Saturday, April 30, 2011

Baked Penne with Chicken, Broccoli, and Spinach

Cheesy pasta baked to perfection loaded with veggies:what more could you ask for? I saw this recipe over at Mel's Kitchen Cafe and new I had to try it out. It was a hit other. Now my kids and hubby still prefer pasta with a boring marinara or meat sauce but they ate this up.(well should I say my kids did as my husband is gone at the present time for work) I will be making this yummy pasta again and if you are on a diet and don't like to use cream in anything than use fat free half and half it will do the trick. I also used whole wheat pasta to bump up the fiber and goodness.

Baked Penne with Chicken, Broccoli, Spinach adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
3/4 cup bread crumbs
2 T. butter, melted
1 bunch broccoli, cut and trimmed and steamed
2-3 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 lb. whole wheat penne
1 -2 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 T. minced garlic
1/2 tsp Thyme
1 tsp basil
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup cream or fat free half and half
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 chicken breast, trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
4 oz. smoked or plain mozzarella cheese,shredded
8 oz chopped sun dried tomatoes

In a small bowl combine the bread crumbs and butter and set aside. Preheat oven to 400 Degrees. In a large pot, bring water to a boil and cook pasta to al dente. Drain the pasta. In the same pot, pour in the olive oil and warm over medium high heat. Add the chicken, onions and garlic and cook till chicken no longer pink. Add in the sun dried tomatoes, thyme, basil, salt and pepper. Stir in the flour and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Whisk in the broth and cream and bring to a simmer and cook until thickened about 6-7 minutes. Add in the spinach and cook until wilted mix the sauce with the pasta, steamed broccoli, and mozzarella cheese. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs. Bake until bubbly and crumbs are lightly browned. About 20 minutes.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Guadalupe Pie

If you want a cool dessert for the warm days of spring and summer this is what you want to make. It is so easy but so tasty and easy to make. I got this recipe from my mother in law. The original recipe has a pecan shortbread type crust but my husband is anti nuts in anything other than a candy bar or by themselves so I make this with a graham cracker crust. I will put the recipe for the pecan crust but know that you can make it either way and it is still tasty.

Guadalupe Pie

1 cup flour
1 cup chopped pecans
1 stick butter, softened
Mix all together and press into a 9x13 inch pan. Bake at 350 until light brown. Let cool. YOu may also use a graham cracker crust also. Use 2 cup graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup melted butter. Mix together and press into the pan. (no need to bake)

Second layer:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup cool whip or whipped cream(homemade)
Beat the cream cheese with the sugar until fluffy. Add the cool whip or whipped cream and mix well. Spread over the crust.

Third Layer:
Mix 1 large box of instant chocolate pudding with 1 1/2 cups milk until thick and combined. Spread over the cream cheese layer.

Fourth Layer:
Mix one large box of instant vanilla pudding with 1 1/2 cups milk until thick and combined. Spread over the chocolate pudding layer.

Fifth Layer:
Spread enough cool whip or whipped cream to cover the vanilla pudding layer.

Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight and then cut and serve. Keep in the fridge. YOu may also garnish with grated chocolate , chocolate curls , or additional chopped pecans.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Homemade Pasta

What could be better than homemade pasta(other than homemade bread? I bought a big bag of semolina flour at this little Amish store I shop at and have been wanting to find a recipe for pasta to use it. Low and behold about 3 days after I bought the pasta Coleen from here posted a recipe for Semolina pasta. I was so excited and had to give them a try. They were amazing and we loved them. They take a little more effort than just opening a box but they are well worth it and if you have a stand mixer and a pasta roller and cutter like I do it makes it really easy. Give these a try you won't be disappointed.

Homemade Semolina Pasta
1 1/2 cups semolina flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 T water
2 T. olive or canola oil

Combine the flour and salt. Add the eggs, water and oil. Mix till well combined and knead for 10 minutes( I did mine with my stand mixer) Cover and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.(don't skip this part very important)
After 30 minutes, break the dough into golf ball sized pieces and roll out really flat with a rolling pin or a pasta roller. The cut to desired noodle width. I did fettuccini. YOu can air dry the noodles or just boil them right away. It takes them longer to cook if you air dry them. I just throw mine into a pot of boiling water as soon as I get them rolled and cut.
Note: Instead of cutting them into noodles you can use them and make ricotta cheese filled ravioli or tortellini
Note: I doubled the recipe for my family of four because we like pasta and we like to have leftovers.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Teriyaki Chicken Noodles

We go gaga for anything Chinese or Asian or whatever you want to call it. I found this recipe over at Jamie Cooks it up and adapted it a little to my families taste buds. It was so yummy and easy to put together. You can add any veggies that your family likes to it. I love one bowl dishes and thank goodness I don't have any picky eaters in my house. My little ones will eat pretty much anything I put in front of them as long as it isn't spicy and they absolutely love Chinese type dishes.

Teriyaki Chicken Noodles adapted from Jamie Cooks it Up
2 -3 chicken breast cut up ( I used 2)
1 T. olive oil
1 small onion, sliced
1 T. minced garlic
9 sweet mini peppers, sliced or one red or orange bell pepper sliced
Steamed broccoli and carrots(use any veggies you like such as zucchini, peas, etc.)
1 (16 oz) pkg linguini or spaghetti noodles(use whole wheat to bump up the fiber content)

Teriyaki Sauce:
1 1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tsp. granulated garlic or garlic powder
3 T. cornstarch
1-2 tsp Sesame oil

Heat the oil in a skillet, add the chicken and cook until browned and no longer pink. Remove from the skillet. Add the onions, peppers, and garlic and cook until crisp tender. Remove from skillet. Mix all of the teriyaki sauce ingredients and pour into the hot skillet and let cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile cook pasta according to package directions. Drain the noodles then mix the noodles with the thickened sauce and with the steamed veggies. Serve immediately.
Note: I like mine spicy so I added a little Siracha chili sauce to mine( you can find this in any grocery store on the asian food isle)
Note: I didn't specify the amount of steamed veggies because you can add the desired amount that you like and that suits your family.

Monday, April 11, 2011

York Peppermint Patties

My hubby could eat his weight in peppermint patties and they are so expensive to buy. I found this recipe for homemade ones and knew I had to give it a try. I can't remember where I found this but thank you to whomever it was. These are delicious, simple, and taste(if you ask me) just like the real thing. My hubby and kids gobbled them up. And with 5 simple ingredients what isn't to like about that?

Peppermint Patties
1 can sweetened condensed milk
5 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tsp peppermint extract
3 cups semi sweet or milk chocolate chips
3 T. shortening

Mix the sweetened condensed milk, 2 cups sugar, and the extract on medium speed using the paddle attachment until all ingredients are well incorporated. Add more powdered sugar, a half cup at a time until well incorporated and dough is pliable like firm modeling clay. Divide the dough in half and roll each half into a log, wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate with the shortening in the microwave in 30 second increments until melted and smooth. Take logs out of the freezer and cut in slices. dip each slice in the chocolate until covered. Place on a cookie sheet and let sit till set. Will work faster if you put them in the fridge. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

So do you ever crave pizza but don't want to take the time to make it. Well I have a recipe for you then.I found these over at Coleen's recipes and knew I had to give these a try. I made them awhile ago and am finally blogging about them. Now pizza is still better but these are easy to make when you are short on time and want that pizza flavor. Give these a try!!!

Pepperoni PIzza Puffs
3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 T. Italian seasoning
pinch of salt
pinch of red pepper flakes
3/4 cup milk
1 egg slightly beaten
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 cup chopped pepperoni
Pizza sauce and ranch for dipping

Preheat oven to 375. Grease a muffin tin either mini one or regular one. I used both kind. Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning. Whisk in the milk and beaten egg till smooth. Stir in cheeses and pepperoni. Let this sit for 10 minutes(this is important don't skip this step) At then end of 10 minutes, stir again and fill the muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake until puffed and golden, about 20-25 minutes. Serve with your favorite pizza sauce or ranch for dipping.