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Pizza Muffins

Pizza Muffin

What you’ll need:

One can crescent rolls

2 cups of shredded cheese (I used a mozzarella cheddar blend)

8 oz of spaghetti sauce

One TB butter

one non-stick muffin pan

Servings 4 (2 pizza muffins per person)

Pizza Muffin

Step 1:  Heat Oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2: Remove crescent rolls from package and cut each triangle (there are 8 per package) into about 12 pieces.  Each triangle cut up will make one muffin.  Set these aside.

Step 3: Time to start assembling your muffin.  Put about six pieces (half) of your cutup crescent triangle into one of your muffin cups.  (Don’t do what I did and use paper muffin liners.  Even though crescent rolls are very buttery, they will still partially stick to the liners. Use a non-stick muffin pan or grease the cups with cooking spray or butter).  When placing the crescent pieces, make sure they cover the bottom and part of the sides.  You are basically creating the bottom cup.

Step 4: Put about a tablespoon of cheese on top of the crescent pieces in the cup.

Step 5:  Place about a teaspoon of sauce on top of the cheese you just placed in the cup. (If you want to add any pre-cooked meat or vegetables to your pizza muffin, do that here as well)

Step 6: Place one additional tablespoon of cheese over your sauce (and meat and/or vegetables if you added them).  Having the cheese on both sides helps adhere the dough from your crescent pieces in place.

Step 7: Finally, top your muffin by placing the remaining pieces of cut up crescent from one triangle on the cheese you just placed in your muffin cup.

Step 8: Repeat this until you have made 8 pizza muffin cups with crescent pieces, cheese, and sauce.

Step 9: Melt your tablespoon of butter and lightly brush it over the tops of your muffins.  You can add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, garlic powder, or other desired seasonings at this time if you would like.
Step 10: Bake for 30 minutes.

Pizza muffin

Pizza Muffin Pizza Muffin

Now, you have a super tasty pizza muffin that is fun for parties, kids, or the kid in you 🙂


Tuna Noodle Casserole with Parmesan Base


2 cups egg noodles

2 cup milk

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 stick butter

2 oz cream cheese

1 cup peas

1 cup parmesan cheese grated

1 can albacore tunafish drained

(Optional: instead of 1 cup peas, you can do 1/2 cup of peas and a 1/2 cup of diced carrots)

Makes two servings.

First off, I have to admit that I had an absolute love for Betty Crocker’s classic tuna noodle growing up.  It was my favorite food that I always got on my birthday, and was easy for me to make myself as a teenager.  Then, after years of this addiction, they changed their recipe.  I was pretty sad about that, and turned to hard copies and virtual copies of tuna noodle recipes to get that same flavor.  However, I quickly realized that practically every recipe I ran into called for cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup.  This never created the same taste as I remembered my favorite meal having.  Thus, my own version of what I thought a tuna noodle casserole should taste like.  I think the secret is in making an alfredo sauce instead of using the condensed soup route (not that that is a bad thing, but it wasn’t the flavor I was looking for).

Tuna Noodle Base

Tuna Noodle Base


To start this recipe, we begin with the milk, heavy cream, butter, and cream cheese in a sauce pan.  Bring to almost a light boil while whisking to help dissolve the cream cheese.



Noodles, peas, and tuna fish

Noodles, peas, and tuna fish


Once the cream cheese is blended and the liquid contents are almost to a boil, add the egg noodles, peas, and tuna fish.  Cook until your noodles are el dente by covering the saucepan with a lid, and turning the heat down to simmer for about 10-15 minutes.



Lastly, remove the saucepan from the heat and add the parmesan cheese.  Use your whisk to mix in the cheese.  It is important to not add the parmesan cheese too early because the cheese will curd instead of being a smooth texture.  You may get tuna fish, noodles, and peas in the whisk while doing this.  That is okay.  You can give your whisk a tap on the side of your saucepan and they will fall right out of your whisk.


Added in the parmesan

Now, it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor.  If you’d like, you can sprinkle a little more parmesan on your portion of tuna noodle casserole before serving.




I hope you enjoyed my version of a classical tasting Betty Crocker tuna noodle. 🙂

Mexican Four Bean Salad

If you love TexMex style dishes, you will love my spin on three bean salad. This dish is not only delicious, but beautiful. It has many layers of flavors and will be a refreshing addition to any meal from South of the border.

Mexican Four Bean Salad


1 lb Black beans * (or one 15 oz can rinsed and drained)
1 lb Pinto beans * (or one 15 oz can rinsed and drained)
1 lb Green beans ** (or one 15 oz can rinsed and drained)
1 lb White beans * (or one 15 oz can rinsed and drained)
1 lb Corn, whole (grilled then cut from cob, or a one pound package frozen – thawed)
3 Green onions, sliced
½ c Cilantro, chopped

1 lb Cotija cheese

2 Jalapenos, seeded, chopped
3 Garlic cloves, sliced thinly
½ c Olive oil
½ c Lime juice
6 T Sugar
1 ½ t Salt
1 T Pepper
1 T Cumin
1 t Chili powder
½ t Red pepper flakes

In a large bowl, mix together beans, corn, green onions and cilantro.

In a separate bowl, mix together olive oil, lime juice and the remainder of the ingredients listed.

Make the marinade and mix the vegetables (but not the cheese) and place in separate containers in the refrigerator one day in advance.

The night before the meal, toss the vegetables with the marinade. Cut Cotija cheese into small cubes, and toss gently with marinated vegetables. Cover and refrigerate overnight.


* Final weight after cooked, drained, and cooled. This requires about 6.5 ounces of dried beans per recipe.

** To prepare green beans trim off stem end, cut into 1” sections, drop into boiling water for five minutes, drain and place in bowl of ice water for five minutes, then drain.

Tiziano’s Ristorante Italiano Review

When I travel to the VA metro area for work, I try to find a hotel to stay at that won’t break my wallet.  Little did I know, that this trip I’d stay at a hotel near a wonderful family run Italian restaurant that I would absolutely enjoy.

Tiziano’s Ristorante Italiano is in a small brick building.  It didn’t look like it had much to offer from the outside.  I watched it for a couple of days when I would drive by to see that it looked rather empty.  I was wondering to myself if the place was even open.  One day after work I had such a hankering for Italian cuisine that I thought I’d stop by.  Tim was with me.  We pulled up to the door and saw the open sign.  However, there was one problem we noticed, no one else was there.  The parking lot, which wasn’t that large, was entirely empty.  We both looked at each other and then said to one another, “maybe we should try some place else and the empty parking lot is a sign”.  So that night we did and tried another restaurant.

Although, we had a nice meal that night elsewhere, I kept thinking about this other restaurant.  I wondered why no one was eating there.   Determined to try it out, I talked Tim into coming with me for lunch the next day.  This time when we showed up there were two mini-vans parked in the parking lot.  I thought, “well, this may be a good sign”.  We parked and walked indoors to see this beautiful open restaurant with a bar area, as well as the main dining floor, and a section of dining that was farther in the back and up a few steps.  There was only one other table that I could see that was there while we were.

The dining area had a faint yellow paint on the walls and some very nice paintings hanging from the walls.  My favorite part of the room was the archways.  They were everywhere.  You can see them in the picture below of the main dining room.  You can find this picture and more on their website under “gallery“.

Main Dining Room at Tiziano's

Based on what we saw, it appeared this restaurant was a family owned restaurant.  An older gentleman, who we believe may have been the father, brought us to our table.  A younger woman, who seemed that she may have been the daughter, waited on us during our meal.  Both the host and the waitress made us feel welcomed.  They had heavy Italian accents, which made Tim and I more excited hoping that meant authentic Italian cuisine.

We were not disappointed.  We both ordered from the lunch menu.  I got the fettuccine alfredo (one of my favorites), and Tim got the chicken parmesan.  Our meals included a salad and bread.  The salads and bread were okay.  Nothing terrible, but nothing to really write home about either. One piece of advice would be that the butter could have been more room temperature so it was easier to spread on the bread.  It’s a shame that we didn’t get it with spices and olive oil for dipping.  That would have been lovely to have and would have alleviated the hard butter issue.

Slightly disappointed from the starters, we still felt this quaint restaurant had promise.  When our meals came, we were pleasantly surprised. We were given very generous portions.  I took half of mine home with me.  I thought the alfredo sauce was very light, yet had that nice sharp parmesan taste.  It was creamy and the noodles were cooked perfectly.  Tim’s chicken was nice and moist and he really enjoyed his meal as well.

Now, it has been a couple of months since we went there, and I am now writing up this review.  Looking back at Tim’s and my meal, I remember my meal being very good and remember the creaminess and taste of the alfredo and the noodles being a much better experience than my visit to Vapiano’s (see review for Vapiano’s for more information).  However, Tim remembers liking his meal, but wasn’t blown away.  He doesn’t remember exactly how the tomato sauce was, he thinks it may have been semi-chunky with a touch of pepper, but not much.  I guess this says that we both really did enjoy our meals here, but at the same time, they weren’t so amazing that they stuck with us.  With that being said, would we go here again?  Sure.  The food and service was great and very affordable, our whole check was less than $20 for both of us.  Would we recommend this place to you?  Well, you may not experience an Italian cuisine awakening, but you will get good food.  You just need to come inside and ignore the fact that the parking lot may be empty.  In this case, we learned not to judge this restaurant by its parking lot.