Cheesy “Bat” Pasta Dippers

 Cheesy Bat Pasta Dippers | Boys Ahoy

If it’s cheesy and we can pretend it looks like some sort of animal or creature, and they get to eat it with their fingers, the chances my kids will actually EAT their dinner drastically increases!! 

So telling them these were spooky bats got them really excited to eat the other day. They proceeded to fly bats around my kitchen table for the next hour but hey, they had fun! 

Cheesy Bat Pasta Dippers | Boys Ahoy

I found this Torino Farfalla Primavera at Target. The noodles are enormous, which make them perfect to turn into little dippers, plus they’re all natrual and made with a variety of vegetable flavors (counting their veggies in every way, shape, or form I can, lol!) You can use any kind of bow tie pasta noodles you want though.

After you boil the noodles you lay them out on a baking sheet, season with a little garlic and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Broil these little “bats” in the oven until the cheese is hot and bubbly.  Cheesy Bat Pasta Dippers | Boys AhoyCheesy Bat Pasta Dippers | Boys AhoyCheesy Bat Dippers | Boys Ahoy 

Serve them with marinara sauce for dipping and let the kids enjoy! Miles ↓ wasn’t really into dipping his….because he firmly believes any kind of dip or sauce is spicy. There was no convincing him otherwise but he sure loved the plain cheesy noodles. 

These are fun for a Halloween-themed snack or dinner, but I think we’ll be making these often. Cheesy bat noodles for the win! 

Cheesy Bat Pasta Dippers | Boys Ahoy

Cheesy Bat Pasta Dippers | Boys Ahoy

Cheesy "Bat" Pasta Dippers
Write a review
  1. 8 oz box bow tie pasta noodles
  2. 1 tsp garlic salt
  3. 1 cup shredded cheese
  4. 8 oz marinara sauce
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a mild boil, add bow tie pasta noodles and cook for 8-10 minutes until al dente. Drain and gently pat with a paper towel.
  2. Heat oven to broil.
  3. Place cooked bow tie pasta in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with garlic salt and shredded cheese. Broil for 3-4 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Dip "batwings" in marinara.
boys ahoy

Cheesy Italian Meatball Penne Pasta Bake {Win an LG EasyClean Double Oven Range}


This Cheesy Italian Meatball Penne Bake has become one of my family’s  favorite dinners.  Owen thinks meatballs are the coolest thing.  He sticks them with his fork and shoves the whole thing in his mouth at once.  And Miles can eat more of it than his big brother.  The kid loves the stuff.  And my husband, well, he can just about eat the entire pan.  What man doesn’t love meatballs?  Can you guess what I love about it?  The cheese! It’s fully loaded with cheese and I love it. 

The one hang up with this dish?  It’s a mess of a dinner.  My boys are a mess , the pan’s a mess, even the oven is a mess.  A messy oven is my worst nightmare!  When was the last time you cleaned YOUR oven? 

I refuse to answer…


I’ll be honest, cleaning the oven isn’t at the top of my priority list.  In fact, one of my least favorite things about being a food blogger is the absurd amount of dishes I wash and the number of times I clean my kitchen in a day.  So adding the oven to the list sometimes slips my mind.  I’m typically the clean as you go type and like to have the dinner mess cleaned up right after dinner.  But the second my kids’ plates are clean they are ready to play.  We try to do something together as a family in the evenings, whether it’s just playing together with toys or walking to the park.  Clean up either has to be really quick or just has to wait.  As much as I want my kitchen clean I’d much rather spend time playing with my family. 

Which is exactly why my oven has been neglected.  Doesn’t an oven take hours to clean? (It really has been that long for me)


The solution?  The LG EasyClean™ Double Oven Range.  Have you heard about it?  

LG’s EasyClean™’ mottos is:  A Clean Oven in Minutes, Not Hours.  (Just what I need!)

Not enough time to clean your oven? (no, never!) No worries. LG brings you the new generation of oven cleaning with EasyClean™. All LG double oven ranges provide a quick and convenient way to clean your oven, while still being able to use the conventional self-clean method. EasyClean works in three simple steps. Spray the oven interior with water, press the EasyClean button, then in just 20 minutes, wipe away any residual bits of grime*. No chemicals or high heat needed to keep your oven sparkling clean. (*Heavy build-up may require additional manual effort or use of the full self-clean feature). To learn more about LG EasyClean click here.

A clean oven in 20 minutes? Now that I could make time for! Especially after a messy meal that bubbles and splatters all over the oven.   

That is of course after I clean up my messy kids….


What is YOUR family’s favorite meal that leaves your oven messy?  Leave a comment telling me for a Chance to Win an LG EasyClean™ Double Oven Range

Sweepstakes Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winner  will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

BlogHer will pool entries from participating blogs and select a sweepstakes winner at random and will contact the winner with details about fulfilling the prize.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 5/22/13 – 7/15/13.

Cheesy Italian Meatball Penne Bake
cheesy Italian penne pasta bake, loaded with meatballs!
Write a review
  1. 1 1/2 lbs extra lean ground beef
  2. 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
  3. 1 egg
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
  5. 1/2 tsp pepper
  6. 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  7. 1/2 tsp onion salt
  8. 1/2 tsp oregano
  9. 2 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese
  10. 1 (13.2 oz) box of whole grain Penne pasta
  11. 4-5 cups marinara sauce (2 1/2 24oz jars)
  12. 1 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese (1/4 cup reserved)
  13. 1 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  14. salt & pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, and seasonings. Mix with clean hands until well incorporated.
  3. Form golf ball sized (1-inch) meatballs and place on a lightly greased one-inch deep baking sheet (it’s better to use a baking sheet with an edge). Bake for 20-30 minutes turning once half way through (cook until no longer pink in the middle). Set meatballs aside.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Stir in penne pasta and boil for 9-10 minutes or until al dente.
  5. Drain pasta and pour into a large bowl. Gently toss pasta, 1 cup of each mozzarella and parmasen cheese, four cups of marinara sauce, and meatballs together.
  6. Pour into a greased 9X13 inch pan. Top with remaining 1/4 cup mozzarella and parmesan cheese and cover with foil. Bake for 20-25 minutes covered, then remove the foil and finish cooking for another 5-10 minutes, until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.
boys ahoy