CEiMB: Four Cheese Baked Penne

by DanicasDaily on February 2, 2011

Happy Hump Day everyone!  Do you ever just have “blonde” moments?  (Since I am blonde, I am totally allowed to say that!)  I woke up this morning thinking it was Thursday and even told The Husband as I was leaving, “Yeah!!! only one more day with the alarm.” He looked at me like I was crazy, but, didn’t say anything.

Then, when, I got to work, I proceeded to email, not one, but TWO co-workers asking about our meetings today.  They both let me know our meetings were TOMORROW/Thursday, not today.

You would think it would stop there when I realized it’s Wednesday….oh, no, about an hour later I caught myself about to “wish” my good friend good luck at her THURSDAY Weight Watcher meeting LOL…..

Most of the day was pretty normal after that until while I was cooking dinner tonight, I thought, OHHHHH, I should prep dinner for tomorrow.  “Wouldn’t a Friday Night” Chipotle party be fun?!?! OMG……

Let’s just hope tomorrow, I don’t think it’s Friday….wishful thinking maybe…..LOL!

Today’s breakfast includes another AWESOME IDEA you all gave me when I posted my Trader Joe’s Favorite’s list.

Hello ~ Spicy Ranchero Egg White Salad!


I typically stay away from TJ’s prepared salads because the stats are not usually great…..


But this salad is only 1 point+ for HALF and 3 Points+ for the entire container!


I was originally going to have this on top of mixed greens, but, this morning I really wanted eggs.

Totally the first time I’ve ever had a Breakfast Egg Salad Sandwich!


2 slices TJ’s FF Multi-Grain Breand (3 points+)

1/2 Container TJ’s Spicy Egg White Salad (1 point+)

Starbuck’s Dirty Latte (4 points+)….the last of my birthday & Christmas gift cards Sad smile


Cut in half ~ Diagonally!  DELICIOSO!!!  The spice in the egg salad totally reminds me of Trader Joe’s Jalapeno and Cheddar Pub Cheese.  I’d totally eat this again.


I LOVE California and sunshine! That is what I was thinking of all day long.  It was in the 70’s today and I headed out for a nice long walk soaking in my Vitamin D.  I couldn’t wait to dig into lunch when I got back.

Spicy Asian Slaw (1 point+) ~ I could honestly eat an entire bag of this stuff and I, at times, am totally known to lick my bowl when no one is looking.  Just sayin’ Winking smile


Yesterday one of my AWESOME readers gave me a great idea for how to use up our leftover Crockpot BBQ Pulled Pork.  I almost instantly knew I HAD to have it as soon as she said it.

OMG ~ Insanely delicious and I already know I HAVE TO have this again tomorrow!


Would you laugh if you knew I actually took my cheese grater to work so I could “finely” shred the cheese for these?! Open-mouthed smile

* 2 Corn Tortillas (2 points+)

* 1/4 cup “refried” black beans (2 points+)

* 1/3 cup Leftover BBQ Pulled Pork (3 points+)

* 1/2 oz shredded Pepper Jack Cheese (1 point+)



The Husband hasn’t finished decorating everything with our “Caribbean Theme” (since we were married there!) but he said I can give you all an update now that we have painted and put the new floor in.

When I got home our new Living Room furniture arrived!  I wish you all could see it up close and personal ~ it’s so cool!  The wood is distressed (not perfect) and that would be colored slate rocks up top.


The Husband picked out this crazy patterned throw rug to go on top of our new floors!


I LOVE it!  We didn’t get to see the coffee or end table except for in the catalog until today. 


I know he has some pretty cool ideas planned still ~ artwork, painted book shelves, etc.  Every place we travel we buy some type of hand made craft or art, so it’s going to look so cool when we are all done.

Dinner tonight was this week’s Craving Ellie in My Belly Recipe.  This week’s host was Lindsey of 71 Cookbooks.  I pretty much knew as soon as she picked Ellie’s Four Cheese Baked Penne, we were making it.


It’s a pretty simple recipe.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Start off by sautéing 1 medium chopped onion in 2 tsp Olive Oil over medium until softened, about 5 minutes.


Add 4 cloves of minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds.


Add in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper flakes, sea salt and pepper.  Stir to combine and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.


Meanwhile, cook your pasta al dente, about 2 minutes less than the package says.  I cooked mine for 8 minutes.


Mix together your cheeses ~ Ricotta, Cottage Cheese, Mozzarella and chopped basil or parsley.


Drain your pasta and add to your sauce mixture.  Stir to combine.


Stir in your cheeses….next time I’d use the noodle boiling stock pot because I had noodles flying everywhere in my sauce pan Smile


Pour into your prepared 9 x 13 dish and top with more CHEESE (mozzarella & parmesan).  I think next time, I’d LOVE to use Mozzarella Balls instead of shredded because it’s fun to find big hunks of melty, gooey, cheese balls.


Bake for about 20 minutes or until heated through.  Her recipe says 30 minutes and I think that was too much for my oven.  I pulled mine out at 25 minutes.


This recipe makes HUGE portions as in 1/6th of the pan or 2 1/2 cups at 14 points+ each.  You could save on points+ and cut it into 1/8th.

The Husband LOVED this and I think it’s pretty tasty too.  I think the leftovers tomorrow will be even better. You can click HERE to get the full recipe.


I really wanted garlic bread too but since the pasta dish was so high in points+ we kept it simple with salads topped with Fat Free Italian (1 point+)



* I am so EXCITED to share my SUPER BOWL LIST with you all!  I have a few more recipes to calculate (because I am including points+ for ALL of them) and will be posting in the AM!

* TODAY I GOT TO BE A CHO-LEBRITY as part of the Chobani Nothing But Good Recipe ChallengeCheck out the other COOL Bloggers I got to cook with ~ FUN!




Have you ever had a “blonde” moment?  If so, spill it!

Ummm, I probably have too many to list, but, today’s above, tops the charts because I am still pretty sure it’s Thursday looking for what’s on TV Winking smile

Night all!

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Christin@purplebirdblog February 2, 2011 at 11:28 pm

Oh my God… I would totally load up on Lactaid to eat that lovely pasta bake… drooling over here!


Josie February 2, 2011 at 11:42 pm

I am soo making this penne!! except half would have not cheese since my hubby DOES NOT eat cheese!! Wonder how we have been together almost 23 yrs??!! LMAO..My blonde moment….I use to be blonde up until last year was when I had my car keys ( we have 2 cars) I drove the small car and took the other off the ring put it into the center consl…got out flick the lock and as soon as the door snapped shut I relized I had the WRONG keys!! I ahd locked them in car!! I had to get to work called triple A they unlocked it.. DUH!!


Runeatrepeat February 3, 2011 at 1:44 am

I get that TJ’s Ranchero Egg salad all the time. LOVE it! Although, it kind of makes me crazy to even hear the points since it takes me back to a bad place. Boo.

Anyways, I also love their Spinach dip! Heck, I like everything :)


Lauren February 3, 2011 at 4:35 am

The new furniture looks great! We are currently in the market for new living room furniture. We have the sofa but I need the coffee and end tables. Where did you say you got yours?


sherry February 3, 2011 at 4:41 am

Oh, yeah, dinner tonigh-penne bake!!
I am so going to TJ’s today, even if I have to hike 25miles to get there!!
My broccoli slaw has been in the fridge all week w/out dressing, and well i LOVE broccoli anyway I could get it . (never was a picky eater here :-)


Leah February 3, 2011 at 4:48 am

That pasta looks delicious!!!! I moved from nj to Florida, no trader joes here:(. Planning to drive to nj this summer can’t wait to hit trader joes


Chaya February 3, 2011 at 5:55 am

Beautiful photos. Making me hungry.


Casey February 3, 2011 at 7:08 am

Goodmorning Danica!

A few days ago I saw your waffle sandwich that you had for breakfast one day, so I bought the Kashi waffles. This morning I wanted something a little more filling than peanut butter. This might be something you already do, but just incase you don’t I wanted to share because it was SO GOOD! I toasted the waffles, and while they were toasting I mixed 1/2C. Fage 0% plain yogurt, splenda, vanilla, and cinnamon. Split the mix between the two waffles= 5PointsPlus DELICIOUS breakfast:) I hope you enjoy!


Gwen February 3, 2011 at 7:54 am

This looks SOOO tastey! I am going to make it for my MIL while she visits for the next week!


Lisa G. February 3, 2011 at 8:27 am

OMG, the spicy ranchero egg white salad from TJ’s sounds wonderful. I will definitely have to get a container next time I shop at TJ’s. YUM! <3


Green Dog Wine February 3, 2011 at 8:39 am

That’s the second kick @$$ TJ’s thing I’ve seen today, that’s “new to me” – I’ve got to get my hands on that egg salad!!!!!!!!!! :) Thanks for the tip sister – hope you are doing well!


deb February 3, 2011 at 9:04 am

The rug is phenomenal with the new coffee table!

I LOVE TJ’s egg white salad. Try it with TJ’s sprouted rye bread…only
TWO (2!!) POINTS for two huge slices and its texture, taste & size are amazing.
Great toasted, great plain: my new go to bread.

My VERY favorite frozen waffle is Van’s 97% FF apple or blueberry or berry
waffles. I can only finish one with two scrambled egg whites for breakfast.
The combination of waffle (sweet) with egg whites (protein) keeps me satisfied the entire morning!

bon appetit!


mary (what's cookin' with mary) February 3, 2011 at 9:24 am

I really love that egg salad…. a couple years ago i was totally addicted. lol.

YES, I have total blonde moments!!!! A few weeks ago I needed to make a Trader Joe’s run. I grabbed my purse, my water bottle, shopping list and keys and hit the road. I did all of my shopping (a whole cart full!) and got to the check stand…. I happened to put the beer up in the front and the guy asked for my ID (I’m 29 – ty checker guys lol!) and reached in my purse… NOT THERE! AHHH! I left it in my gym bag from earlier this morning ?! He looked at me and I looked up at him with wide eyes and told him the bad news… There was a LONG line behind me and they were not too happy. He kindly took my whole cart and put it in the walk in fridge till I got back with my wallet. SHEESH! When I burst in the door at home my husband was like, ‘where’s to groceries’ and I had to tell him I forgot my wallet… he asked how someone does that and I pointed at my hair HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.


Lindy February 3, 2011 at 9:26 am

The spicy ranchero egg white salad sandwich looks delish! I always love new ideas for breakfast. The penne bake dinner recipe is def going on my collection. Love all the inspiring ideas.


Sarah February 3, 2011 at 10:51 am

That pasta bake looks absolutely drool-worthy.


Loser Girl February 3, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Wow, that pasta looks so good! I miss having bread with pasta too, but it is hard enough to control my portions with just one tempting thing


Denise February 3, 2011 at 2:38 pm

I spent like 4 hours at Tj and I loved it. I found so many good things. Thank you for the TJ grocery list. I found a good Peanut Butter and its called Better N Peanut butter 2+ for 2tbs. And I found TJ Cranberry Applebutter for o+ and Fat free Multi Grain Bread 2 slices for 3+ and it was so good. I want to make the pasta too Looks so good. Tonight I am making homemade pizza from Tj’s already made pizza dough and pizza sauce that was on your list too, Thank aga


Ruby W. February 3, 2011 at 2:41 pm

I love those egg salads, but only get them once in a while since they are pretty pricey for the amount of meals I get out of it (usually just one).


Mo February 3, 2011 at 8:15 pm

OMG…just yesterday I was craving egg salad, which I haven’t made in a year or so. I was wondering how I could make it with egg substitute so I could get more for the p+ value. I also haven’t used mayo since Thanksgiving when I discovered garlic hummus.
So, I have a recipe challenge for you or anyone willing to take it on- Egg Salad (made with liquid egg) with hummus and crunchy veggies. How would you make the eggs? Would you add something else to the hummus? Just thinking about this makes me want to get busy in the kitchen right now, but it’s almost 10:15 and I need to head to bed.


Linda February 4, 2011 at 5:39 am

I found an ‘inexpensive’ garlic bread. Toast an Arnold’s to desired done-ness. When you take it out scrape a garlic clove across the toast… after that you can even spray it with spray butter or eat as is. I’m at work so I don’t remember the points off hand, but it’s good enough!


Liz February 4, 2011 at 7:19 pm

Y’all, call me crazy, but I can’t find the BBQ pulled pork recipe anywhere…this is the first time I have visited here and I love it! No Trader Joe’s in Tennessee–boohoo ( I mean that!).


DanicasDaily February 4, 2011 at 7:24 pm

HI Liz,

Here is a link to the recipe I used for the pulled pork. The only change I made was to add 1 Tbsp Liquid Smoke to it.


It’s delicious ~ I highly recommend it.



DanicasDaily February 4, 2011 at 8:09 pm

HI Lauren,

We got it from a local furniture store called Old Town Furniture. It is made by SD if that helps at all.

Have a great weekend!



DanicasDaily February 4, 2011 at 8:19 pm

Hi Mo,

That’s an interesting concept, but, you know what, totally do-able I think. The egg white salad from TJ’s just uses the whites, no yolk. I used to stuff my egg whites with hummus so the flavor it good. I bet if you cooked the egg substitute, chopped it up and let it cool Chop your veggies, stir in your hummus to flavor, it would be delicious!

Let me know if you try it!



Jill February 5, 2011 at 6:11 am

I’m a first timer. I’ve spent about 2 hours checking your website out. I love it.

I too have been looking at that Pulled Pork. Where do I find the points on that and the Old Fashion Baked Beans?


DanicasDaily February 7, 2011 at 10:33 am

Hi Jill,

Thanks for reading 😀 Whenever I come across a recipe online that I want to try, I will either A – run it through Weight Watchers Online Recipe Builder or B – go to a site like caloriecount.com and calculate the nutritional information. From there, I can calculate the points.

Hope that helps a bit,



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Danicasdaily.com is not meant to be a substitute for any professional advice, guidance, or counseling. Any information contained on this site reflect Danica's experience and is not intended to take the place of medical advice from a physician. Weight Watchers® and PointsPlus® are registered trademarks of Weight Watchers International, Inc. The number of Points+ provided for food on this site was calculated by Danica based on published Weight Watchers information. This site does not imply sponsorship or endorsement by Weight Watchers International, Inc. Danica does not guarantee the Points+ information is correct. I am not associated with Weight Watchers and they have not endorsed this site. I highly recommend joining WW and attending regular meetings as a way to successfully lose weight.

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