Grocery shopping for a family of five can be rather expensive, as well as stressful. I often find myself making trips to the grocery store several times a week with three young kids in tow. It is a complete and utter nightmare most trips.
I have gotten to the point where I need to try and find ways to cut the food bill down (without sacrificing quality food items) and reduce the number of trips I make to the store. For years, friends and family members have been telling me to get a BJ's membership, and start buying in bulk. Not only can it save some money when done right, it saves you time the long run... because you never run out of your favorite and most used items!
Well... I finally bit the bullet and marched down to my local BJ's and got myself a membership. The women who helped me get it set up was incredibly helpful and super friendly. I even got a little ID card with my mug shot on it! Though I wish I didn't run in with greasy hair, and no makeup. YIKES.
I have never really shopped much at BJ's so it was a totally new experience for me, and I won't lie. At first glance, I was overwhelmed. THERE IS SO MUCH! I really don't think there is anything that store does not sell. I mean.... you can go in buy a kayak and then fill it up with all your bulk food if you really wanted it to. Who needs a cart right?
I was also very pleased to see that BJ's has an exclusive line of new Barilla® Organic Pasta. When I feed my family, I like to ensure they are eating the highest quality foods I can get my hands on... without busting the bank. This bulk packaged of Barilla® pasta was only $9.99 for six boxes.... and it's organic! It's GMO free, made from certified organic wheat, and always made perfectly al dente! You know buying all organic on a budget can be tough... so this is a life saver for sure. Big families filled with picky kids like mine... blow through dried pasta, so this is one less thing for me to run to the store for frequently, now that I can buy it in bulk at BJ's!
This pasta dish is easy to prepare, filled with wholesome ingredients and even the pickiest of eaters will chow it down.... because cheese + pasta!
Baked Asparagus Carbonara
2 cups half and half
3 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tbs minced garlic
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp kosher salt
Small bunch of asparagus
16 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
1 large tomato
1lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
6 fresh basil leaves, diced
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Prepare pasta by bringing 4-6 quarts of water to a boil. Add a generous amount of salt (I use about a tbs) and a splash of olive oil to the water. Once the water is boiling, add dry pasta and allow to cook (string occasionally) for about 9 minutes for perfect al dente pasta. Drain the pasta and set aside.
To prepare the sauce, whisk eggs, half and half, pepper flakes, garlic, and salt together. Add half of the parmesan cheese, and then transfer to a medium sized sauce pan.
Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once it has thickened and the cheese has melted, stir in the remaining cheese and half of your cooked bacon.
Place cooked pasta in a large casserole dish, pour the sauce over the top, and give a little stir.
Place asparagus spears over the top of the pasta, followed by slices of mozzarella cheese, the tomato, and the remaining cooked bacon.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until the cheese on top is nice and gooey.
Served with fresh basil over the top, and enjoy!
For more info on #BarillaOrganic pasta please visit their website, or on Twitter, @BarillaUS.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Barilla Pasta Company . The opinions and text expressed in this posting are all mine and are not shared by the organization.
To watch me in action, watch this movie of me making the recipe above!