Melissa's Cuisine

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tuna Noodle Casserole

This Tuna Noodle Casserole is a delicious and hearty meal.  It's comfort food at its finest!
Melissa's Cuisine:  Tuna Noodle Casserole
I feel like I've been in a dinner rut for a while.  Mike and I tend to eat a lot of the same meals for dinner every week.  Honestly, it gets a little boring, but it's pretty easy!

A few weeks ago I decided it was time to make something different.  I had some wedges of garlic herb cheese that needed to be used.  After looking through my cupboards I discovered that I had the necessary ingredients for Tuna Noodle Casserole.  While a meal both Mike and I grew up with, I had never prepared it myself.

This meal was simple to make, and quick enough for me to make after work!  Mike and I both really liked the casserole.  In fact, while we were eating, Mike told me I should take pictures for my blog!  So, after dinner I did just that!  I hope you enjoy this meal as much as we did.
Melissa's Cuisine:  Tuna Noodle Casserole
Tuna Noodle Casserole

Serves 6-8


16 ounces (1 box) elbow macaroni noodles
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1-3/4 cups chicken broth
4 wedges garlic herb cheese (Laughing Cow or similar)
1 can mushrooms, drained
1 cup frozen sweet peas
3 cans tuna, drained
2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese

1.  Cook noodles according to box directions until al dente.

2.  Melt the butter in a large saucepan.  Add flour and whisk to form a roux.

3.  Whisk in the milk and chicken broth.  Stir frequently until the sauce begins to thicken.

4.  Add in the cheese wedges and stir until they're melted in.

5.  Add the cooked noodles, mushrooms, sweet peas, and tuna and stir together.

6.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top of individual servings before eating.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Bloggers Brags Weekly Pinterest Party

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My post for Sausage and Egg Breakfast Boat was the most clicked on the last Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party, and so that means that I am the


  and the co-host for the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party this week!    What that means for you is that you are able to link up this week here at Melissa's Cuisine as well as at Creative K Kids and Denverista and OKC Mom of 3!  Link up and tell your friends!  The most clicked link will be the featured blogger next week as well as have the opportunity to be the co-host!  You can go here to see my post!

Melissa's Cuisine:  Sausage and Egg Breakfast Boat
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Rules of the Bloggers Brags Weekly Pinterest Party

  • Be a follower of your hosts and co-hosts.
Pinterest Party Hosts Are... Pictures of the Bloggers Brags Pinterest Party hosts
{Misty @ Denverista (facebook) or twitter or Pinterest or google+}  
{Tammy @ Creative K Kids (facebook) or twitter or Pinterest or google+}
  • Follow this week's Co-hosts: 
cohosts 24 
{Tamara @ OKC Mom of 3 (facebook) or Pinterest or Google+ or Twitter}
      • Pin our Pinterest party button or a visible link onto your sidebar, post, or party page. This will help others to find our party and will bring more visibility to your links! 
Creative K Kids
      • Please make sure that you link directly to your post’s URL and not to your blog’s URL.
      • Pin the two links before yours! If EVERYONE pins, then everyone will get more Pinterest love!
      • Link up a maximum of 3 links. They can be old or new–they’re all new to us, and we want to see them!
      • OPTIONAL: Follow our Bloggers Brags Board on Pinterest. You don’t have to do this; but of course, you’ll want to! We will be pinning all of these links to that board which will also gain more exposure for you! You can find the Bloggers Brags board here.

Here are just a few more details!

      • Whoever receives the most clicks from Monday through Thursday will be featured in the next Bloggers Brags post! Not only will they be featured, but they will be offered the optional opportunity to be a co-host for the week in which they are featured. Everyone that links up will be required to follow the co-host as well as the hosts; and in return, the co-host would be required to add the linky to their blog on the day the linky goes live. So tell your friends and followers to come link up and to visit your blog through your link! 
Creative K Kids
      • Disclosure: By linking up and including a picture, you agree to allow Creative K Kids and Denverista and any co-hosts to use your pictures and links in any future posts. Your photo may also be used for promotion on all social media outlets of Creative K Kids and Denverista as well as any future co-hosts.  We also may link your printables and other resources up to our permanent linkys to gain you more exposure.
      • If you include your e-mail in the linky form below you will be added to a weekly reminder e-mail when the link party goes live. Your e-mail will not to added to any other lists or given out.
      • If you’ve been featured, please grab the featured button below to add some brag to your sidebar!
      • Please do not add any shops, reviews, giveaways or link-up parties.  Links that do not comply may be removed.

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

This decadent chocolate mousse has a surprising list of ingredients! It's rich and chocolately and you'd never guess how healthy it is!
Melissa's Cuisine:  Vegan Chocolate Mousse
One of my favorite things about the Secret Recipe Club is that I get a chance to step out of my comfort zone.  This month I was assigned to a vegan blog, We Heart Vegan.  At first I was a little nervous as a lot of the recipes were way out of my comfort zone.  

However, last week, I took part in a clean eating challenge.  It was an eye-opener for me about how much junk I eat and how easy it is to eat real food.  I thought my diet was fairly healthy, but last week made me realize I have plenty of room for improvement.  Plus, I lost 5 pounds!  Maybe going vegan wouldn't be so bad after all...
Melissa's Cuisine:  Vegan Chocolate Mousse

I love desserts, especially chocolate, so that was one of the hardest parts about my clean eating challenge.  I continued to search Brittany's blog for the perfect recipe and when I came across her recipe for Vegan Chocolate Mousse, I knew I'd found it.  I am using more and more avocados and this was a fun way to incorporate them into my diet again.  I did find some other delicious recipes on We Heart Vegan, and I'm sure I'll be trying a lot of them!

This mousse is smooth and creamy.  It's extremely chocolately, and you'd never know it's made with avocado.  I made mine in my food processor, so I was able to blend the avocado until it was completely smooth.  Brittany gives directions in her original recipe if you don't have a food processor.  I did find the mousse to be quite sweet, so I would recommend cutting the amount of sweetener down.  I used agave nectar instead of coconut nectar because that's what I have in the house.  If you think the mousse may be too sweet, start with a lesser amount and add more if necessary.  Enjoy!

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

Serves 3-4


3 large avocados
1/2 cup agave nectar
5 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla

1.  Remove the flesh from the avocados and cut into cubes.

2.  Place all ingredients in your food processor and puree until smooth.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Source:  We Heart Vegan

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Skinny Brownies

These skinny brownies have just 3 ingredients and come together quickly! You'd never guess they're actually healthy!
Melissa's Cuisine: Skinny Brownies
I love trying new things.  As I mentioned a few weeks ago when I did my Avocado: Tips and Tricks post, avocados are a relatively new-to-me fruit.  I first purchased a few to try as a first food for Summer.  My basic rule of thumb is that if I won't eat it, she doesn't have to.  So I had to try a bit of avocado before giving it to her.  I've had guacamole in the past but I've never been a big fan of it, so I really wasn't expecting to like avocados.  I was pleasantly surprised when I did like them, and I've made a few recipes using avocados since then.

So why am I talking about avocados?  Isn't this a brownie post?  Well, remember I told you this recipe had only 3 ingredients?  One of them is avocado!  The other two are water and a box of brownie mix.  Does water even count?  I love recipes that use a boxed mix because it makes it so easy.  (Like these Lemon Crinkle Cookies!)
Melissa's Cuisine: Skinny Brownies
You just take 2 avocados and mash them up really good.  I used my food processor to make sure there weren't any chunks.  Avocado in brownies is weird enough, but chunks of avocado is brownies, no thank you!  Then mix in a bit of water and the brownie mix.  And that's it!  Pour it into a pan and bake.

These brownies are extremely fudgey!  I think their texture is similar to a Lara bar (if you've had one of those before).  They're dense and gooey.  I opted to store them in the fridge since I wasn't sure how avocado would do sitting out on the counter.  I loved eating the brownies cold.

I would consider these brownies to be pretty healthy.  The fat from the typical eggs and oil is replaced by good fats from the avocado.  A large piece of brownie came out to be just under 200 calories.  I figure that's pretty good for such a decadent snack! 
Melissa's Cuisine: Skinny Brownies

These brownies are skinny, unless you eat half a pan...

Not that I would know or anything!

Skinny Brownies

Makes 1 9x13" pan, about 12 servings

2 avocados (about 1 cup of puree)
1/3 cup water
1 boxed brownie mix

1.  Remove the flesh from the avocado (directions here) and place in your food processor.  Add water and process until smooth.  (If you don't have a food processor, you can also use a blender or mash the avocado with a fork.)

2.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the avocado and brownie mix.  (If your food processor is large enough, you can mix everything in there.)

3.  Pour into a greased 9x13" pan.

4.  Bake a 350 for 27-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownies comes out clean.

Source: JelliBean Journals 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sausage and Egg Breakfast Boat

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so it should be filling and bursting with flavor!  This breakfast boat is stuffed with sausage and eggs and is sure to be a favorite.
Melissa's Cuisine:  Sausage and Egg Breakfast Boat
It's no secret that I love breakfast.  I could eat it every meal of the day.  And sometimes I do!

For instance, this recipe.  I made it for dinner one night.   Then I enjoyed it the next morning for breakfast, and Mike had it for lunch.  That's the beauty of breakfast food, you can eat it for every meal.  Other meals?  Not so much.  Anyone want a stir fry for breakfast?
Melissa's Cuisine:  Sausage and Egg Breakfast Boat
This recipe was inspired by a recipe my friend Becky posted on her blog, Eliorah.  She made an Italian Sausage Boat and was telling me about it one night when we were at their house.  Her husband loved the meal and requested her to make it again.  You know meals are great when your husband can't stop talking about it!

Anyway, as she was telling me about her recipe, I had an idea forming in my head.  Mike and I love breakfast scrambles and I thought a bread boat would be the perfect vessel for a scramble.  It didn't take me long before I made this meal for our dinner.  It came together quickly, which made it a perfect meal after working all day.  I served it with a side of fresh strawberries and it was the perfect breakfast.  Or lunch.  Or dinner...
Melissa's Cuisine:  Sausage and Egg Breakfast Boat
Sausage and Egg Breakfast Boat

Serves 6-8

1 loaf French bread
1 pound breakfast sausage
8 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1.  Cut the center of the loaf of bread out, leaving about 3/4" of bread on the sides.  Set the extra bread aside, you won't need it for this recipe.

2.  Cook breakfast sausage in a large skillet until no longer pink.  Drain grease.

3.  Whisk together eggs and milk.

4.  Pour eggs into the skillet with the sausage and cook until the eggs are scrambled and cooked thoroughly.

5.  Spoon egg and sausage mixture into the hollowed out bread.  Sprinkle with shredded cheese.

6.  Place in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted.  You could also put it under your broiler for 2-3 minutes.

Slice and serve warm.

Inspired by Eliorah.
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