Family Day Dinner: Pepperoni Pizza Pasta Skillet and Caramel Apple Nachos



pepperoni pizza pasta skillet

The fourth Monday every September is Family Day – A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Family.  This recipe was created in conjunction with Kansas Family Partnership to promote this special day and the important message it brings.  Dinner with your family DOES, in fact, make a big difference.  Statistics show that consistently spending just a mere 10 minutes a week with our family around the dinner table helps ensure that our kids are much less likely to smoke, do drugs or drink alcohol.  It’s also been proven to me that kids who have ownership in CREATING dinner are much more likely to be interested in EATING dinner.  That said, these two recipes are perfect for getting the kiddos into the kitchen to help you crank it out – all you basically need is a skillet and a platter to make the magic happen! 

Pepperoni Pizza Pasta Skillet
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 lb. Italian pork sausage
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 cups penne pasta, cooked according to package directions, drained
28 oz. pizza sauce
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 cup sliced mushrooms, if desired
1/3 cup pepperoni pieces, sliced
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet (I like to use my 12″ cast iron skillet) over medium high heat, cook onion and garlic with beef, sausage and Italian seasonings until cooked throughout and no pink remains; drain fats.  Reduce heat to medium; add pasta to the skillet, along with pizza sauce, chicken broth, mushrooms and pepperoni pieces, tossing gently to combine.  Simmer until hot throughout, then top with cheeses and serve at once.

caramel apple nachos

Caramel Apple Nachos
This recipe came from Skip To My Lou blog and my family has fallen in love with it; I’ve adapted it slightly to our liking. 

3 Granny Smith apples, or substitute your Fall favorite, I also like Jonathon, each one sliced into 12-16 equal slices
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/3 cup granola crumbles
2 Tbs. mini chocolate chips
In a small bowl, place peanut butter and 2 Tbs. caramel topping; microwave for a few seconds to warm, then combine well.  Meanwhile, layer apple slices onto a serving platter, overlapping as you go.  Drizzle warmed peanut butter caramel sauce over over apples, then immediately top with granola and chocolate chips.  Serve at once.  *Note:  If there’s a wait time before you can serve this dish, be sure to toss the apple slices in a bit of lemon juice to prevent browning.

Now You’re Cookin’,
Chef Alli

family day

Nicole Stejskal, Communications Coordinator, Kansas Family Partnership, joining me and Chris Fisher, WIBW 13 News This Morning, Sept. 2014

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