Shrimp Ramen {recipe swap}

Shrimp Noodle Bowl aka Fancy Ramen

2 Packages of Oriental flavor ramen
4 Cups of water
2 Green onions, chopped
3 T fresh cilantro, chopped
1 Cup fresh snow peas, trimmed
12-18 Peeled and deveined raw shrimp, medium size
1 Cup of shredded cabbage, napa or savoy
Garnishments {optional}
Chopped peanuts
Soy sauce

Stir together flavor packets from ramen noodle soup mix, 4 cups water, 
chopped green onion, and chopped fresh cilantro in a medium saucepan. 
Bring to a boil; add noodles and snow peas. 
Cook 2 minutes, and stir in shrimp. Cook 4 more minutes. 
Transfer to a bowl, top with shredded cabbage and the 
garnish of your choice.

Thanks for visiting!

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage


September 23, 2013


Pine Beach, NJ Circa 1949

{photos courtesy of the Monmouth Ocean MLS}

We just upsized in 2009.  It's nice, but there is a lot of wasted space, lots of land to maintain and we are house-poor.  It's always something...think Tom Hanks & Shelly Long.

Every once in awhile a local real estate listing (I watch them like a hawk) will come along and tempt me to downsize us.  This petite cape is really getting to me.  It's just adorable.  Located in a sweet river town on the Jersey Shore about 15 minutes from our current location.  We will not be moving, and I'd probably be bored with a "done" house, but's tempting.

From the Realtor:

Charming and very attractive home located in desirable Pine Beach. This 3 bedroom 2 1/2 bath cape shows beautifully, offering high end finishes, luscious landscaping, and all the needed amentities of Jersey Shore living. Located within walking distance from beaches and schools, this home is sure to please. Entire home has been recently updated and is well maintained to any standard. Home is ideal for entertaining and enjoyment, No detail overlooked.