Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Baked Penne with Chicken & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

New Recipe... haven't tried this yet.

Each baking dish will serve four; bake one , and freeze the other for another day. When ready to cook, bake the 2nd straight from the freezer.


6 tablespoons butter, plus more for baking dishes
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound penne rigate
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (8 ounces each), halved horizontally
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups whole milk (I plan to use 4 cups whole, and 2 cups 1%)
10 ounces white mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups shredded provolone (6 ounces)
1 cup finely grated Parmesan (4 ounces)


1. Preheat oven to 400. Butter two shallow 2-quart baking dishes. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 3 minutes short of al dente; drain pasta, and return to pot.

2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper; cook until opaque throughout, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Halve each piece lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise.

3. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, melt butter over medium. Add flour and garlic; cook, whisking, 1 minute. While whisking, gradually add milk; bring to a simmer, whisking frequently. Add mushrooms and tomatoes; cook 1 minute. Off heat, gradually stir in provolone and 1/2 cup Parmesan.

4. Add chicken and pasta to pot; season with salt and pepper. Divide pasta mixture between baking dishes; sprinkle each with cup Parmesan.

5. Bake, uncovered, until top is golden and bubbling, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

TO FREEZE 2nd CASSEROLE: Prepare through step 4; let cool. Cover tightly with foil, and freeze, up to 3 months.

TO BAKE FROM FROZEN: Preheat oven to 400, and bake (still covered in foil) on a rimmed baking sheet until center is hot, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove foil; bake until golden, about 15 minutes more.

Simple Quiche


1 cup half and half
2 eggs
2 pinches kosher salt

1 frozen 9" pie crust (not deep dish)

fillings of your choice: we've tried crumbled bacon, cheddar, & broccoli or spinach, ham & Cheddar... pick what you like


1. Whisk half & half and eggs until frothy. Add salt & dash of nutmeg. Set aside
2. Place fillings of your choice in bottom of pie crust. Cover bottom, but don't pile up too much!
3. Pour egg mixture over toppings. Don't over fill !
4. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes or until set.
5. Cool about 10-15 minutes before slicing

Coconut Curry Chicken & Vegetables


1 pound boneless, skinless chicken cut in thin strips
2 Tbl curry powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbl olive oil
1 medium onion thinly sliced
1 yellow squash thinly sliced
1 green squash (zuchinni) thinly sliced
1/2 red pepper thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups LOW SODIUM chicken broth
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
pepper to taste

Cooked white rice
1/4 cup slivered almonds


1. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry with paper towels. Cut it into 1-inch pieces and place in a bowl. Sprinkle it with the curry and cinnamon, toss, and set aside.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and zucchini and pepper and cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

3. Heat the remaining oil in the skillet. Add the chicken and cook until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes total.

4. Add the broth, coconut milk, salt, and pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer. Return the vegetables to the skillet and heat until the chicken is cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes.

5. Serve over rice and top with almonds

Salsa Chicken


1 1/4 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (I used tenderloins)
4 teaspoons taco seasoning mix
1 cup salsa (I used Pace Think & Chunky, mild flavor)
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
sour cream and/or guacamole (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

2. Place chicken breasts in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle taco seasoning on both sides of chicken breasts, and pour salsa over all.

3. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes, or until chicken is tender and juicy and its juices run clear.

4. Sprinkle chicken evenly with cheese, and continue baking for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

5. Top with sour cream and/or guacamole if desired, and serve.

Week #9

Here's the new menu. Monday night we had the Salsa Chicken - Deidre and I found the recipe on line. I made it last night and Allison actually asked for seconds (which never happens, she just tolerates all my crazy meals), so it is definitely kid-friendly and EASY!

Enjoy the recipes...

Monday - Salsa Chicken, Mexican Rice (recipe given a few weeks ago), black beans
Tuesday - Coconut Curry Chicken & Vegetables (one of Christine's favorite meals)
Wednesday - I never made last week's pork - so we're having that!
Thursdsay - Quiche, soup, & salad
Friday - Baked Penne with Chicken & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Broiled Soy-Glazed Pork with Rice & Asian Vegetables


1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
8 ounces snow peas, trimmed
2 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced on the diagonal
2 red bell peppers (ribs and seeds removed), thinly sliced
1 bunch scallions, ends trimmed, cut crosswise into 3-inch lengths
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as canola
1/4 cup soy sauce
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pork tenderloin (1 to 1 1/4 pounds), halved crosswise (I read the comments, cutting it seems important)
1/4 cup honey


1. Cook rice according to package instructions; cover, and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat broiler, with rack set 4 inches from heat. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss snow peas, carrots, bell peppers, and scallions with oil and 2 tablespoons soy sauce; season with salt and pepper.

3. Place pork on top of vegetables, and season with salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon honey.

4. Broil until pork and vegetables begin to char, 6 to 8 minutes. Toss vegetables, and turn pork; drizzle pork with 1 tablespoon honey.

5. Continue to broil until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of pork registers 145-150 degrees and vegetables are charred in spots, 6 to 8 minutes, tossing vegetables once more.

6. Remove from broiler. Cover with aluminum foil, and let rest, 10 minutes.

7. In a small bowl, make sauce: Stir together remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce and honey.

8. Thinly slice pork, and serve with vegetables, rice, and sauce.

Chicken Tamale Casserole

1 cup (4 ounces) preshredded 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese, divided
1/3 cup milk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn
1 (8.5-ounce) box corn muffin mix 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
Cooking spray
1 (10-ounce) can red enchilada sauce (such as Old El Paso)
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1/2 cup sour cream


1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Combine 1/4 cup cheese and next 7 ingredients (through chiles) in a large bowl, stirring just until moist. Pour mixture into a 13 x 9–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

3. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until set. Pierce entire surface liberally with a fork; pour enchilada sauce over top.

4. Top with chicken; sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese.

5. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes.

Serve with sour cream.

Week 8 Menu

This is going to be another semi-complete week, but there are some good recipes included. I'll give you our whole menu, but there won't be complete recipes for each day.

Sunday - Roasted Chicken, stuffing, candied carrots
Monday - Corned Beef, Cabbage, & Potatoes (in crock pot) - we have a Girl Scout Party on the 17th
Tuesday - Girls are eating pizza with the Brownies, we're having leftovers!
Wednesday - Chicken Tamale Casserole (this will use half the chicken left over from Sunday)
Thursday - Soy-Glazed Pork with Rice & Asian Vegetables (new recipe I haven't tried yet)
Friday - Italian, Beef, Bean & Vegetable Soup

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Italian Beef, Vegetable, & Bean Soup


3/4 pound ground sirloin
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 carrots, diced (should be about same amount as onion)
2 stalks celery, diced (should be about same amount as onion)
32 oz beef broth
1 15 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can kidney beans, undrained
1 15 oz can white beans (great Northern), undrained
about 1/2 pkg of baby spinach
about 1/2 of a 28 oz jar marinara sauce
approx 2 tsp Italian seasoning

cooked soup pasta of your choice (small shells, ditalini, etc) - start with about 1 cup uncooked pasta


1. Cook ground beef in large pot (you can use same pot you'll cook the soup in), breaking up

2. When no longer pink, remove meat from pan, and drain all but about 1 Tbl of the drippings

3. Add onions, carrot, celery, and salt and pepper, and cook until beginning to soften

4. Add broth and all other ingredients, except pasta to pot

5. Cook until vegetables are softened to your liking, probably about 1 hour. (you can also add everything to the crock pot at this point, and let it cook until you are ready to eat).

6. Add the cooked pasta right before serving.

Warning - this makes a lot. We froze half for another night!

Friday, March 13, 2009

bisquick chicken tenders


2/3 cup Bisquick mix
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt or Garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 - 1.25 lbs chicken tenderloins (or boneless breasts cut into strips)

1 egg, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted


1. Heat oven to 450ºF. Line cookie sheet with foil; spray with cooking spray.
2. Mix Bisquick mix, cheese, salt and paprika in 1-gallon resealable plastic food-storage bag. Dip half the chicken strips into egg; place in bag of Bisquick mixture. Seal bag; shake to coat. Place chicken on cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken. Drizzle butter over chicken.
3. Bake 12 to 14 minutes, turning after 6 minutes , until no longer pink in center.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Salmon Burgers

Warning - this one I really make as I go, so you are going to have to trust yourself a bit to make these....


2 pouches of flaked salmon (you'll find it by the tuna), drained
1 Tbl butter + more for cooking burgers
1/2 red pepper, very finely diced
about 1/4 sweet onion, very finely diced
1 large egg
bread crumbs
potato rolls (or hamburger bun of your choice)


1. In large non-stick pan, melt butter. Add peppers & onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook until soft. Set aside

2. In large bowl, add drained, flaked salmon. Add egg, mix well. Then add peppers, onions, and then enough mayonaise & bread crumbs to allow you to form the mixture into patties. You'll know when you have the ratio right... you will be able to form burgers!

3. In large skillet, melt a bit of butter and a bit of olive oil together over medium heat... enough to pan-fry the patties. Cook the burgers about 5 minutes a side.

4. Serve on hamburger rolls with tartar sauce.

Sausage, Peppers & Onions


1 pound mild italian sausage
1 red pepper cut in chunks
1 yellow (or orange) pepper cut in chunks
1 sweet onion cut in chunks
1 pkg pre-sliced, crimini mushrooms
1 jar pasta sauce of your choice


1. Place sausage links on foil lined baking sheet and cook at 350 for about 15 minutes

2. Cut sausage into 1 inch pieces

3. Place sauce, sausage, peppers & onions into crock-pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours (when there is about 2 hours left, add the mushrooms)

4. Serve over pasta of your choice

Cornflake/Parmesan Tilapia


4 tilapia fillets
1 large egg
cornflake crumbs
shredded parmesean cheese
salt, pepper, paprika
1 Tbl butter


In shallow bowl, scramble egg
In another shallow bowl, combine cornflake crumbs (about 1 cup), cheese (about 1/4 cup), salt, pepper, & paprika to taste.
Cut each fillet in half along the dark line that runs up the center.
Dip each piece of fish in egg, then crumb mixture.
Set aside

Heat oven to 375. Melt 1 Tbl of butter in pyrex baking dish. Place fish fillets in dish. Bake about 7 minutes on one side, then turn and continue baking until done, about 8 more minutes.

Note: You can also pan fry the fish.... melt some butter in large non-stick pan and cook on each side until cooked through. It will be more crispy, but you have to deal with more of a mess!

We ate this with tartar sauce!

week #7

It's a week of cooking with no recipes. So, I will do my best to explain to you what I do and you can see if you're up for cooking with no exact amounts. Not a big cooking week. I'll try to add more interesting things next week!

Sunday - Steak on the grill
Monday - Cornflake/Parmasean coated tilapia
Tuesday - Sausage, peppers, onions, mushrooms marinara (in crock-pot) with pasta
Wednesday - Salmon Burgers
Thursday - Bisquick Chicken Tenders

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Bacon Wrapped Chicken w/ Honey


1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup honey (a generous 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup apple juice
2 Tbl butter
bacon (enough to wrap around each chicken breast)


1. Combine honey, apple juice, & butter in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, simmer 2 minutes
2. Wrap each chicken breast in bacon (cover all the way).
3, Place chicken in baking dish and pour honey/juice mixture over
4. Bake 45 minutes at 350
5. Serve w/ rice pilaf. Pour the extra sauce in pan over rice & chicken

Chili Chicken Tacos


2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 6)
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 cup prepared tomato salsa, plus more for serving
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo (optional)
1 tablespoon chili powder
salt and ground pepper
8 hard corn taco shells
Toppings: Cilantro, shredded cheese, lime wedges, and sour cream, guacamole, etc


1. In slow cooker, combine chicken, garlic, salsa, chiles, chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and teaspoon pepper. Cover; cook on high, 4 hours (or on low, 8 hours).

2. Transfer chicken to a serving bowl, and shred, using two forks; moisten with cooking juices. Serve in taco shells, with toppings, if desired.

Eggplant Bolognese


8 Tlb olive oil
1 large eggplant (about 1 pound) peeled & cut into 1/2 pieces
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped
1 zucchini, quartered lenghtwise, then sliced
1 garlic clove. minced
salt & pepper
1 pound ground beef chuck
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1 Tbl dried oregano
1 pound rigatoni

1. In a Dutch oven or large (5-quart) saucepan with a lid, heat 6 tablespoons oil over medium-high. Add eggplant; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; set aside.

2. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to pan; reduce heat to medium. Add onion, bell pepper, zucchini, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables have softened, 7 to 10 minutes.

3. Add beef; cook, stirring and breaking up meat with a spoon, until no longer pink, 5 minutes.

4. Add tomatoes, oregano, and eggplant to beef-vegetable mixture; season with salt and pepper

5. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thick and eggplant is tender, about 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook pasta until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain; serve topped with sauce and, if desired, Parmesan.

Week 6 Menu

Here's the next week for you...

Sunday - Pasta with Eggplant Bolognese Sauce
Monday - Bacon Wrapped Chicken w/ Honey, rice pilaf, asparagus
Tuesday - the 2nd Tuna Casserole from the freezer (go back to week 4 for the recipe link)
Wednesday - Chili Chicken Tacos (crock pot recipe), mexican rice (recipe already given), black beans
Thursday - Pork Fried Rice (I'm using Trader Joe's veggie fried rice and adding to it)
Friday - pizza at Belmont Station sock hop (yum yum yum cold Domino's pizza, my favorite, hahaha)