Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

What is up with my blurry picture?!  

It doesn't even matter. 

This pasta is amazing!  

This is one of those pastas that you could keep in the "company is coming over and I need something to serve" arsenal.  


Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

Ingredients:

1/2 lb Penne pasta
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 tablespoon of your favorite all-purpose seasoning
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour and 1 tablespoon flour
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups milk
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, in oil, diced
1 cup mozzarella, shredded
1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
1/4 cup Italian seasoning bread crumbs

Directions

Cook the Penne according to the directions. Leave a bit undercooked because they are going to bake in the oven and you don't want mushy pasta.

Preheat oven to 400º

Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. 

Dice chicken into small pieces and season with the all purpose seasoning.  Cook in a skillet until cooked through. 

In a large pot, or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add flour and garlic, whisk and cook for about 1 minute.  Gradually add milk while whisking and bring to a simmer.  Be sure to whisk frequently until the sauce thickens.  

Add tomatoes and cook for about a minute.  

Take of heat and add mozzarella and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan. 

Add chicken and pasta to sauce and season with salt and pepper.  Pour into the baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and bread crumbs. 

Bake about 25 minutes or until golden and bubbly. 

Cream Cheese Cucumber Wraps

    
These are a tasty variation of a deli sandwich! 

 I love the hint of dill!  

 Cream Cheese Cucumber Wraps





                          
Ingredients:

Tortilla 
Cream Cheese
Deli Meat
Cucumbers
Dried Dill Weed
Onion Powder

Directions:

Warm the tortillas just enough so they are pliable.  Let the cream cheese soften so it spreads easily.

Spread cream cheese over the surface of the tortilla, sprinkle with dill and onion powder.  Lay down some deli meat and sliced cucumbers.

Roll tightly and enjoy! (Add fresh avocado or alfalfa sprouts as a bonus!)


Saturday, December 7, 2013

Crock Pot Potato Soup

Sometimes I make dinner and I wish there were more people around to eat it because I can't believe how amazing it tastes. And it always seems to be the simplest meals that I feel this way.  Makes me wonder, why do I always think the long, complicated recipes will be the best tasting?  

Simple really is better.  

The proof is in this soup!

**And on a side note:  This is similar to "Funeral Potatoes" or as my family calls them, "Heavenly Potatoes" only in a soup version, so if you are a fan of these type of potatoes (you know you are) then you'll LOVE this soup. 

Crock Pot Potato Soup


Ingredients:

1 bag of cubed frozen hash browns
1 can of cream of chicken soup
2 cans of chicken broth
1 package of cream cheese
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Mix together the cream of chicken and chicken broth and put in crock pot.  Add onions and potatoes and season with some pepper. Cook on low for 5-6 hours. 

 Cut the cream cheese into small pieces first and allow to soften, then add to the crock pot and turn to high.  Cook until the cream cheese is melted and can be stirred into the soup smoothly. 

Season with salt and pepper and top with shredded cheese.

Or, my favorite, spice it up with some Tabasco sauce!




Thursday, November 28, 2013

Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake

This is so easy and so good!  I love how it had the tomatoes added in, but then again, everything with tomatoes tastes better, doesn't it?

This makes a large portion, so I'm keeping it in mind next time I sign up for a potluck.

Chicken and Spinach Pasta Bake



Ingredients:

1/2 pound of rigatoni
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 (10 oz) package of frozen spinach, thawed
2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and diced into small pieces
1 (14oz) can of Italian-style diced tomatoes, do not drain
1 (8oz) package of chive and onion cream cheese, softened
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375º
Cook the rigatoni according to the packaging directions. 

In a frying pan, saute the onions in oil until soft and tender. Set aside. 

Drain the spinach well by wrapping it in a towel and squeezing out the excess water. 

Mix pasta, spinach, chicken, tomatoes, cream cheese, cheese and salt and pepper.  Stir until well combined. Spread evenly in the casserole dish and sprinkle with extra mozzarella cheese. 

Cover and bake for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake another 15 minutes or until bubbly. 




Monday, November 25, 2013

Spinach Artichoke Pizza

I could probably eat an entire bowl of spinach artichoke dip by myself.  The problem is, I can't justify doing that as "dinner".  But slap it on a pizza crust and my problem is solved! 

Yea!
  
It's the little things.

Spinach Artichoke Pizza


Ingredients:

1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup butter
2 Tbsp cream cheese
 3/4 Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
6 oz fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1 can artichoke hearts, rinsed and squeezed dry, roughly chopped
2 pizza crusts (unless you want the topping to extra heavy)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425º (or follow the directions on container)

In a medium saucepan over low heat, stir together the cream, butter and cream cheese until melted.  Combine well. 

Stir in the Parmesan cheese and garlic powder.  Continue to cook, stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes. 

Place the spinach in a frying pan with a tablespoon of water and cook over medium high heat until wilted. Then place on a clean towel and wring out all the liquid.  Then add the spinach to the sauce and stir to combine. 

Spread the sauce over the crust. 

Spread the artichoke pieces over the sauce and top with mozzarella cheese. 

Bake for about 15 minutes or until the cheese starts to brown. 









Saturday, November 23, 2013

Cream Cheese Enchiladas

Can't every night be enchilada night?  I wish!  Although cream cheese isn't a regular ingredient in enchiladas, it adds such a creamy flavor to these and helps make this recipe one of my favorites!


Cream Cheese Enchiladas





Ingredients:

5 oz of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
10 oz can of red enchilada sauce
 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
2 cups chicken, cooked, shredded
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
4 oz diced green chilies
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
salt and pepper to season
1 package tortillas

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325º.  Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. 
In your stand mixer, combine cream cheese, sour cream and 1/2 of the enchilada sauce.  Stir in 1/2 cup of each cheese. 

In another bowl, combine the chicken, corn, green chilies, cumin and chili powder.  Season with salt and pepper.

Add the chicken mixture to the cream cheese mixture and combine well. 
Spread 1/2 of the remaining sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. 
Fill  the tortillas with the mixture and roll up.  Place seam side down in the pan.  Repeat for as many as you can fill.  
Pour the remaining sauce over the tortillas and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. 
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until hot and bubble.

4th Of July Strawberries

I'm aware that Thanksgiving is next week and I'm posting a 4th of July treat.  Not backwards at all!  Somehow this post has been hiding at the bottom of my "drafts" and today, it surfaced!  So, here they are.... a sweet, cool, summer treat you can enjoy.... in 6-7 months from now!


4th of July Strawberries

Ingredients:

1-2 lbs of fresh strawberries, tops cut off
1 bag/box of melting white chocolate
blue sprinkles

Directions:

Melt the chocolate and dip the strawberries' tips in.
Pour the sprinkles into a shallow bowl and roll the chocolate tip of the strawberry in the sprinkles. 

Devour!