Last November, we attended a a dynamic and information-packed conference in Boston hosted by BlogHer, an online community for women who blog. At the meeting, we met a bunch of amazing food bloggers – Lydia from The Perfect Pantry, Kalyn from Kalyn’s Kitchen, and Maris from In Good Taste. Connecting with fellow foodies fired us up and fueled our hunger for a new blog design and even a new name.
Anyway, to make a long story short, a few weeks ago, we got an email from Maris telling us she was coming to Boston and wondered if we wanted to meet up for a cup of coffee. We upped Maris’s offer and suggested she stop by The Meal Makeover Moms’ headquarters for a yummy lunch and a sit-down interview for this week’s Cooking with the Moms podcast … featuring the delicious world of food blogging. We hope you’ll listen in as we dish about some of our favorite food blogs and a few of Maris’s original recipes including the recipe below for Baked Penne with Sausage and Spinach. We adapted it a tad given our children’s particular food preferences.
Baked Penne with Sausage and Spinach
Makes 6 to 8 Servings
- 1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 3 to 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 lean chicken sausages, squeezed out of their casings and chopped (we used a chicken/olive sausage), 8 ounces
- One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- One 6-ounce can tomato paste
- 1/4 cup prepared pesto
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups dried penne, rigatoni, or rotini pasta (preferably a whole wheat or whole wheat blend)
- One 5-ounce bag baby spinach, coarsely chopped
- 1 ½ cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and golden, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 additional minute. Add the meat and cook, stirring frequently, until fully cooked, about 5 minutes.
2. Stir in the crushed tomatoes and the tomato paste and bring to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, until the sauce thickens, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the pesto and season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and stir into the sauce along with the spinach, mozzarella, and half the Parmesan cheese.
4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the pasta mixture in a 9 x 13-inch baking pan or dish, and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. Bake until bubbly and golden, about 30 minutes.
There are more food blogs out there on the world wide web than we’d ever venture to guess. If you’re interested in reading food blogs, a great place to start is our blogroll, where we list the blogs we read on a regular basis. There are even a few blogs dedicated solely to showcasing highlights from other food blogs. Two you may want to check out are Food Blog Blog and Food Blogs. And if you’re ever surfing the web for a particular recipe, instead of heading over to google, you can visit Food Blog Search and look there (they feature recipes from food bloggers only). Food Blog Search has a great description of food blogs on their site which really sums up the spirit of what foodie blogs are all about:
Food blogs are a wonderful source of recipes, stories, and opinions about food. These blogs are the labors of love of countless people from around the world who are so passionate about what they cook and eat they spend hours photographing and writing about it. Food bloggers usually give much more information and personal touches to what they write about than commercial cooking or recipe sites.
Happy listening and happy food blog surfing.