Project Bread Pudding/Pasta etc.

The time has come to launch the shelved Peach-Maple Bread Pudding and the pasta dish project for my friend. Friday it is she reminded me and she's already thinking about how she will surely enjoy eating her food for the weekend. I almost ruined it for her because I got a big ass headache when I got home- it was so bad I almost begged off from my commitment but she's super nice to me and I can't break her heart like that so I thought I'd take a nap first or rest a bit and take it from there.

I did sleep a bit and felt better after an hour. So I started working and began making the bread pudding. It was easy since I'm only making a tray. Oh, I forgot to take a picture of the braided challah which I got from Trader Joe's. I got the round one last time and was surprised to see a braided one and it is so short compared to mine which is over a foot long. But I don't think I'd make challah just to make bread pudding because just the plain challah is awesome already without having to add anything to it. Just a thought! And I also forgot to brush the tops with some preserves to keep the glossy finish. But I did give it an extra drizzle of maple syrup and it worked!

Next comes the pasta dish which I call Baked Three-Cheese Penne with Spicy Italian Sausage. This is her ultimate favorite and I do make it for her whenever she would ask me to. It is penne pasta cooked al dente then tossed in a red sauce which is marinara sauce, spicy Italian sausage, garlic and cream cheese. The mix is then layered in a baking dish or aluminum tray with grated mozzarella and fresh Parmesan cheese in between layers of the pasta- kinda like baked mac effect and then top with more grated cheese before popping it in the oven.

Baked Three-cheese Penne with Spicy Italian Sausage


1 pkg penne pasta (12 oz)
1 can marinara sauce (28 oz)
4 pcs spicy Italian sausage, sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
4 oz cream cheese
2 tbsp sugar
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground pepper

Cook the pasta al dente, drain and set aside (make sure the water is seasoned with salt, about a tablespoon)
Heat a tablespoon of canola or olive oil in non stick skillet or sauce pan over medium heat
Add the Italian sausage and cook till lightly browned
Add the marinara sauce and sugar
Add salt and pepper
Rinse the can with water and add to the sauce
Add the cream cheese and cook until bubbly- don’t worry if the sauce seems a bit thin

The assembly:

Grease the baking dish with butter and canola oil or either one of the two
In a separate bowl, toss the pasta in the sauce-
Spread the first layer at the bottom of the baking dish
Sprinkle grated mozzarella cheese then the parmesan cheese
Top with another layer of pasta mix
Sprinkle anew with the two cheeses
Sprinkle with rough chopped or dried parsley flakes
Bake at 350 degree F until cheese becomes bubbly

I realized I cooked too much pasta and the sauce is just enough for a tray. But you can still turn the left over pasta into another dish as long as you cook it al dente. All you need is some good olive oil, sun dried tomatoes and grated cheese. Just toss them together with cracked black pepper and you have a real quick fix that is so dee-lish. I love the smell of sun dried tomatoes soaked in olive oil as it hits the hot pan. The kitchen started smelling of pizza as I was tossing the pasta with the tomatoes and cheese. So heavenly!

So the mission was accomplished and I was still on baking mode. Snickerdoodle cookies came to mind from out of the blue. I guess I also wanted my friends at work to taste something better than what we had one time we had a catered lunch and it was just not snickedoodle-lish for me. I made some which will definitely please even the pickiest of hearts. These I brought to work to share with them and it was a big hit.

We were at the lounge when one of the girls suggested why don’t we take turns baking something everyday? With my snickerdoodles as sort of the opening salvo and the rest will each have their turn to showcase their culinary expertise ha he... Hmm ... I‘ve been bringing stuff to work and this has not been brought up… you know, taking turns … about time eh? Ha ha ha ha… we’ll see what happens on Monday. Marilyn is scheduled to bring her gourmet cupcakes. Meanwhile, here's the recipe for the cookies.

Snickerdoodle Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp cinnamon


1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2 Cream together butter and sugar.
3 Add in eggs, one at a time, along with vanilla, until well-combined.
4 Mix dry ingredients (flour, salt, soda, cream of tartar) in a separate bowl. Add dry ingredient mix into the wet mix in 2-3 stages.
5 Mix the 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon together in a small bowl.
6 Use your hands to roll dough into little (ping-pong ball-sized) balls.
7 Roll dough-balls in the cinnamon/sugar mixture so they're covered all the way around. Place them on an ungreased cookie sheet, 2 or 3 inches apart.
8 Bake 7 or 8 minutes, no more until they have spread out and have JUST started to turn brown. Remove from cookie sheets and place cookies on cooling rack to cool completely.


  1. how many snickerdoodles does the recipe make?
    and did you press the cookies down before you baked them? :D

  2. I made them bigger so I think I only made 3 dozens and no, I didn't press the cookies down and you don't have to because they flatten as they bake.

  3. Can I have the recipe to the Three-Cheese Penne with Spicy Italian Sausage? Thanks :)

  4. I updated the post with the recipe for you. And you're welcome :-)


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