Sunday, October 13, 2013

One Pan Chicken Alfredo

As soon as I saw that this dish only required one pan, I was sold! While I enjoy cooking, I hate dishes. The end. :) Before starting, make sure your one pan is plenty big for all of the deliciousness and that you have a lid to fit it. This is the blog I found this recipe on - No. 2 Pencil.

*3 tblsp of olive oil
*2-3 chicken breasts (1 1/4 lb)
*2 cloves of garlic, minced
*2 cups chicken broth (I used low sodium)
*1 cup heavy cream (I used half and half)
*1/2 lb penne pasta (you can use any small bite sized pasta)
*2 cups fresh parmesan cheese
*Salt and pepper to taste
*Parsley, for garnish, if desired

Cut chicken breasts into small, bite size pieces, and lightly season with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in the pan over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook until it's mostly cooked. It will continue to cook, as the rest of the meal is made, so it does not have to be completely cooked at this point. Add garlic and sauté for one minute. Add chicken broth, cream and uncooked pasta to the pan - stir well. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the pasta is tender. Once the pasta is tender, remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the parmesan cheese, and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.

The pasta goes well with wine and garlic bread. ;) TTFN!!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Recipe #32: Buffalo Chicken Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

The other day I was really craving something buffalo-y. I also wanted something that was relatively easy to make. Enter this recipe. Sorry, I don't have a picture. :(

*1/4 cup cooked shredded chicken, warm
*1 tblsp hot sauce (like Frank's)
*1/2 tblsp ranch dressing (more or less, to taste)
*1 tblsp grated carrot (optional)
*1 tblsp sliced celery (optional)
*1 tblsp green or red onion, sliced (optional)
*1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
*sliced bread

Butter one side of each bread slice. Place buttered side down in pan, over medium-high heat. Spoon chicken mixture onto bread. Top with another slice of bread, butter side up. Carefully flip sandwich, when bottom slice of bread is cooked. Once both sides are golden brown, the sandwich is done!

Since I wanted easy, I did not use/shred a freshly cooked chicken breast. I used a 10 oz can of chicken, so the work was already done for me. That 10 oz can was about 1 cup of chicken, so I adapted the recipe accordingly. This ultimately made about 4 pretty full sandwiches. I thought it was the perfect amount to serve both dinner, and then have just a little bit left over. For the record, the chicken mixture also tasted great as a dip for pretzels. :)

Enjoy - TTFN!

Recipe #31: Bubble Up Pizza

This recipe was soooo easy! I wasn't sure what to expect, because of the biscuits. But, I thought it was great! I'm actually making it again tomorrow night for our pizza and movie Friday night family date. Here is where I found the recipe originally.

*2 cans (12 oz each) biscuits
*1 jar (15 oz) pizza sauce
*2 cups mozzarella cheese
*favorite pizza toppings

Preheat the oven to 375*. Cut biscuits into quarters and put them in a large mixing bowl. Toss biscuit pieces with pizza sauce. Once coated, add pizza toppings and half of the cheese. Mix well. Grease a 9x13 pan, and pour biscuit mixture into the pan. Top with remaining cheese. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes, or until biscuits are done.

My notes - 1) The original recipe calls for it to bake for 25-30 minutes. I found it cooked a little faster than I expected, but that could just be my oven. 2) Rusty and I do not like a lot of sauce on our pizza, and I was nervous about this dish being too saucy for our preferences. I used a little less than half of the jar of pizza sauce. The end result was a little dry. Next time, I'll use more. I do think, though, that the entire jar would've been too much. 3) I didn't exactly follow the measurements on the cheese and toppings. I mixed in until I was satisfied with the amount of toppings there seemed to be. The cheese probably worked out to be somewhere around the 2 cups that are called for.

Another note - I really want to try making this in cupcake/muffin liners for a party or something. I think that it would be a great little snack, and that a small cupcake/muffin sized portion would be just perfect. If/when I get a chance to test that out, I'll follow up on this post. Until then, enjoy!!


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Recipe #30: Cornbread Taco Bake

Another new recipe this week! Woo hoo! DH and DS both really enjoyed this one. I did as well! One of our household favorite meals in the winter months is taco soup, and this dish reminded me a little bit of it. I got this recipe from last week - here is the link.

I'm going to wait and put the picture at the end of the recipe... the picture isn't as appetizing as the meal actually was. I often forget to take a picture of the dish PRIOR to serving it, and this is one of those dishes that doesn't serve in a pretty way.

*1 lb ground beef (I used lean ground turkey)
*1 package taco seasoning
*1/2 cup water
*1 can corn, drained
*1/2 cup chopped green pepper
*1 8 oz can tomato sauce
*1 package Jiffy cornbread (you'll need one egg and some milk to make this)
*1 can French fried onions
*1/3 cup shredded cheese

Preheat the oven to 400*. Meanwhile, brown the meat in a skillet; drain. Return meat to skillet, and stir in taco seasoning, water, corn, green pepper and tomato sauce. Pour mixture into a 2 quart casserole dish. Prepare cornbread mix as directed on box. If desired, add half of the French fried onions into the batter. Spoon the batter into the casserole dish. (The original recipe calls for the mix to be spooned only around the outer edge of the casserole dish. Next time, I'm going to try spooning the batter across the entire top of the casserole dish, to see the difference it might make.) Bake for 20 minutes, uncovered. Top with cheese and remaining French fried onions, and bake for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until the cheese is melted.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Recipe #29: Shrimp over Angel Hair Pasta

It's been SOO long since I posted anything. We've been nothing less than busy for the last 4 months - I just took my last of 4 tests for the CPA exam, we sold our house, moved into an apartment temporarily and are waiting on our new house to be built. Whew!!

I've still been cooking, but most of it has been on recipes I've tried before. Occasionally I'll try some new ones, but not like I used. This week, I have 3 new recipes to try! I made the first one last night. It was good. I'll make it again, but I'll make changes to the recipe, more in line with our taste preferences. The original recipe is here, from

*1/2 lb angel hair pasta
*2 tblsp extra virgin olive oil, separated
*1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined - can be raw or cooked (follow instructions accordingly)
*2 tsp garlic, chopped
*1 tsp salt
*1 tsp pepper
*1 cup chicken broth
*1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
*1 tblsp freshly grated lemon peel
*1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (approx. 2 large lemons)
*1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
*1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

First of all, let me tell you what I would change from the ingredients (based on our personal preferences). I did not use any salt, and only about 1/2 tsp of pepper. I omitted the grated lemon peel, and I would only do 1/8 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 large lemon). I thought the final dish was too lemony, which is why I would cut back. I might add a little more cheese, also, to make it a bit cheesier, but the 1/3 cup is a nice amount. (We love our cheese.)

One last note... make sure all of your ingredients are ready to go before you start cooking. The recipe cooked very quickly, leaving little downtime between steps. The original recipe implies cooking the pasta while also cooking the shrimp/sauce. I couldn't keep up with both. I was too afraid that I'd overcook the pasta or shrimp, so I called DH in to help me out. He's a good guy, he is.

Cook the pasta; drain and pour into a serving bowl. Set aside. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, garlic, 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper, and shrimp (if using uncooked) over medium-high heat. Cook for two minutes, or until shrimp are barely pink or garlic is soft. Add broth and crushed red pepper and increase the heat to high. If using cooked shrimp, add cooked shrimp now. Cook shrimp mixture on high for 2-3 minutes, until shrimp are thoroughly heated (may just be 1-2 minutes, if you originally started with raw shrimp). Stir in lemon peel and juice.

Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper to pasta. Toss pasta to coat. Add the shrimp mixture, parsley and cheese. Mix the mixture well and serve immediately. Add some garlic bread, a nice glass of wine, and you'll have yourself a nice meal! :)

Enjoy! TTFN!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Recipe #28: Caribbean Jerk Chicken with Fruit Salsa

This recipe came from DH's Grilling Collection Cookbook. It was fantastic! This is in our queue again to make very soon. I do have a picture of this one, but am having issues loading it right now. I will add it, once I can get my computer to cooperate!!

*1 cup plus 2 tblsp of Lawry's Caribbean Jerk Marinade with Papaya juice, divided
*1 can tropical fruit salad (or your favorite fruits), drained
*4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 lb)

In a small bowl, combine the fruit and 2 tblsp of marinade. Mix well and refrigerate. In a large sealable plastic bag, combine chicken and 1 cup of marinade. Seal bag. Refrigerate the chicken for at least 30 minutes. When you're ready to cook the chicken, discard the marinade. Grill or broil chicken 10 to 15 minutes (turning halfway through), or until the chicken is no longer pink. Top chicken with fruit salsa.

In addition, I made some rice and served the chicken and fruit salsa over the rice. It was a nice way to round out the meal!


Recipe #27: Crock Pot Pulled Pork Sandwiches

These sandwiches are so easy and so delicious. If we ever need a simple but yummy meal, especially on the weekends, these are a great choice! We've also made them for football tailgates.

Original recipe is here.

*1 pork tenderloin (2 lbs)
*12 oz of root beer
*your favorite BBQ sauce
*hamburger buns

For the pork tenderloin, I usually just buy the little tube of pork. I think it might be Hormel brand? I can't recall for sure. Once that is thawed, place it in the crock pot. Pour root beer over the pork. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours. In my experiences, 6 to 6.5 hours usually does the trick. Once the pork is cooked, remove it from the crock pot and shred. Mix with your favorite BBQ sauce; spread pork on buns and dinner is served! Our favorite buns are the King's Hawaiian buns (very lightly toasted). I love the sweetness of them, and it's a great blend with the pork.

When I first read this recipe, I thought it was crazy for putting the root beer in. I don't like root beer, and I didn't want my pulled pork sandwich tasting like root beer. Believe me - it doesn't! It keeps the meat pretty moist and the pork retains its flavor very well, with no hint of root beer (in my opinion!). Also, I do not use as much BBQ sauce as the original recipe calls for. I use less to our taste, as I don't like for the sandwiches to be dripping with sauce.

Whenever I made this for tailgating, I made the pork a day in advance, and then put it in a large foil pan. At the tailgate, we just put the foil pan over the grill to heat, and then served. It still tasted fresh and had great flavor!

Sorry - I don't have a good picture of this one. But believe me, it's worth it! Good luck!!