Tag Archives: Pasta

Skip the Check with These 10 Cheesecake Factory Copycat Recipes

by Jennifer Wieland
Skip the check with these 10 Cheesecake Factory copycat recipes.

Let’s be honest. Enjoying a meal out at a nice restaurant with food that you love is a real treat for anyone who is the cook in the family. Being able to have a night off while others do all the prep work, cooking, serving and clean up is a nice, little treat. What I don’t like though is when they set the check down after the meal. It inevitably makes me think, I could have made this for so much less at home. Now you can have the best of both worlds. You can get the restaurant meals you love without the check at the end of the meal with these 10 Cheesecake Factory Copycat Recipes.

With a menu packed full of so many food options Cheesecake Factory is a favorite place with my family because everyone can always find something they want. Whether you want a hearty sandwich, a pasta dish, some meat or lighter, healthier fare they have it. The menu is so extensive that just trying to pick a dessert can be mind-boggling. 

Our local Cheesecake Factory is in a shopping mall. After our shopping trips we’ll often just pop in to grab a slice of cheesecake or one of their other decadent desserts. If you’ve never been to Cheesecake Factory one of the best things about it is all of their delicious desserts. This list of Cheesecake Factory copycat recipes does not disappoint! Now you can have all your favorites anytime you want them. 

Skip the check with these 10 Cheesecake Factory copycat recipes. 
Click the links below for delicious Cheesecake Factory Recipes

Reeses Butterfinger Cheesecake Bars – Tastes of Lizzy T

Sweet Corn Tamale Cakes Recipe – Food Folks and Fun

Cheesecake Factory’s Copycat Brown Bread – Living Sweet Moments

Chessescake Factory Copycat Pumpkin Cheesecake – The Jenny Revolution

Peanut Butter Lover Cheesecake Bars – The Tiptoe Fairy

Copycat Spicy Cashew Chicken – The Chunky Chef

Cheesecake Factory Fried Macaroni and Cheese – Midget Momma

Santa fe Salad with Cilantro Lime Peanut Vinaigrette – Gimme Some Oven

Classic Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce – Olivia’s Cuisine

Cheesecake Factory Chocolate Cheesecake Clone – Homemade Hooplah

Hopefully this list has hit all the right spots for all of you Cheesecake Factory fans out there. 

LCHF Italian Meatballs

by Jennifer Wieland
LCHF Italian Meatballs


With the New Year last month I like many decided to work on getting healthy and making better choices where my food was concerned. With numerous medical problems and being overweight I researched what would be best to not so much lose weight but get my health on track and if I got lucky maybe lose weight as well. Through friends and online research I decided to try the LCHF or Keto diet. This was a huge change for my carbohydrate, sugar junkie self as evidenced by my copious dessert recipes on this blog alone. I have found that I REALLY love this way of living but once in a while you just want some good old-fashioned comfort food. So, with no bread or pasta I decided to make myself some tender, delicious LCHF Italian Meatballs. I get all of the comfort of a meatball sandwich or a big bowl of pasta without all of the carbs to sabotage me. 

LCHF Italian Meatballs

To make these meatballs LCHF friendly I booted out the bread and breadcrumbs from traditional meatballs and loaded them with delicious fat from loads of dairy. Then frying them in oil just adds more of that wonderful fat! Then let them finish cooking and absorb great flavor in Ragu Light Tomato & Basil No Sugar Added Pasta Sauce to make it better. 

LCHF Italian Meatballs

It’s nice to know that you can get a jar pasta sauce from Ragu that caters to those that are trying to eliminate sugar from their lives. Did you also know that Ragu sauces are slowly simmered to add layers of flavor. There is no artificial flavors and no high fructose corn syrup. The ingredients are all farm grown and this is all done at an affordable price!

LCHF Italian Meatballs

LCHF Italian Meatballs
Serves 6
Ricotta Cheese replaces breadcrumbs and heavy cream instead of eggs making these meatballs filled with fat. Cook in a sugar-free sauce to cut carbs further.
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274 calories
6 g
65 g
19 g
18 g
7 g
122 g
309 g
3 g
1 g
10 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 274
Calories from Fat 173
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 19g
Saturated Fat 7g
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 9g
Cholesterol 65mg
Sodium 309mg
Total Carbohydrates 6g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 3g
Protein 18g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1 lb. grass-fed ground beef
  2. 1/4 c. whole milk ricotta cheese (well drained)
  3. 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
  4. 2 tbsp. heavy whipping cream
  5. 2 tsp. garlic paste
  6. 1 tsp. onion powder
  7. 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  8. 1/2 tsp. pepper
  9. 2 tbsp. olive oil
  10. 2 c. Ragu Light Tomato & Basil No Sugar Added Pasta Sauce
  1. Combine the meat, cheeses, cream, garlic paste and seasonings in a bowl. Mix by hand until well combined. Do not over mix.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium-low heat. Once the oil is hot use a cookie scooper to scoop the meat mixture out and roll into balls. Brown the meatballs. Be careful because these meatballs are more delicate since they are made with dairy instead of bread or breadcrumbs. Once the meatballs are browned on all sides pour the sauce into the pot. Stir to combine and then lower the heat to low and cover the pot.
  1. You can let the meatballs simmer in the entire jar but remember you don't want to use more than 1/4 of the sauce while eating to keep your carbs in check.
My Sweet Sanity https://mysweetsanity.com/
LCHF Italian Meatballs

For more information on all of the varieties of Ragu Pasta Sauces and where to buy them be sure to check out their website. 



Spicy Meat Sauce with Barilla® Spaghetti

by Jennifer Wieland
Spicy Meat Sauce with Barilla® Spaghetti



As a mom I absolutely love cooking for my family but what I love even more than that is every chance I get to cook with my kids. Spending time with them while having the chance to create precious memories and great food is something I will treasure for always and that I hope they will too. For my Mother’s Day dinner this year I wanted pasta and my two youngest boys have been really into cooking lately. They want me to show them how to cook and bake everything that I make. I love that they are learning a new life skill, improving their math skills and learning the science behind food all at the same time. So this afternoon we made my favorite Spicy Meat Sauce with Barilla® Spaghetti.

Spicy Meat Sauce

This sauce has been an evolution over the years. It’s taken me playing around, experimenting and trial and error until it’s become what it is now. Making this sauce is just a few simple steps and so worth the effort. Both my husband and I love our pasta to have a little heat to it while still being edible for the kids. I know to a lot of people making your own sauce seems intimidating but it’s really easy to do and this recipe makes enough for 2-3 meals depending on the size of your family.

Spicy Meat Sauce with Barilla® Spaghetti

My boys were so proud of how well their effort came together today! As their mom I love being able to pass down stuff I love to them so that someday they can share these recipes with their families. Traditions like this are what makes being a mom so special!

Spicy Meat Sauce with Barilla® Spaghetti

Spicy Meat Sauce
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3906 calories
156 g
663 g
304 g
152 g
102 g
2619 g
8892 g
100 g
1 g
182 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 3906
Calories from Fat 2736
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 304g
Saturated Fat 102g
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 38g
Monounsaturated Fat 144g
Cholesterol 663mg
Sodium 8892mg
Total Carbohydrates 156g
Dietary Fiber 28g
Sugars 100g
Protein 152g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 2 tbsp. olive oil
  2. 1 ¾ lbs. Hot Italian sausage, without casing
  3. 1/2 c. onion, finely chopped
  4. 2 oz. Pepperoni slices, quartered
  5. 3 garlic cloves, minced
  6. 2 6 oz. Cans of tomato paste
  7. 1 15 oz. Can of tomato sauce
  8. 1 28 oz. Can of crushed tomatoes
  9. 1 1/2 c. water
  10. 2 tbsp. Sugar
  11. 1 ½ tsp. Basil
  12. ½ tsp. Fennel
  13. 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  14. ½ tsp. Oregano
  15. ½ tsp. Salt
  16. ¼ tsp. Pepper
  17. 1/2 tsp. Red pepper flakes
  1. Add the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven. Brown the Italian sausage and onion over medium-high heat. Once the meat is almost brown and the onions are turning translucent drain the fat and ad the pepperoni and garlic. Continue stirring frequently so that the pepperoni and garlic do not burn. Cook for a minute or two. Add the tomato paste, tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes. Stir to combine. Add in the water, sugar and seasonings. Bring the sauce to a boil and then lower the heat to low and cover. Continue to cook on low for 2 hours stirring occasionally. If the sauce thickens up to much add another ½ cup of water.
  2. Use the sauce in your favorite pasta dish or store in air tight containers in your freezer until ready to use. Defrost frozen sauce in the refrigerator overnight and then heat through on the stove.
My Sweet Sanity https://mysweetsanity.com/
If you love a little heat in your meals then this is the meat sauce for your pasta. All you have to do is run into your local Walmart and grab the ingredients to make this sauce and some Barilla® pasta to serve it on and you will have one great meal to share with your loved ones.



This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Barilla. The opinions and text are all mine.


A Mother’s Day Dinner – Barilla® Spaghetti with Chipotle Ground Beef and Cotija

by Jennifer Wieland
Barilla® Spaghetti with Chipotle Ground Beef and Cotija a spicy way to celebrate mom with some fusion cooking.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Barilla. The opinions and text are all mine.



I love celebrating Mother’s Day! As a child I used to go to the florist a block down and buy my mom some flowers I picked out and bought with my money. I smile every time I get a hand-picked bouquet from my yard from my kids. I love getting the homemade cards and school projects or the calls from the older ones to tell me they’re thinking of me. Mother’s Day is a truly special day for moms and mother figures everywhere. So celebrate them with a Mother’s Day dinner made by you. This ​Barilla® Spaghetti with Chipotle Ground Beef and Cotija is a perfectly easy way to cook a meal for that special mom in your life.

My paternal grandma was Mexican, my paternal great-grandma was Creole and my maternal grandma was Irish who married a Sicilian man and learned to cook Italian for him. We would spend holidays when I was growing up loading up in the car and driving into the city to see my paternal grandma and great-grandma. They would always have food ready and we’d eat tamales or molé and then head upstairs and have some Creole food. We’d follow that up with a drive back towards our house and to my maternal grandma’s house. She’d make the best lasagna with homemade gravy and sfinghis with us kids for dessert. I was so excited to find this recipe from Barilla®! For me this ​Barilla® Spaghetti with Chipotle Ground Beef and Cotija is a great way to honor all of them. It has the flavors of Mexico with the heat of Creole cooking and the pasta of Italy.

 Barilla® Spaghetti with Chipotle Ground Beef and Cotija a spicy way to celebrate mom with some fusion cooking.


1 Pkg, Barilla Spaghetti

1 Tbsp, Extra virgin olive oil

1 Lb. Ground Beef

½ Can, Chili Chipotle

1 Can (28oz) Crushed Tomatoes

Salt and pepper to taste

½ Cup, diced Poblano (optional)

½ Cup, cotija cheese

Barilla® Spaghetti with Chipotle Ground Beef and Cotija a spicy way to celebrate mom with some fusion cooking.


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, meanwhile sauté beef in olive oil for 4-5 minutes or until browned and crumbled.

Barilla® Spaghetti with Chipotle Ground Beef and Cotija a spicy way to celebrate mom with some fusion cooking.

Add the chipotle and poblano sauté for 1 minute. (I puree them in the food processor.)

Barilla® Spaghetti with Chipotle Ground Beef and Cotija a spicy way to celebrate mom with some fusion cooking.

Add the crushed tomatoes, 1 cup of water and season with salt and pepper; simmer for 3-4 minutes.

Barilla® Spaghetti with Chipotle Ground Beef and Cotija a spicy way to celebrate mom with some fusion cooking.

Cook the pasta according to the package directions, drain and toss with the hot sauce, top with the cheese before serving.

Barilla® Spaghetti with Chipotle Ground Beef and Cotija a spicy way to celebrate mom with some fusion cooking.

 If the moms in your life love food with a kick then this will be a hit and it’s so quick and easy to make anyone can make mom a great meal! Ready to make it yourself? Then head to your local Walmart store and pick up some Barilla® pasta.


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Barilla. The opinions and text are all mine.



End of the School Year and Cookouts

by Jennifer Wieland

I know I have been majorly slacking here on the blog. Don’t worry though, I have been slacking everywhere in my life as well. It’s truly not that I am being lazy. I have been trying. It has just been really hard with so many family birthdays, the end of the school year and well I have been sick. I have been hanging out a great deal in doctor’s offices, hospitals and labs. It sucks and whatever is wrong with me leaves me barely functioning half the time. Hopefully, they get it all pieced together soon though so the kids have a somewhat enjoyable summer. I am having a good week so far this week and have been working on some things to get posted. With the explanations out-of-the-way. Let’s jump into what this post is all about.

The Christmas holiday and the end of the school year cause me to panic. You see my three youngest need gifts for school staff. This year one needed seven, one needed five and last needed three. They all have teachers, aides, therapists and social workers that need a treat for all they do but this year I wanted to be able to give the kids a chance to hand out a little something to their friends in class as a farewell. So I needed to come up with an inexpensive gift for their friends that was not just candy or something similar. I wanted it to be something they could use this summer to be creative. I got a really great deal on cases of construction paper earlier in the school year. So I still had a full case that hadn’t even been opened yet. I also had pencils that I got on clearance at Target for 75% off and 4 packs of crayons that came in an 8 pack for $2. I had to get some curling ribbon to assemble and had to create a cute little tag that I could attach to all of the gifts. The tags I made came out nice.

OwlYou can click the link below to get the printable version.

Owl Miss You Printable

Now that the kids are out of school and summer is fully upon us, I am going to take a break today from baking and head into the land of cooking. I love baking. It is a true joy to me. Cooking however, not so much. You see cooking is a mandatory chore. Which makes it work which means it is automatically less fun. I do however cook though because I must. I thought I would share two of my favorite recipes. One is for a pasta salad from Kraft that I have been making for years. When I go somewhere and ask if I can bring anything people always ask for this pasta salad and desserts. It is really yummy and different from standard ones as it uses tortellini for the pasta. I usually make it at least 4-6 hours in advance because it tastes better when the flavors have time to marry. The recipe can be found here on the Kraft website.

The other recipe I want to share with you is for my Italian chicken burgers. These are a nice addition to any cookout as they are not your standard fare. This is a burger made with ground chicken and topped with fresh mozzarella, marinara sauce and basil. While this is just as filling as a beef burger it is a lighter alternative.

Pasta Salad and Italian Chicken Burger

Italian Chicken Burger
makes four 1/4 burgers

1 lb. ground chicken
3/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp italian seasoning
1/2 tsp oregano
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
fresh mozzarella cheese
your favorite marinara sauce, heated
fresh basil, sliced into ribbons
4 buns/rolls, toasted

Preheat grill or grill pan.

In a large bowl combine the first six ingredients and mix using your hands. Form into four patties using your hands or a hamburger press. Cook burgers completely through, about 10-20 minutes. Cover them with a slice of fresh mozzarella cheese and allow to melt. Remove from grill or grill pan and place on bun. Top with marinara sauce and basil and enjoy.

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