Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tortellini & Vegetable Bake

Finally, my husband and I are in our house and out of temporary lodging. I am now able to get back to cooking and baking. It's been a long time since I have made any new recipes and I am excited to get back in the kitchen. There is a lot more kitchen here and enormous amounts of counter space, which is just perfect.I made this recipe the other day and of course, forgot to take a picture. This recipe is so good, I just had to post it without the picture! The husband loved it as well and it's something I would make again. 

10 oz. frozen cheese tortellini
15 baby carrots, thinly sliced
2 cups sugar snap peas
1 tablespoon butter
1 lb chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons flour
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup milk
8 oz. cream cheese, softened and cubed
1 tablespoon lemon juice.
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halfed
1/2 green pepper, chopped

1. Cook tortellini, according to package directions. Two minutes before tortellini is finished cooking, add in carrots. During last minute of cooking, add in sugar snap peas. Drain.

2. Heat butter in skillet. Add chicken and cook until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from skillet.

3. Combine chicken broth, oregano, flour, and pepper. Whisk in milk. Cook in skillet until thick and bubbly, add cream cheese and continue to cook until smooth. Add in lemon juice. Toss in pasta mixture, tomatoes, green pepper and chicken until evenly coated.

4. Bake in a 9 by 13 baking dish covered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens


Turkey Divan

Use up that leftover turkey to make something that does not taste like Thanksgiving dinner...AGAIN!

1 package of frozen broccoli defrosted and drained

1 1/2 cups of cooked chicken or turkey

1 can of cream of something soup (mushroom, chicken, celery)

1/3 cup mayo

1 tsp lemon juice

pepper to taste

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Defrost broccoli and put it in the bottom of a casserole dish. Cut up cubed chicken or turkey and layer over broccoli. In a separate bowl combine the soup, mayo and lemon. Pour over chicken and broccoli. Season with pepper. Top with cheese. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Now you have chicken/turkey divan!!

Oh yeah...serve over rice!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Pulled Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches

Thank you, Pinterest, for another great recipe inspiration! These sandwiches were easy, cost effective, and, most importantly, tasty. Try toasting or grilling the buns for an extra crunch.

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (thawed or frozen) 
1 packet ranch dressing mix
1 bottle Frank’s Red Hot sauce
2 T butter
Blue cheese or ranch dressing (optional)
Hamburger buns or hoagies

Place chicken at the bottom of a Crockpot; cover with ranch mix and hot sauce. Cover and cook on low 5-6 hours, until chicken is tender. Remove chicken to a plate and shred with two forks. Stir butter into sauce. Add chicken back into pot, stirring to coat with sauce. Let heat for 15-20 minutes. Spread buns with blue cheese or ranch before adding chicken.

*Recipe from My Kitchen Apron

Turkey Cookies

These little cuties have become a fall tradition in my house. Great for snacking or for sharing with friends!

1 pkg. sugar cookie dough (or homemade) 
1 pkg. candy corn
Blue or green decorating gel
Orange decorating gel

Prepare sugar cookies per directions. Let cool completely.

Use blue or green gel to create eyes in the center of each cookie; use orange to draw on beak and legs. Using either color, draw on a double arch at the top of each cookie. Secure candy corns by pressing lightly into the gel (tip side down). 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dinner Rolls

I had these rolls at a Thanksgiving luncheon a few weeks ago and I think I ate like ten of them. I made them myself and while it took forever I was happy with how they turned out. I did not pour extra butter on the top of the rolls. They remind me of rolls my Granny used to make.

2 1/2 cups warm milk
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons salt
7 cups all-purpose flour, or as needed
1/2 cup butter, melted

Pour milk into a large mixing bowl, and sprinkle yeast over the surface. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Beat in the sugar, eggs, 1/2 cup butter, and salt; blend thoroughly. Gradually stir in the flour to make a soft dough. Cover bowl, and set in a warm place until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.               

Punch down the dough, cover the bowl, and allow to rise again. Repeat this step two more times.               
Break off 2 to 3 inch size pieces of dough, roll lightly into round shape, and place in prepared baking dish, edges touching. Repeat to make 36 dough balls.

Cover and let rise until doubled in size.               

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.               

Bake rolls in preheated oven until tops turn golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.

When rolls are finished baking, drizzle melted butter over the top, and serve warm.               

Recipe from All Recipes.

Pork in a Maple Mustard Glaze

I found this recipe on Pinterest and it came out really good. The pork was tender and had a good taste to it but the sauce was not overwhelming.

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 4 (4-ounce) boneless pork loin chops, trimmed

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

  • minced onion to taste

  • several dashes of dried thyme

  • Season the chops with salt and pepper and cook in a skillet on medium heat for three or four minutes on each side. Remove the pork from the skillet. Add the broth, syrup, mustard, onion and thyme to the pan and whisk together until it boils. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the pork back in the pan. Cook for another 3-5 minutes or until the pork in done.

    Adapted from Bess' Bistro

    Monday, November 21, 2011

    Homemade Taco Seasoning

    My husband is a HUGE taco fan, but I don’t love the added preservatives and MSG that are included in most mixes. This homemade version had all of the flavor we were looking for, with none of the extras. Try it in place of a packet in any recipe!

    1 part chili powder 
    1 part cumin
    1 part garlic powder
    1 part onion powder
    ½ part red pepper flakes
    ¼ part salt

    Mix all spices together thoroughly. Store in airtight bag or container.
    2 Tablespoons = 1 packet

    *Modified from $5 Dinners

    Double-Layer Pumpkin Pie

    This year I was looking for something new to spice up my Thanksgiving dessert menu. I loved the idea of having one less thing to bake, so this creamy, not too sweet pie was the perfect addition.

    1 prepared graham cracker crust 
    4 oz cream cheese, softened
    1 T milk
    1 T sugar
    1 ½ cups Cool Whip
    1 cup milk
    2 (3.5 oz) packages instant vanilla pudding
    1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
    1 tsp cinnamon
    ½ tsp ginger
    ¼ tsp ground cloves

    Place pie crust in the freezer to chill. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix cream cheese, 1 T milk, and sugar until smooth. Gently stir in Cool Whip until completely combined. Spread mixture into the bottom of chilled crust. Return to the freezer for about 1 hour, until cream cheese mixture has hardened.

    In a large bowl, whisk together milk and pudding mix. Stir in pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. When thickened, spread over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate 4 hours or until set.

    *Modified from

    Sunday, November 20, 2011

    Sweet and Sour Chicken

    I swear, this sweet and sour chicken is so much better than going out to a Chinese restaurant. It tastes just like sweet and sour chicken and one of the best parts about it is that the chicken is baked in the oven and not fried. If you love Chinese, this is definitely a recipe that you should try. I found this recipe at Life as a Lofthouse.

    3-4  boneless chicken breasts 

    1 cup cornstarch 
    salt and pepper 
    2 eggs, beaten 
    olive oil for cooking chicken 

    Sweet and Sour sauce 
    3/4 cup sugar
    4 tablespoons ketchup
    1/2 cup vinegar 
    1 tablespoon soy sauce 

    1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  

    2. Cut chicken breasts into cubes and season with salt and pepper. Dip chicken into cornstarch and then dip the chicken into the eggs, to coat. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in skillet and cook chicken until browned but not fully cooked. 

    3. Place chicken in 9 by 13 greased baking dish. Pour sweet and sour sauce over chicken. Bake for 1 hour, rotating and turning chicken every 15 minutes. Serve with rice.

    Friday, November 18, 2011

    Christmas Tree Ornament

    My friend and I saw these cute Christmas tree ornaments in Target made out of felt and beads. We decided to be crafty and make them ourselves. It took a bit to figure out how to make everything work but in the end we had a lot of fun!

    Felt with self adhesive on the back
    Foam sheets of coordinating colors with the felt
    Medium sized beads
    Bell or star for the top
    Glue gun

    1. Cut out 7-9 circles from the felt that gradually get smaller.
    2. Cut out the same size circles from the foam sheet.
    3. Adhere matching sized felt and foam circles putting the foam on the bottom.
    4. Thread a sewing needle with the color thread you want to use.
    5. Tie a bead to the end of the thread.
    6. Place felt/foam circles and beads on the thread from largest circle to smallest alternating circle bead. So it would go like this, base bead, largest circle, bead, circle, bead etc until you put the last beat on.
    7. Leave a little thread sticking off the top and hot glue a bell or star to the top circle.
    8. Use more thread to create a loop at the top of the bell or bead to hang the ornament.
    9. Hot glue the tied bead at the bottom to the largest circle too.

    Optional: Add tiny bells or puffy paint on the felt to create the look of a decorated tree.

    Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas Gift Exchange Poem

    Last year I went to a ornament exchange with some wives and we used this neat little poem to decide who got what ornament. Just have everyone wrap up their ornament, give each person in attendance a number and have some fun!!

    1. Lucky you, you're # 1

    You get to start all the fun.

    So grab a gift and grab it quick.

    Cause you're the one who gets first pick.

    2. Number 2 you're on the way.

    It's time for you to have your say.

    Get your gift and when you're done,

    Swap it off with number 1.

    3. Number 3 its plain to see.

    It's your turn to pick which gift `twill be.

    And when your choosing job is through,

    Swap with 1 and then with 2.

    4. Number 4 must use your head.

    So grab a gift that has some red.

    If it doesn't suit you to a `T',

    You may swap with 2 or 3.

    5. Jump to it 5, don't drag your feet.

    Take your gift back to your seat.

    Wonder of wonders, it's yours for a spell.

    But what comes next, you can never tell.

    6. Number 6 it's your time to go.

    Grab a gift and don't be slow.

    Now put on a smile so they won't be sore,

    Cause you must swap with #4.

    7. Is a lucky number it seems,

    You choose a gift that has some green.

    Poke it, and shake it until you get back.

    Now trade with someone wearing black.

    8. Number 8 its up to you.

    To get a gift that has some blue.

    Now go quietly to your place.

    Or trade with someone with a smiling face.

    9. Nine, we haven't forgotten you.

    So choose your gift and don't be blue.

    Consider well and when all is said.

    Trade with someone wearing red.

    10. Number 10 come to the front.

    For yours you shouldn't have to hunt.

    Now hurry back and look alive.

    For you get to swap with #5.

    11. Your turn 11 is finally here.

    Pick a gift and hold it near.

    Back at your seat look both ways.

    If your choice was right then it may stay.

    12. Number 12 jump to it sir/girl.

    Make your choice, and with a whirl

    Glance around to see who's where.

    Swap with whomever's got the darkest hair.

    13. Well, now, what do you know.

    It's finally 13's turn to go.

    There you go, you're doing fine.

    Now swap with 3 or 6 or 9.

    14. Number 14 it's your turn to shine.

    So find a gift and don't you pine.

    Somewhere you really have a friend.

    You get to trade with number 10.

    15. Number 15 how do you do?

    There should be a fit up there for you.

    So pick one out without delay.

    Now trade with someone wearing gray.

    16. Number 16 your patience is great.

    Go get a gift and don't be late.

    When your return, spin around.

    And switch with someone wearing brown.

    17. 17 your choice is here.

    Find a box and hold it near.

    When you return and look behind.

    Swap with 11 if you don't mind.

    18. Number 18 boogie to the tree.

    Choose the largest gift you see.

    Admire it well, then turn with a wink.

    And swap with someone wearing pink.

    19. Now #19, do as you're told.

    Find a gift which has some gold.

    When you've chosen we must be fair,

    Trade with whoever has the blondest hair.

    20. Number 20 how patiently you've waited.

    Go get a gift before it's outdated.

    Shake it a bit and look around the floor.

    Swap it with someone who's five feet four.

    21. 21 it's time for fun.

    For swapping time has just begun.

    After trading with 4 and 9.

    Swap with two even numbers--That's fine.

    22. 22 it's time to make your way.

    Get a gift that's pretty and gay.

    Now get ready to use your bean.

    You must swap with 8 and 14.

    23. 23 your turn has come.

    Choose your gift with a lithe hum.

    Look it over and when you're through.

    You may swap with a number having 2.

    24. Number 24 have you been bored?

    Well, we'd like to show you you're adored.

    So choose a box, see what you get.

    Now you may trade with a brunette.

    25. Let's go 25, look alive.

    Pick a gift of any size.

    Show the gang that you're O.K.

    And swap with anyone you say.

    26. It's time for 26 to mix.

    Get a gift if just for kicks.

    For you're to trade, if you have the knack.

    With anyone whose shoes aren't black.

    27. Number 27 how lucky you are.

    You've seen all the gifts chosen so far.

    If a pretty box catches your eye.

    Grab it, make a trade, and don't be shy.

    28. Hop up 28, don't drag your feet.

    Study your gift as you reach your seat.

    Now grin a bit and smile some more.

    Trade with 22, then 24.

    29. Number 29 you must wake up.

    Run up there as spry as a pup.

    Make your choice, isn't this keen?

    But you must swap with 17.

    30. Number 30 your wait was long.

    But when we're through you'll sing a song.

    Just look them over from small to large.

    See a favorite? Then forward charge!

    Thursday, November 17, 2011

    Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce

    There are some times when taking a little help from the store is just as tasty as cooking from scratch. Since Mexican is one of my favorite cuisines, I’ve done a lot of experimenting with enchilada recipes. I came across an excellent recipe for red sauce that, though time consuming and ingredient-heavy, has just the flavor I was looking for. One night I was a little short on time, so I “cheated” and grabbed a can of Old El Paso Enchilada Sauce from the shelf. The two sauces tasted almost identical. (Plus, Old El Paso cost about $1.50 a can and took about 4 seconds to open) The lesson? Flavor is flavor. 
    Tip: Try using leftover chicken from Whole Chicken and Dumplings for instant shredded chicken!

    2 cups of cooked, shredded chicken OR 
    3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, seasoned with: garlic powder, cumin, cayenne pepper
    2 - 1/3 c. shredded cheddar cheese, divided
    10-12 corn tortillas
    2 cans Old El Paso enchilada sauce (I prefer medium)
    Optional toppings: sour cream, guacamole

    If using raw chicken:
    Preheat broiler for about 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile, trim and season chicken breasts and arrange on greased broiler pan. Broil chicken for 8-10 minutes per side. Allow to rest for 5 minutes, then shred chicken into a medium bowl, using two forks. (One fork stabilizes, the other shreds, with the grain)

    Once chicken is shredded, add 1/3 c. shredded cheddar and about ½ a can of enchilada sauce. Stir until combined. Heat tortillas in the microwave for about 40 seconds to make them easier to roll. (Hint: Cover with a damp paper towel to keep them moist)

    Lightly grease a 9 x 13 pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place about a spoonful of chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla and roll securely. Line rolled tortillas into the pan in a single layer. Pour the remaining can and a half of enchilada sauce over the stuffed tortillas. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with the remaining 1/3 c. cheese and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Best served with sour cream and/or guacamole. 

    Whole Chicken and Dumplings

    For some reason, cooking a whole chicken can be a bit intimidating. In truth, it couldn’t be more simple (or impressive). This homestyle meal is the ultimate in comfort food and one of my childhood favorites.

    1 whole young chicken, cleaned with insides removed
    1 cup water
    1 cup white wine
    1 tsp garlic powder
    1 tsp lemon pepper
    1 tsp sea salt
    1 tsp paprika
    ½ tsp rosemary

    ~2 cups chicken cooking juices
    2/3 cup baking mix (Bisquick)
    ~5 T skim milk

    Prepare chicken and place in the bottom of a crockpot. Pour water and wine into the pot. Sprinkle chicken with seasonings. Cover and cook on low 5-6 hours, until chicken is tender and pulling away from bone.

    Transfer about 2 cups of the cooking juices into a saucepan and bring to a boil. (Turn heat in crockpot to keep warm or turn off) In a bowl, combine baking mix and milk until a soft dough forms. Drop dough by the spoonful into boiling broth; let cook 10 minutes. Cover and cook an additional 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and serve with dumplings. 

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    Better than Crack Brownies

    A while back I made these brownies for a spouses recipe swap at our last base. They are incredibly sweet but totally delicious! 

    1 batch brownies
    1/2 cup salted peanuts
    1 cup chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups
    1 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
    1 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
    1/2 tablespoon butter
    1 1/2 cups Rice Krispies Cereal

    1. Prepare and bake brownies according to package directions or recipe in a 9 by 13 baking pan. Once baked, remove brownies from oven and cover with peanuts and peanut butter cups. Cook for an additional 5 minutes.
    2. In microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter. Add in cereal and stir until combined. Remove brownies from oven and evenly pour chocolate mixture over top.

    3. Refrigerate 2 hours before serving 

    Monday, November 14, 2011

    Southern Sin

    Sinning has never tasted so good! This is one of those been-in-my-family-for-generations recipes that never goes out of style. Try it out at your next family gathering or potluck to bring a little Southern charm to the party.

    3 T sugar
    1 ½ sticks butter, melted
    ½ cup flour
    1 cup pecans, finely chopped

    1st Layer:
    1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
    1 cup powdered sugar
    1 lg. Cool Whip

    2nd Layer:
    1 lg. chocolate pudding, prepared using 1/3 less milk than package directions

    3rd Layer:
    1 lg. Cool Whip

    Heath bits
    Additional chopped pecans

    In a large bowl, mix crust ingredients until soft dough forms. Press into a lightly greased 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Cool completely.

    Mix together ingredients for 1st layer. Spread over cooled crust. Continue gently layering each additional layer. Top with heath bits and additional pecans. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

    Jamaican Jerk Chicken

    Mix up your next barbeque with this island-inspired sweet and spicy chicken! Tired of chicken? Try the same marinade and rub on pork chops for an equally delicious dish.

    4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts 
    ¼ cup pineapple juice
    ¼ cup orange juice
    2 T. lime juice
    Salt and pepper to taste

    2 T. freeze-dried chives
    1 T. onion powder
    1 T. garlic powder
    1 tsp. red pepper flakes
    1 tsp. ground coriander
    1 tsp. ground ginger

    Combine pineapple, orange, and lime juices in a large resealable bag; season with salt and pepper. Add chicken to bag and marinate 1 hour – over night.

    Preheat grill over medium heat. Combine rub ingredients in a small, resealable bag; shake to combine. Cover both sides of chicken with rub. Grill, turning once, until cooked through – about 8 minutes per side.  Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

    Thursday, November 10, 2011

    Fun Fall Crafts for Kids

    Great for younger kids, these crafts will keep the creative juices flowing this fall with everyday items, great for indoor projects.

    30 Days of Thanks

     Take kids on a leaf hunt to find 2-4 nicely shaped leaves (or find templates online or in a craft store). Have children trace leaves on a variety of fall-colored construction paper and carefully cut them out.

    Throughout November, have children write (or help them write) one thing they are thankful for on a leaf. Hang the leaves as a display for children to be proud of.

    Bird Feeder

     Save a collection of toilet paper rolls. Spread each tube with creamy peanut butter. Pour a cup of bird seed on a plate and have children roll the tube to cover completely.

    Slide tube onto a tree branch and watch the birdies feast.

    Fingerprint Fall Tree

     Help children paint hand and wrist with brown paint. Press handprint onto plain, white paper. Dip fingertips into fall-colored paint and press onto tree “branches” (fingers) to create leaves. Mount on construction paper for a matted look.

    Apple Mosaic

     Have children tear a piece of yellow or red construction paper into small pieces. Trace and cut out the shape of a large apple on cardstock. Let kids arrange paper bits around the apple surface until completely covered; glue to secure. Tear off a rectangular piece of green or brown paper for a stem.

    Thankful Tree

     At a local craft store, buy preformed foam tree and sticky leaves or foam sheets to create your own. Have children construct tree. On each leaf, have kids write something they are thankful for. Stick leaves on tree branches for display. 

    Ham & Cheese Rolls

    Sometimes a dish is more than a meal: it’s a memory. I read once that our taste and smell faculties are two of our most powerful memory triggers. That is this dish for me.  As these rolls were the typical method to use up leftover ham, they remind me of Easter Mondays and post-Christmas feasts, time with family, and the warm smells of home. Try these as a tasty new tradition for your family this year.

    1 package King’s Hawaiian rolls 
    Ham slices
    4-6 slices swiss cheese

    1 stick butter, melted
    1 tsp garlic powder or 1 T onion flakes
    1 T poppy seeds
    ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
    ½ tsp mustard

    Cut rolls in half and place bottoms into a shallow dish. Layer with ham and swiss cheese to cover each roll; replace roll tops.

    In a small bowl, whisk together melted butter and all marinade ingredients. Pour over rolls. Cover and refrigerate overnight or several hours.

    Transfer marinated rolls to a baking dish. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes; uncover and bake an additional 5 minutes, until cheese is melted and rolls are toasted.

    *Thanks to my mom for the recipe!

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011

    Seasoned Chicken Strips

    1/3 cup egg substitute
    1 tablespoon prepared mustard
    3/4 cup dried bread crumbs
    2 teaspoons dried basil
    1 teaspoon paprika
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
    1 pound chicken tenderloins

    1. In a shallow bowl, combine the egg substitute, and mustard. In another bowl, combine bread crumbs, basil, paprika, salt and pepper. Dip chicken in egg mixture, then roll in crumbs.

    2. Place on baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400 for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown and juice run clear. Yield: 4 servings

    Recipe from Taste of Home: Simple&Delicious

    Fleece Boa Scarf

    As the temperatures start to drop and those football games are getting cold to attend, make yourself a fleece boa scarf with your favorite (team) colors!

    1. Pick out 2-3 colors of fleece. I got 2/3 yd of each color and it made 3 scarfs.
    2. Cut strips that are five inches wide and as long as you want them to hang on you.
    3. Place the strips on top of each other and sew down the middle using a coordinating thread color.
    4. Cut down the scarf in one inch sections to create fringe. Do not cut all the way to the sewn line.

    5. Shake it out, ruffle it up and wear it!!

    Monday, November 7, 2011

    Fettuccine and Pink Sauce with Parmesan-Crusted Chicken

    Italian food is great for experimenting because the flavors are so subjective. Play with the taste of this dish until you find something just right for you!

    1 cup half & half
    ½ cup shredded parmesan

    1 pkg. fettuccine noodles, prepared per package instructions

    2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
    Salt and pepper to taste
    1 egg, beaten
    ½ cup shredded parmesan
    ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
    3 T. olive oil

    Prepare Almost-From-ScratchTomato Sauce (or thaw from frozen).

    Meanwhile, pound chicken with mallet until thin; season with salt and pepper. Beat egg into a shallow dish; mix parmesan and breadcrumbs on a plate. Dip each chicken breast into the egg, then coat on both sides with breadcrumb mixture. In a large skillet, preheat oil over medium heat. Cook chicken until golden brown on each side and cooked through. Cover with foil and set aside.

    Stir in half & half and parmesan into smooth tomato sauce. Simmer approximately 5-10 minutes more, until flavors combine and sauce is heated through. Serve sauce over prepared fettuccine and top with chicken.

    Cheddar-Garlic Biscuits

    Do you ever find yourself frequenting a certain chain seafood restaurant just to partake in their delicious biscuits? The folks at Betty Crocker saved the day with their simple, inexpensive biscuit recipe that mimics the flavors of their infamous counterpart, without having to tolerate the somewhat mediocre seafood afterwards.

    2 cups baking mix (Biquick) 
    2/3 cup milk
    ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
    2 T. butter
    ¼ tsp. garlic powder, divided
    1 tsp. parsley (optional)

    Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

    In a large bowl, stir together baking mix, milk, cheese, and 1/8 tsp. garlic powder until soft dough forms. Drop by the spoonful onto a very lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes, until golden brown.

    In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt butter, remaining garlic powder, and parsley in microwave for 30 seconds. Brush generously over biscuits before serving.

    Sunday, November 6, 2011

    Artichoke Lasanga

    Within the last year, my husband and I have become huge artichoke fans. We were are both lovers of lasagna so when I saw this recipe for artichoke lasagna, I just had to give it a try. It's a definite high score in my book! 

    8 main-dish servings 

    1 1/2 cups each: mushrooms, chopped onions (I omitted the mushrooms)
    1 cup cooked red bell pepper (I also omitted because I forgot to pick one up at the grocery store)
    8 cups loosely packed baby spinach (I used an entire bag of fresh spinach)
    2 packages frozen, thawed, artichoke hearts, cut into bite size pieces 
    Salt and pepper to taste 
    3 cups fat-free milk, divided 
    1/4 cup flour plus 2 tablespoons 
    1 cup grated fat-fee Parmesan cheese 
    1/2 package fat free cream cheese, cubed 
    2/3 cup finely chopped parsley ( I used dried instead of fresh, to taste) 
    1 teaspoon dried thyme leavs 
    1 teaspoon lemon juice 
    12 lasange noodles, cooked 
    1 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese 

    1. Saute mushrooms, onions, and bell pepper in lightly greased large skillet 3 minutes; add spinach and artichoke hearts. Cook, covered, over medium heat until spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes. Cook, uncovered, until mixture is dry. Remove from heat; season to taste with salt and pepper.

    2. Heat 2 cups milk to boiling in large saucepan. Mix remaining 1 cup milk and flour; whisk into boiling milk. Boil, whisking, until thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat; mix in Parmesan and cream cheese, parsley, thyme, and lemon juice, stirring until cream cheese is melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

    3. Spread 1 cup sauce in bottom of a 13 by 9 baking pan; arrange 4 noodles in pan, overlapping edges. spoon 1/2 of artichoke mixture over noodles and spread with 1 cup sauce. Repeat layers; top with remaining 4 noodles and spread with 1 cup of sauce. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350, loosely covered until hot, about 45 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.