Category Archives: Italian

WIAW #15: Full to the Max

Hello there!

Can we please talk about how it’s May already?  Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego did April go?

carmen sandiego


Please tell me I’m not the only one who remembers Carmen Sandiego?!

Ahh well, ya know what ‘they’ say…. April showers bring May flowers.  And I think we’re all ready for flowers and warm weather.  At least I am!

What I Ate Wednesday

Not only is today the first day of May, but it’s also Wednesday so I guess another WIAW post is in order.  Click on this to see what it’s all about!


I skipped last week because a) I was too excited to share our update on the wedding plans, b) our fridge was nearly bare from being out of town (it took me a full week to finally go grocery shopping), and c) I was too darn lazy to photograph a single piece of food.  So there.

But WIAW is back today, let’s have a look.


I created an egg wrap to go for my car ride in to work.

egg wrap to go

I used to make these ALLLLL the time and then, I don’t know what happened?!  I just stopped all of a sudden – I tend to get stuck in breakfast ruts making the same thing over an over (aka yogurt bowls… don’t worry, still love ’em) but I figured it’s time to get a little crazy and ya know, mix things up a bit. 😉

And now that these bad boys have been reintroduced, they will definitely be back in the breakfast rotation!

egg wrap steps

Warm whole wheat tortilla with a Laughing Cow Cheese Wedge spread in the middle (I used French Onion this time) with 3 scrambled eggs in the middle and of course, lathered with Cholula sauce!  So. So. Good.

Mid Morning Snack

My wrap was quite filling so I wasn’t too hungry in between breakfast and lunch, but I packed a light snack and ate it about an hour before lunch.

snap peas and carrots

Baby carrots (which were super fat and not so ‘baby’-ish), plus sugar snap peas.  By the way, snap peas = amazing!  So crispy and crunchy 🙂


Monday night, at Dave’s request, I threw 2 lbs of chicken breasts into the crock pot to make a big ol batch of shredded buffalo chicken.  So of course, it made an appearance in my lunch the next day.


Yet another way to prep chicken ahead of time. 😉

leftover buffalo chicken - salad

Baby romaine salad, topped with a mix of roasted zucchini, summer squash and red onion, plus grape tomatoes, shredded buffalo chicken, lots of creamy goat cheese, and balsamic dressing.  Oh my goodness, this was soooo tasty!


And a ‘nana on the side.

Afternoon Snack

Per the usual, I needed something more to eat a few hours later.

pumpkin greek yogurt

Greek yogurt with canned pumpkin loosely stirred in and a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg.


I took advantage of the B-E-A-UTIFUL weather and ate dinner outside as the sun went down.  Ohhh and it made me crave summer that much more.  I think (I HOPE!) it’s finally here… 😉

turkey burger spaghetti squash

Underneath everything is roasted spaghetti squash and the remaining leftover roasted zucchini, summer squash and red onions, all topped with a generous serving of spicy marinara sauce.

turkey burger spaghetti squash 2

George grilled up a turkey breast and I then layered some marinara, mozzarella and fresh parmesan cheese on top and stuck under the broiler for a few minutes to melt.  I guess it was a spin off chicken parmesan… except with a turkey burger.  Oh yeah, and no breading.

This meal came together surprisingly well for being as hungry as I was!  I often envision a wonderfully put-together meal on my way home from work and then somewhere along the way, my hunger gets the best of me and kills the execution.  This was not the case.

The only issue with this meal is it left me uncomfortably full…

banana bite

…ummm that is, until I heard my name being called from the freezer, so I enjoyed a banana bite to round out the meal.


I mean, after all I still had room in my dessert stomach for a little sweetness! 😉

Have a fantastic Wednesday and Happy May 1st!


Personal Pizza Pies… for Breakfast

Yep that’s right!  Pizza for breakfast!

pizza bfast 3

Now that’s something to look forward to waking up to!

pizza bfast 6

Not only are they personal size so you can gobble it all up by yourself, but they are even a healthy way to start the day.

pizza bfast 1

Eggs baked with whatever toppings you dream covered in a layer of sauce and melted mozzarella cheese.  This is good stuff right here.

Personal Pizza Pies

Personal Pizza Pies for Breakfast


1 tbls oil, any kind

1-2 cups any veggies (I used 1/2 diced green pepper & 6 ounces chopped mushrooms)

10 eggs

Salt & Pepper, to taste

1-2 tbls each fresh oregano and basil, snipped

1/2 cup marinara sauce, or pizza sauce

1/2 -3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

18 slices turkey pepperoni


1.  Heat oil in a skillet and saute veggies until softened.

step 1

2.  Divide veggies among 6 individual greased tart pans.  (Ramekins would work too.)

step 2

3.  In a separate bowl, whisk eggs until smooth and add salt & pepper, to taste.  Divide egg mixture into each tin.

step 4

4.  Bake at 350 for approximately 25 to 35 minutes, or until the center has just firmed up completely.  Remove and set oven to broil.

step 5

5.  Sprinkle fresh herbs and spread a spoonful of sauce over the top.  Then, add shredded cheese and top with pepperoni.  Put in the broiler for 3-5 minutes until the cheese melts and browns just a bit.  Devour!

pizza bfast 4

I ate my first pizza right out of the oven with the cheese all melty and delicious.

pizza bfast 1

And the others I actually ate cold.  I am a huge fan of cold pizza so it was the same concept.  I barely remembered there were eggs under there, it tasted a bit like cold deep dish pizza.  But I’m sure they would be great nuked in the microwaved for a few seconds as well.

I will totally be making these again.  Yum!

Post #100

One more thought before signing off for the day… this is my 100th post on Berry Sweet Lauren!  I can hardly believe it 🙂  Thanks to all my readers!

Crock Pot Bolognese Sauce

Heyy there!  Hope everyone had a fun St. Patty’s Day weekend!


Dave and I went out for dinner on Saturday night at Wildwood in Geneva.  Coincidentally, we were seated right next to Dave’s cousin, Jeff, and his wife, Nicole, so we pushed the tables together and had dinner.  The food was amazing and the company even better!  Afterwards, Dave and I met up with a few of his friends for some drinks.

The three of us slept in late on Sunday morning and the remainder of the day was spent 95% on the couch snuggling.  It felt excellent!  Even though I probably should’ve been studying for my final… BUT I was too comfy and relaxed to be productive.  Oops!

Crock Pot Bolognese Sauce

So it’s about time I share a recipe with you guys!

bolognese sauce 3

After the crockpot challenge, I thought I was “crock potted” out but I couldn’t resist pulling it out again to cook a big pot of rich, meaty Bolognese sauce.  Simmering in the pot for several hours allowed for all the fresh herbs, tomatoes and red wine to marry together for a deep, comforting taste.

bolognese sauce 2

Not to mention, the aroma took over the entire house and it was all I could think about all day!  Soo soo good!

crock pot bolognese sauce


1 tbls olive oil

2 small red onions, chopped

1 lb ground pork

1 lb ground beef

1 28 oz crushed san marzano tomatoes

1 can tomato paste

2/3 cup dry red wine

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

2 tbls fresh basil, chopped

1 tbls fresh oregano, chopped

1/2 tsp crushed fennel seeds

2 bay leaves


1.  In a large skillet, saute onions in olive oil for a few minutes.  Add ground pork and beef and cook through.

brown meat

2.  Place remaining ingredients, along with browned meat, into the crock pot and mix thoroughly.

crock pot

3.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Ladle over fettuccine pasta and serve.

bolognese sauce 1Enjoy the rest of your Monday!

Crock Pot Spaghetti Squash – CPC #9

To put it simply, I adore spaghetti squash.

Spaghetti Squash Bowl5

It is one of those vegetables that does not have a particularly strong flavor and thus, can be dressed up any way you see fit.

spaghetti squash bowl

One of the most popular and my personal favorite ways to eat spaghetti squash is to treat like pasta and top with marinara or bolognese sauce and Parmesan cheese.

spag squash

It belongs in the winter squash family and can be roasted, boiled, microwaved, or slow cooked in a crock pot.  Until this week, I had only ever roasted and microwaved spaghetti squash, but I really enjoyed the ease of the crock pot.

spag squash cooked

A 1 cup serving contains 9% of your recommended daily intake of fiber, is very low in carbs and has only 42 calories, so if weight loss is your goal, it can be a good swap for pasta.  Although that is not my goal right now, I personally love spaghetti squash as an alternative to pasta because it doesn’t leave me feeling sluggish like a giant bowl of pasta sometimes does.

Spaghetti Squash Bowl3

Once a spaghetti squash has been cooked, you just scrape the inside with a fork and out comes long strands resembling spaghetti.  Imagine that!?

Spaghetti Squash Bowl2

It’s actually thinner than spaghetti, more like an angel hair pasta, but let’s not get too technical.  😉

Crock Pot Spaghetti Squash

crock pot spaghetti squash steps2

1.  Wash your spaghetti squash and remove any stickers or labels.

2.  Place in a slow cooker with 2 cups of water and cook on high for about 3-4 hours (or on low for longer, probably about 6-7 hours?).

3.  Cut in half and remove seeds from the center.  (Keep in mind: water may be soaked up during cooking and may come out when you cut it open, so just be careful.)

4.  Scrape the insides with a fork.  Place in a bowl and add your favorite sauce and/or toppings.

Spaghetti Squash Bowl4


Last night, I finally completed my 10th and final crock pot recipe for the Crock Pot Challenge! Just in the nick of time!