Sweet Baked Life

my sweet journey through life…


Creamy Fettuccini Carbonara {with bacon and peas}

Easy and comforting — this Creamy Fettuccini Carbonara is the perfect weeknight dinner to make for your hungry family!

Creamy Fettuccini Carbonara with peas and bacon!

I know, I know, usually around here I’m chatting-it-up about sweets, but it so happens that I do make other things! I love pasta and with that being said, I have a hubby and growing teen that need nourishing from real food from time-to-time, so thought I would share this recipe with you today!

You see, I’m always looking for easy weeknight meals. Since I tend to work long hours at my “day” job, planning something to make for dinner is sometimes challenging.

The hubby craves long and involved, sometimes complicated, but always delicious meals. I love those too, however I just don’t have the time or the energy during my normal week. So in my quest to find a dish that we all like, is simple but taste great, I stumbled across this a carbonara recipe and decided to give it my twist and try it out on my family.

Creamy Fettuccini Carbonara with peas and bacon!

This Creamy Fettuccini Carbonara is really simple — you start by boiling some pasta, then you cook up some bacon (can’t go wrong here), throw together some eggs, Parmesan cheese, half and half, and then toss in some peas and the cooked bacon and you’re done!

Now, this is my kind of meal! And my family agreed – it was great!

It’s creamy with a bit of crunch from the bacon and freshness from the peas! Pure deliciousness in a bowl!

Creamy Fettuccini Carbonara with peas and bacon!

Creamy Fettuccini Carbonara {with bacon and peas}

1 pound Fettuccini
8 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch thick pieces
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
4 large eggs
1-1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup cooked peas

Add water to a large pot and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat, stir occasionally and cook until crisp. Remove bacon from skillet with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with a paper towel.

When the water reaches a rapid boil, generously salt the water, add the pasta and cook until al dente, approximately 10 minutes, or according to your package directions.

While the pasta is cooking, to a large bowl add the eggs, 1 cup of the Parmesan, and the half-and-half. Whisk until well combined.

Drain the pasta, and immediately add the pasta to the egg mixture and toss until well coated (note the heat from the pasta will cook the eggs). Then add the bacon and peas, and season with salt and pepper, and then gently toss again. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

Creamy Fettuccini Carbonara with peas and bacon!

Get your water boiling — time to treat your tummy to this fresh and delicious Creamy Fettuccini Carbonara!



{recipe adapted from Martha Stewart}



Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Squares

Warm, cheesy and yummy! These Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Squares are one of my all-time favorite, super easy, go-to dinner recipes.

Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Squares | Simple and delicious! | Sweet Baked LIfe

If you are looking for the perfect week night meal to prepare for your family — look no further. This recipe literally takes 5 minutes to assemble and 1 hour to bake. The outcome is super tasty and just as satisfying! I only wish all dinners could be this easy to prepare.

This one-dish wonder incorporates soft white corn tortillas layered with succulent chicken, tangy cheese, smooth sour cream, mild green salsa and roasted chiles and baked to a golden perfection. Once you take a bite of this spicy and creamy concoction you’ll be hooked.

To make this recipe even easier to prepare, use a store-bought roasted chicken. I do have to admit, I make this as often as possible — the flavor combination and simplicity win me over every time!

And with any leftovers, I pack them up into single serving pieces and bring with me to the office for a delicious lunch. All you have to do is just zap it in the microwave for a minute or so and your set. So perfect for me, as my husband usually will not eat leftovers!

A great, quick dinner! Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Squares | Sweet Baked Life

Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Squares

2 cups shredded or chopped cooked chicken (you can use a store-bought roasted chicken)
1 cup sour cream
1 cup green salsa
1 (4 oz.) can fire roasted diced chiles
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups shredded cheese (I use the Mexican blend)
8 corn tortillas, cut into quarters
Cilantro, for garnish

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 11×9-inch baking dish with non-stick spray and set aside.

In a large bowl combine the chicken, sour cream, green salsa, chiles, cumin and 1 cup of cheese. Mix  until well combined.

In the baking dish, layer 1/2 of the tortillas, overlapping slightly, then spoon 1/2 of the mixture over tortillas and spread evenly and top with 1/2 cup of cheese. Repeat once ending with the cheese.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for another 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbling. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before cutting into squares. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with additional green salsa and sour cream.

You can even prepare these Cheesy Chicken Tortilla Squares in the morning, put into your refrigerator and when you get home from work or after a busy day, pop the dish into the oven and you’ll have a home-cooked meal for your family to enjoy in no-time!



{recipe adapted from Layered Mexican Chicken with Corn Tortillas, Shape Magazine, June 1999}


Orange Chicken

Thinking about take-out tonight? Maybe you should re-think that! As I’ve got the perfect alternative — easy and sweet Orange Chicken. Just like the stuff you get at your favorite Chinese restaurant; only much better in my opinion!

Orange Chicken

My family is crazy about Orange Chicken. What about yours? But sometimes I get tired of the same old food, from the same old restaurants, and feeling the same way after eating there — full and bloated. So, I decided to make a more healthy version of our favorite Chinese dish at home.

Orange Chicken

You start by cutting up some chicken, lightly coating it, then you let it sizzle to golden perfection it in a bit of oil. After it gets nice and browned, you pour over a delicious orange and soy sauce concoction, let it simmer. While it’s cooking make some sticky white rice and your set.

Orange Chicken

Orange Chicken

For the chicken
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil

For the Orange Sauce
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
zest of 1 large orange
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Garnish: green onions, sliced, sesame seeds, and red pepper flakes

In a medium bowl mix the flour, cornstarch, salt and pepper and stir until combined. Start by placing your chicken pieces, a few at a time, into the flour mixture and coat using your hands. Shake off any excess and place the chicken pieces on a platter. Repeat until all of the chicken is coated.

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken — make sure you have a large enough pan so that the chicken is in one layer. Let brown on one side, and then turn to get the other side browned and cooked through. This takes about 3-5 minutes per side.

As the chicken is cooking make the sauce: in a medium bowl, whisk together the orange juice, orange zest, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, cornstarch and ginger.

When the chicken is done, pour the orange sauce over the cooked chicken and stir to combine. Bring to a boil and let cook for about 1-2 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from heat and serve immediately over rice. Garnish with green onions, sesame seeds and red pepper flakes.

I’m sure your family will love this Orange Chicken — it’s pure sweet deliciousness for dinner!



(recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven)


Meat Lover Lasagna

It’s raining. It’s pouring. Do you know what that means around my house? Yep, time to make some comfort food. Get ready to turn up your oven and bake some easy and hearty Meat Lover Lasagna while the storm brews outside!

Meat Lover Lasagna

There is nothing better to do on a cold rainy weekend than snuggling up with your family in your warm and cozy home. For us we hung out while watching movies, beheld the beautiful roaring fire as it heated our home and of course craved all things comforting as the pitter-patter of the rain beat against our windows. So making this Meat Lover Lasagna was the perfect fit. It’s loaded with cheese and meat, it’s super easy to prepare as you use no-boil noodles, and each bite will satisfy everyone!

Meat Lover Lasagna-2

Meat Lover Lasagna

1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. Italian sausage, casings removed
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped and divided
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
8 oz. ricotta cheese
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
9-12 no-bake lasagna noodles
1 can (29 oz.) tomato sauce
8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 13×9-inch baking pan with non-stick spray and set aside.

To a large skillet over medium heat add sausage and ground beef and cook until browned; this will take about 15 minutes. Then add 1 tablespoon of the chopped basil and diced tomatoes and heat through for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a medium bowl add the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon chopped basil, egg, salt and pepper. Mix well.

To assemble the lasagna, first pour a layer of tomato sauce over the bottom of your dish, arrange about 3-4 lasagna noodles over sauce, then pour another layer of the tomato sauce and top with about 1/2 of the meat mixture, top with 3/4 of the sliced mozzarella cheese, then place 3-4 lasagna noodles on the top. Pour a layer of the tomato sauce, then add the ricotta mixture and top with 3-4 lasagna noodles and pour a  layer of tomato sauce. Top with the remaining meat filling and top with the remaining sliced mozzarella cheese and the shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheeses.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes, then remove foil and continue baking until cheese and lasagna are bubbling. Let stand for about 10 minutes, and then cut into squares. Garnish with a bit of grated Parmesan and cheddar cheeses.

Meat Lover Lasagna-1

Get yourself a big helping of this Meat Lover Lasagna and enjoy the moments of winter with your family!


(recipe adapted from A Sweet Pea Chef)