Farfalle with Mushrooms and Spinach

Farfalle with Mushroom and Spinach.1

On Sundays I typically like to make a meal that I bring for the whole week to work, so pasta is usually a good bet for me. ¬†I feel a little healthy eating this dish because of the mushrooms and spinach, so it kind of cancels out the pasta ūüôā ¬†I found this lovely recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, but adjusted it for myself.

Farfalle with Mushrooms and Spinach

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 8 oz. dried farfalle (bow tie) pasta
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 1/3 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup sliced portobello or other fresh mushroom
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a pot, cook the pasta according to directions.
  • In the meanwhile, heat EVOO in a large skillet over medium heat. ¬†Add the onion and mushrooms and cook for about 3 minutes, or until mushrooms are nearly tender. ¬†Add the garlic within the last 30 seconds and stir.
  • Stir in spinach, thyme, and pepper, cooking for about 1 minute or until heated through and spinach is slightly wilted.
  • Stir in cooked pasta; toss gently to mix. ¬†Sprinkle with cheese.

Farfalle with Mushroom and Spinach.2

Loaded Nachos

Loaded Nachos

Scott and I felt like being rebels and had some loaded nachos as dinner.  I know, I know, this is an appetizer for a little get-together, not an actual meal!  What were we thinking!  But it was great, especially with an ice cold beer.  We ate like kings!  You could easily add some shredded chicken or ground beef to this, but we opted out of any meat.

Loaded Nachos

INGREDIENTS

  • Tostitos Rounds chips
  • Mexican cheese blend
  • 1/4 cup bottled salsa
  • Refried beans
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole
  • Pickled jalapenos

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Set your oven to 350 F. ¬†Place chips on a cookie sheet in a single layer; add the cheese, bottled salsa, and beans to the chips.
  • Bake for 10 minutes. ¬†When it’s done, add the sour cream, guacamole, and pickled jalape√Īos.

Spanish Rice

Spanish Rice

This is a go to Spanish rice recipe for me and I found it over at jamiecooksitup.com. ¬†I love that she adds bell peppers to hers, yum! ¬†The only thing I didn’t do was add the cheese to it, even though it’s amazing with it, but for most days that I want Spanish rice, I prefer it without. ¬†Give it a try either way because you won’t be disappointed!

Spanish Rice

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped red, orange, and yellow bell pepper
  • 2 cups rinsed white rice
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 3 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Heat a large deep skillet over medium-heat; add butter and let melt
  • Add the onion and peppers and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent. ¬†Add the garlic and cook for 15 seconds.
  • Add the rice and stir for about 10 seconds
  • Add the tomato sauce, chicken broth, and cumin and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and place the lid over the pan. ¬†Simmer for 15 minutes.
  • After the minutes are up, with the lid still on, remove the pot from the heat and let sit for 15 minutes.
  • Open the lid, fluff the rice, sprinkle with salt and pepper; serve.

Shredded Chicken Burrito

Shredded Chicken Burrito

Last night I felt like I was on an episode of Chopped. ¬†I knew I wanted to make chicken burritos, but didn’t have a plan for the entire burrito. ¬†So I looked around at what sounded good, made some magic happen, and it was a hit! ¬†I tentatively brought the burrito over to Scott and asked how he liked it, and trust me, Scott is my toughest food critic…he liked it! ¬†I knew I had a winner for sure on my hands at that point. ¬†Woo hoo! ¬†On top of that, it’s a snap to make.

Shredded Chicken Burrito

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 1 tsp fajita seasoning
  • 1 tbsp Fritos Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese Dip
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup whole pinto beans, drained
  • 1/3 cup Tostitos Medium Chunky Salsa
  • Medium flour tortillas
  • Mexican cheese blend

INSTRUCTIONS FOR CHICKEN

  • Clean your chicken by running it under water for a little bit, bring it to your chicken only cutting board, and cut away any fat pieces
  • Place the chicken in a pot and add cold water to the pot until it‚Äôs about halfway full
  • Add ¬Ĺ tsp salt to water, then cook for 15 minutes
  • Take chicken out with tongs and place on a clean surface and shred it with one hand holding the chicken down with your tongs and a fork in the other hand actually doing the shredding

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Set your oven to 350 F. ¬†Place the tortillas in for 10 minutes to warm
  • In a large bowl, add all of the ingredients and mix
  • Take tortillas out of the oven and add 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture onto each tortilla near one edge. ¬†Fold in sides of tortilla, roll up, starting from edge with filling. ¬†Place the tortillas seam sides down in a greased baking dish and cook for 10 minutes. ¬†Sprinkle with cheese on top during the last 2 minutes.

 

  • Optional Toppings: sour cream, salsa, guacamole

Cilantro Lime Chicken

Cilantro Lime Chicken

I was feeling like having some Mexican food today, so I whipped up a quick meal that I found on ourlifeinthekitchen.com.  I made a few adjustments to it, such as adding paprika, salt and pepper to the chicken.  I also cooked the chicken longer because I wanted a char on it, but the instructions will be for a normal cook time!

Cilantro Lime Chicken

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

Directions

  • Pour EVOO into a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat. ¬†Add chicken and cook¬†about 8 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add lime juice once chicken is cooked through. ¬†Lightly stir the browned bits from the pan. ¬†Place chicken onto plate or bowl and sprinkle with cilantro.

This recipe goes great with Spanish Rice!

Grilled Shrimp Cocktail

Grilled Shrimp Cocktail

What’s more fun than having some good friends over in the summertime and enjoying good food? ¬†I don’t know about you, but I happen to really, really like shrimp. ¬†And I’ve been really, really craving it lately. ¬†This recipe is quick and easy, so that makes it a perfect appetizer on a hot day! ¬†I found the recipe in Food Network Kitchens Favorite Recipes. ¬†Yum!

Grilled Shrimp Cocktail

  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Oil or melted butter for grilling
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lime
  • 2 cups packed fresh cilantro (leaves and some stems)
  • 1 cup packed fresh parsley (leaves and some stems)
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup EVOO
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

Directions

  • Preheat a grill pan on medium-high. ¬†Toss shrimp with just enough oil or butter to coat lightly, then season with salt and pepper to taste. ¬†Grill shrimp until they just curl and are translucent, about 1 1/2 minutes on each side. ¬†Squeeze lime juice over the shrimp and serve warm or at room temperature with dip.
  • For the pesto, combine the cilantro, parsley, almonds, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. ¬†Add about 1/3 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. ¬†Add the salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper. ¬†Serve immediately with the grilled shrimp.

Summer Vegetables with Sausage and Potatoes

Summer Vegetabls with Sausage and Potatoes

Summer is here and I think it’s time for a refreshingly light meal. ¬†I found this delicious recipe over at skinnytaste.com and am so glad I did.

Summer Vegetables with Sausage and Potatoes

  • 1 lb baby red potatoes, quartered
  • 2 tsp EVOO
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • 14 oz Italian chicken sausage, sliced 1-inch thick
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, smashed with the side of the knife
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, diced 1-inch squares
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced 1-inch squares
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced 1-inch squares
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary (or other fresh herb such as thyme)
  • 2 cups zucchini, 1/2 inch thick and quartered

Directions

  • Heat a large, deep non-stick skillet on high and add EVOO. ¬†Add potatoes and season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. ¬†Once the potatoes start to sizzle, reduce heat to low; place lid on pan and continue cooking for 20-25 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to prevent potatoes from burning. ¬†Remove from heat; let sit 5 minutes with lid still on. ¬†Set potatoes aside on a dish.
  • Heat the same skillet on medium-heat and add the sausage to it. ¬†Saute the sausage and stir occasionally for about 10 minutes or until browned. ¬†Season the chopped vegetables with salt and pepper. ¬†Add onions, peppers, garlic and rosemary to the skillet and stir until vegetables are slightly browned. ¬†Add zucchini until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  • Return potatoes back to skillet and mix everything up well. ¬†Add salt and pepper as needed. ¬†Cover and cook 5 minutes.

 

Cajun Chicken Pasta

Cajun Chicken Pasta.1

I love cajun chicken pasta…wherever I go. ¬†Whether it’s Cheesecake Factory, Chili’s, or TGI Friday’s. ¬†I love it. ¬†Spices are amazing to me. ¬†So I thought rather than always being tempted to get the cajun chicken pasta at other restaurants that I would start making it myself and try different things more often! ¬†This is so good, every time. ¬†It’s just not something I could get tired of ‚̧

Cajun Chicken Pasta

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 3 small colored sweet bell peppers, sliced into strips (I used yellow, orange, and red)
  • 3 tbsp cajun seasoning (2 for chicken, 1 for sauce later)
  • 3 tbsp garlic powder (2 for chicken, 1 for sauce later)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 8 oz. penne pasta
  • 2 green onions, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Heat a deep skillet on medium-high heat and add EVOO to it. ¬†Once heated, place chicken, sweet bell peppers, 2 tbsp cajun seasoning, and 2 tbsp garlic powder to it and cook for about 8 minutes, or until the chicken is golden brown.
  • Add chicken broth, half and half, the rest of the cajun seasoning, the rest of the garlic powder, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper. ¬†Give it a stir and bring to boil. ¬†Once it’s boiling, simmer it and place a lid on top and cook for about 10-12 minutes. ¬†Add the sliced green onions at the very end and serve.

Cajun Chicken Pasta.2

Chicken Marsala

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This fabulous recipe comes from the none other Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. ¬†I’m just nuts over this sauce!

Chicken Marsala

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry Marsala
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups sliced fresh button or cremini mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped shallot
  • Hot cooked pasta (optional)
  • Snipped fresh Italian parsley

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a shallow dish, stir together flour, thyme, salt, and pepper; set¬†aside. ¬†Place each chicken breast half between two pieces of plastic wrap. ¬†Using the flat side of a meat mallet, pound chicken lightly to about 1/4 inch thick. ¬†Discard plastic wrap. ¬†Coat chicken pieces with flour mixture; shake off excess.
  • In a small bowl whisk together any remaining flour mixture, the broth, and Marsala; set aside.
  • In a large skillet, cook chicken in 1 tablespoon of the butter and the olive oil over medium-high heat for 4 to 6 minutes or until no longer pink, turning once. ¬†Transfer chicken to a platter; cover with foil to keep warm.
  • Add mushrooms and shallot to skillet; cook for 6 to 8 minutes until tender. ¬†Remove skillet from heat. ¬†Carefully add Marsala mixture to skillet. ¬†Return to heat. ¬†Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. ¬†Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter until incorporated. ¬†If desired, serve over pasta. ¬†Spoon mushroom sauce over chicken. ¬†Sprinkle with parsley.

Monte Cristos

Monte Cristo with turkey and cranberry sauce

I was craving an indulgent sandwich and what better one than a Monte Cristos? ¬†Nom nom! ¬†I found this recipe in Food Network Kitchens Favorite Recipes cookbook. ¬†Unfortunately I couldn’t find challah bread, so I improvised with another thick bread I found. ¬†It still tasted great, though!

Monte Cristos

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 8 slices (preferably) challah bread (about 1 inch thick)
  • 6 ounces sliced Muenster cheese
  • 12 ounces thinly sliced cooked turkey breast
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2/3 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Mix the mustard and mayonnaise together in a small bowl. ¬†Lay the bread on a work surface and spread about 1 tablespoon of the mustard mixture on one side of each piece.
  • Lay the cheese on half of the bread slices, top with the turkey, and season with salt and pepper to taste. ¬†Spread the cranberry sauce on the remaining 4 bread slices and close the sandwiches, pressing each one together slightly.
  • In a pie plate or other shallow dish, whisk the eggs with the milk and salt and pepper to taste. ¬†Heat 2 large skillets over medium low heat and divide the butter between them. ¬†Dip each sandwich in the egg mixture to coat completely – including the sides. ¬†Lay 2 sandwiches in each skillet and cook until bread is golden brown and cheese has melted, turning once, about 5 minutes per side. ¬†Halve and serve immediately.