"Food is our common ground, a universal experience." ~ James Beard

February 22, 2011

Tiffany's Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken

This is, hands down, one of my favorite chicken recipes! The Prosciutto makes the dish, and I always serve with a steamed vegetable and homemade mashed red potatoes or steamed red potatoes.

6 thinly cut chicken breasts
8 thin slices - Prosciutto (I highly recommend Boar's Head)
1c. Mozzarella Cheese
1c. Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 sm. can chopped black olives
1 sm. package fresh basil (finely chopped)

1. In a small bowl, mix mozzarella, parmesan, black olives and basil until well blended.
2. On a plate, lay out one slice of prosciutto. Lay one raw chicken breast onto the prosciutto.
3. Spoon cheese / basil mixture on the chicken breast and wrap the sides of the prosciutto around the chicken (covering the cheese mixture) and place into greased cooking pan.
4. Repeat step #3 until all chicken breasts are in cooking pan.
5. This should leave you with two slices of Prosciutto, I normally lay these arcross the chicken in the pan and sprinkle any remaining cheese mixture on top for extra flavor.
6. Cook at 400 degrees for 25minutes or until juices run clear and there is no more pink.


Molly's Chicken Cordon Bleu

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 6 slices Swiss cheese

  • 4 slices cooked ham

  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat a 7x11 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
    2. Pound chicken breasts to 1/4 inch thickness.
    3. Sprinkle each piece of chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Place 1 cheese slice and 1 ham slice on top of each breast. Roll up each breast, and secure with a toothpick. Place in baking dish, and sprinkle chicken evenly with bread crumbs.
    4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from oven, and place 1/2 cheese slice on top of each breast. Return to oven for 3 to 5 minutes, or until cheese has melted. Remove toothpicks, and serve immediately.

    Molly's Cuban Midnight Sandwich

  • 1 cup mayonnaise

  • 5 tablespoons Italian dressing

  • 4 hoagie rolls, split lengthwise

  • 4 tablespoons prepared mustard

  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced deli turkey meat

  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced cooked ham

  • 1/2 pound thinly sliced Swiss cheese

  • 1 cup dill pickle slices

  • 1/2 cup olive oil

    1. In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise and Italian dressing. Spread mixture on hoagie rolls. Spread each roll with mustard. On each roll, arrange layers of turkey, ham, and cheese. Top each with dill pickle slices. Close sandwiches, and brush tops and bottoms with olive oil.
    2. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Place sandwiches in skillet. Cook sandwiches for 2 minutes, pressing down with a plate covered with aluminum foil. Flip, and cook for 2 more minutes, or until cheese is melted. Remove from heat, place on plates, and cut in half diagonally.

    Molly's Turkey-A-La-King

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 3 fresh mushrooms, sliced

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup chicken broth

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • 1 cup chopped cooked turkey

  • 1/3 cup frozen peas, thawed

  • salt and pepper to taste

  • In a large skillet over medium low heat, cook butter until golden brown. Saute mushrooms until tender. Stir in flour until smooth. Slowly whisk in chicken broth, and cook until slightly thickened. Stir in cream, turkey and peas. Reduce heat to low, and cook until thickened. Season with salt and pepper

    Molly's Candied Chicken Breasts

  • 10 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

  • 2 cups dry bread crumbs

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup prepared mustard

  • 1/2 cup ketchup

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1/4 cup grated onion

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 3/4 cup water

  • 10 pineapple rings

    1. Rinse chicken breasts and pat dry. In a shallow dish or bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, flour, oregano, 2 teaspoons salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat; dredge chicken in bread crumb mixture and brown in skillet, about 3 to 4 minutes each side. Layer chicken in 2 lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dishes.
    2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    3. In a large saucepan over low heat, combine the brown sugar, mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt and water. Bring to a boil, and pour over chicken. Cover baking dishes with aluminum foil.
    4. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear. Top each piece with a pineapple ring, and serve.

    Molly's Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole with Chicken

    This recipe definitely gets five stars from me!! We have made this several times because my kids are broccoli lovers and the plates are always spotless at the end of our meal!! This makes A LOT and its great for sharing with others if you have a small family, or super yummy leftovers the next day!

    *** NOTE: This is the recipe as is, but I made several changes when I made it for my family. I have included those changes next to each corresponding ingredient so that you can see the options!

  • 2 cups water

  • 2 cups uncooked instant rice

  • 2 (10 ounce) cans chunk chicken, drained (I used a rotisserie chicken that I shredded)

  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup

  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup

  • 1/4 cup butter

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1 (16 ounce) package frozen chopped broccoli (I used steamed broccoli)

  • 1 small white onion, chopped (I used a small sweet onion)

  • 1 pound processed cheese food (I used 1c. finely shredded sharp cheddar and 1c. finely shredded medium cheddar instead of processed cheese)

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    2. In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Mix in the instant rice, cover, and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes.
    3. In a 9x13 inch baking dish, mix the prepared rice, chicken, cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup, butter, milk, broccoli, onion, and processed cheese.
    4. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Stir halfway through cooking to help cheese melt evenly.

    Molly's Slow Cooker Chicken Stroganoff

    • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed
    • 1/8 cup margarine
    • 1 (.7 ounce) package dry Italian-style salad dressing mix
    • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
    • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
    1. Put chicken, margarine and dressing mix in slow cooker; mix together and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours.
    2. Add cream cheese and soup, mix together and cook on high for another 1/2 hour or until heated through and warm.

    Cindy's Best Lasagna Ever

    I love that this is our second Lasagna recipe! Keep in mind -- I said anything goes! I will put different variations of recipes on here so that people can choose to branch out or be as safe as they want to be when cooking! I especially loved this recipe because it calls for the use of a Dutch Oven!!

    1 pound sweet Italian sausage
    3/4 pound lean ground beef
    1/2 cup minced onion
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
    2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
    2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
    1/2 cup water
    2 tablespoons white sugar
    1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
    1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
    1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
    1 tablespoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
    12 lasagna noodles
    16 ounces ricotta cheese
    1 egg
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
    3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

    1. In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned.
    2. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water.
    3. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley.
    4. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
    5. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes.
    6. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water.
    7. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
    8. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
    9. To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.
    10. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture.
    11. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
    12. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
    13. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
    14. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

    Cindy's Vegetarian zucchini, rice and tomato casserole

    1 cup uncooked long grain rice
    3 medium zucchini, cut into 1/8-inch slices
    1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
    4 cups (16 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided - also great with Pepper Jack.
    2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
    2 tablespoons chopped green pepper
    2 tablespoons chopped onion
    1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    1 large tomato, sliced

    1. Cook rice according to package directions.
    2. In a large saucepan, cook zucchini in 1/2 in. of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 3-5 minutes or until zucchini is crisp-tender; drain and set aside.
    3. Place rice in a greased shallow 3-qt. baking dish. Layer with chilies and 1-1/2 cups cheese.
    4. In a large bowl, combine the sour cream, green pepper, onion, parsley, salt and oregano.
    5. Spread over cheese. Layer with zucchini and tomato. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
    6. Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes.
    7. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until heated through and cheese is melted. Yield: 12 servings.

    February 21, 2011

    Molly's Herb-Stuffed Red Peppers

    2 large sweet red peppers
    1/2 lb lean ground beed
    1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
    1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
    1tbsp dried parsley flakes
    3/4tsp salt
    1/8tsp cayenne pepper
    1/8tsp ground allspice
    1 can tomato sauce
    1/4 cup chicken broth
    2tsp balsalmic vinegar
    1 1/2tsp dried basil
    4tbsp grated parmesan or romano cheese, separated

    1. Cut tops off peppers; remove seeds. Place peppers cut side down on a microwave-safe plate, cover with plastic wrap.
    2. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes or until crisp-tender; set aside.
    3. In skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Remove from the heat.
    4. Stir in the rice, parsley, salt, sayenne and allspice.
    5. In a small saucepan, bring tomato sauce and broth to a boil.
    6. Stir in the vinegar, basil and 3tbsp of parmesan cheese; stir 1/2 cup sauce into rice mixture.
    7. Spoon into peppers. Place into a greased shallow 1-qt baking dish.
    8. Cover and bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
    9. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered for 5-10 minutes or until peppers are tender.
    10. Serve with remaining sauce.

    Molly's Scrumptious Lasanga

    1 lb. ground beef
    1 tbsp oil
    1 clove garlic minced
    3 tbsp parsley flakes - separated
    1 tsbp fresh finely chopped basil
    2 tsp salt
    1 qt tomates
    1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
    1 (10 oz.) pkg Lasagna noodles
    2 (12 oz) cottage cheese
    2 beaten eggs
    1 lb. Mozzarella cheese sliced (or grated. I buy the pre-grated stuff)
    1/2 tsp pepper
    1/2 c. parmesan

    1. Brown meat in olive oil.
    2. Add garlic, 1 tsp. parsley, basil, salt, tomatoes and tomato paste.
    3. Simmer uncovered for one hour.
    4. Combine cottage cheese (I used ricotta), eggs, pepper and remaining parsley in a separate bowl.
    5. In a buttered / greased 9x13 baking dish, arrange uncooked noodles, spread with half the ricotta cheese mixture, half mozzarella and half meat mixture.
    6. Repeat step #5
    7. Sprinkle parmesan on top. Cover tightly with heavy duty foil.
    8. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1hr.

    **cooking time can be cut down by pre-cooking the lasagna noodles!

    Jennifer's Lemon Spinach Pasta

    1 package angel hair pasta
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    2-3tbsp butter
    6oz fresh spinach
    Salt and pepper to taste

    1. Cook angel hair pasta according to directions.
    2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute' minced garlic with butter until tender.
    3. Add fresh spinach, the zest of one lemon, the juice of one lemon and salt and pepper to skillet.
    4. Cook 2-3minutes or until spinach is wilted.
    5. Drain pasta.
    6. Combine pasta and spinach mixture in a bowl - toss to coat.

    Jennifer's Pesto Olive Chicken

    When Jennifer sent me this recipe, I just had to try it. #1 - I'm a BIG fan of pesto! #2 - It was quick! My daughter was skeptical because she couldn't remember what pesto was. I tried to reassure her that it was good! Boy was I right -- Sophia licked her plate clean and Ella had seconds!! It was super yummy and will definitely be repeated over and over!

    2lbs thinly sliced chicken breasts
    1/2 cup pesto
    1 can chopped black olives
    8oz Provolone Cheese
    1 package spaghetti
    1 cup parmesan cheese
    2-3tbsp olive oil

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

    1. Place 2lbs thinly sliced chicken breasts into two 9x13 baking dishes. (I ended up using chicken tenders and only one baking dish since we have a smaller family).
    2. Spead 1/2 cup pesto evenly over chicken. (I used the refrigerated pesto sauce that is over by the cheese and refrigerated ravioli's)
    3. Spread chopped black olives over the top of the pesto sauce. Sprinkle shredded provolone cheese over the top (I also added about a handful of finely shredded mozzarella)
    4. Bake uncovered for 15minutes.
    5. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti according to instructions.
    6. Drain and put into large bowl. Add 2-3tbsp of olive oil and toss until evenly coated. Add 1/2cup - 1cup grated parmesan cheese. Toss until evenly coated (no large clumps).

    Serve chicken over the top of the parmesan spaghetti noodles and evenly spread pesto sauce over the top of the chicken and noodles. DIVINE!

    Jennifer's Chicken Azteca (Crock Pot Recipe)

    3 chicken breasts
    2 cups salsa
    1 can sweet corn (drained)
    2 cans black beans (rinsed and drained)
    8oz cream cheese
    Toppings as desired

    1. Place chicken breasts into crock pot.
    2. Cover chicken with salsa, corn and black beans.
    3. Cook on high 3-4hrs.
    4. Shred chicken with two forks, add cream cheese.
    5. Stir until melted, or leave covered about 30 minutes, then stir.
    6. Serve over rice!

    ***Great when topped with shredded cheese, diced tomatoes and diced avocados!

    Tiffany's Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

    This is my tried and true homemade chicken noodle soup recipe. I love it, I use it all the time and it is really, super easy!! GREAT for sore tummy's or cold winter days....so enjoy!

    1 Rotisserie Chicken
    2 thick, long carrots - chopped
    1 small - medium sweet onion - chopped
    1 large leek - thinly sliced
    Kosher Salt
    Ground Black Pepper
    1 package wide egg noodles
    2tbsp olive oil
    2-32oz carton's Swanson's Low-Sodium Chicken Broth

    1. In skillet, warm 2tbsp olive oil at medium heat. Add thinly sliced leeks to the olive oil and stir, approx. 2-3 minutes or until softened.
    2. Pour broth into a large pot, and turn on high heat. Add chopped onion and carrots to begin cooking.
    3. Meanwhile, shred chicken into preferred size and add to broth. Turn down to medium heat.
    4. Add leeks and stir in. Add salt and pepper to preferred taste.
    5. Add noodles to broth and let cook. (if noodles are not covered by broth, add water - 1cup at a time until just covered)
    6. Serve once noodles are soft.

    **We usually serve this with Panera's Sesame loaf -- YUM!

    February 20, 2011

    Alton's Baked Mac N' Cheese

    This is my favorite baked homemade mac'n'cheese recipe thus far...looks complicated, but its really easy and the leftovers are superb!

    1/2lb elbow macaroni
    3tbsp butter
    3tbsp flour
    1tbsp powdered mustard
    3 cups milk
    1/2 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
    2 bay leaves
    1/2 tsp paprika
    1 large egg
    12oz shredded sharp cheddar
    1tsp kosher salt
    fresh black pepper

    3tbsp butter
    1 cup panko bread crumbs

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
    2. In large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta to al dente.
    3. While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it is free of clumps.
    4. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaves and paprika.
    5. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaves.
    6. Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
    7. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2qt cassarole dish. top with remaining cheese.
    8. Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs.
    9. Bake for 30 minutes!

    ***To temper an egg, you whisk an egg in a bowl with 1/4 cup of the hot liquid you are working with (in this case, the milk mixture). Whisk until fully blended and add into the milk mixture while continuing to stir so that the egg blends smoothly into the mixture and does not thicken up.

    Beef Tips and Noodles

    1lb Sirloin tips, cubed
    2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup
    1 package of Lipton's Beefy Onion Soup (dry mix)
    1 cup water
    1 package wide egg noodles

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    2. Combine cream of mushroom soup, water, and package of lipton's beefy onion soup until well blended. Add raw sirloin tips and mix until completely covered.
    3. Pour into deep greased 8x8 pan or 9x13 pan. Bake for 40-45minutes
    4. Serve over cooked egg noodles.

    Easy Swedish Apple Pie

    **This is my most favorite apple pie recipe and I have made it every year for the past three years at Thanksgiving!! Has been a HUGE hit!

    1 1/2lbs Granny Smith Apples (I usually buy 1/2 granny smith and 1/2 of the really light green apples for contrast) -- peeled, cored and thinly sliced
    1tbsp Sugar
    1 cup Sugar (yes, two separate measurements!) -- I usually do 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar
    1 cup Flour
    1tsp Cinnamon (I LOVE Starbucks Brand Cinnamon)
    3/4 cup melted butter
    1 egg
    1-2 Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Roll out your pie crust and place into pie plate (do not fold edges)
    3. Toss peeled, cored and THINLY sliced apples with 1tbsp of sugar, and pour them into pie plate.
    4. Thoroughly mix together 1 cup sugar (1/2 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar) with the flour, cinnamon, butter and egg. This will create a thick textured filling, let sit at room temperature for about five minutes to smooth out a bit on its own.
    5. Spread this mixture evenly over the top of your apples (do not worry about the bottom apples, it will melt and seep through during the baking process)
    6. you have the option of just folding the edges and cooking as is or creating a top pie crust (which I normally do). We do the basket weave option because all other options have proven the apples do not bake evenly and the crust stays mushy. Basket weave is perfect and you can brush egg white onto the pie crust before baking to get that beautiful golden brown color! Once I have laid out the basket-weave pie crust, I then fold up the edges to secure the sides (so that the filling doesn't run out)
    7. Bake in preheated oven until the apples have cooked and the topping is golden brown, about 40-45 minutes.

    ***Be prepared to have your house smell like heaven, your stomach growling to no end and many many thanks and smiles while it is eaten!!

    Courtney's Chicken & Dumplings

    1 Rotiserrie Chicken
    1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
    1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
    1 can Chicken Broth
    2 cans Crescent Rolls

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    2. Peel apart chicken (pieces can be as big or small as you like, but you will be stuffing them into the crescent rolls!)
    3. Roll out each crescent roll (triangle piece) and place chicken in the middle of the top (widest) section....roll up as you would normally roll up a crescent but roll into a ball at the end to close up the ends.
    4. Mix chicken broth, cream of chicken soup and cream of mushroom soup in mixing bowl until smooth.
    5. Place each dumpling into greased / buttered 9x13 pan.
    6. Pour soup mixture evenly over the top of the dumplings. With a spoon, make sure to use mixture to cover the TOP of every dumpling to prevent excessive browning.
    7. Bake 25-30 minutes.

    ****optional: if you have remaining crescent roll dough to use, you can tear into strips and lay basket-weave style on top for a "crust" (may require a few more minutes to cook)

    February 19, 2011

    How to Make Creme Fraiche

    This is a link to an article that my cousin Molly sent to me! A couple of my recipes have called for Creme Fraiche and she was right, it can be pricey. I can usually find mine at QFC or Fred Meyers in their Gourmet Cheese section for between $3 - $5 per tub. So enjoy...love making things from scratch!!


    For those of you who pay attention, yes, we did talk about this back in August. I just feel like minds weren't sufficiently blown that time around. Certainly, mine wasn't, so I thought I'd share my feelings on the matter....

    Cauliflower-Onion Linguine

    I made this tonight because it said it only took 10 minutes....seriously, this is a SUPER yummy recipe! Very quick, very light so it would also be perfect for Summer! Adam doesn't care for cauliflower but loved this -- it will be repeated! (Ella even asked for more cheese....MORE CHEESE!?! Could we possibly be passing the no-melty cheese phase?!?!) This really did only take me about 10-15 minutes. I was moving a little slower today because I've never made it before and I've got a cold. Definitely do not skip the red pepper flakes. I did a whole teaspoon and it added the perfect amount of kick without making it too spicy for the kids!!

    {Please let me know if you try it..I would love to hear what you think!}


    Kosher salt
    12 ounces linguine
    4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
    1/2 cup fried onions, chopped
    4 cups cauliflower florets, roughly chopped
    1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
    1/4 cup pine nuts


    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta. Return to the pot and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil.

    Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook about 30 seconds. Add the panko and fried onions and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate; wipe out the skillet.

    Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower and cook until the edges brown, about 4 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and toast 30 seconds. Add the reserved pasta water and cook until the liquid is reduced by half and the cauliflower is crisp-tender, about 1 more minute.
    Add the pasta, onion mixture and parmesan to the skillet and toss. Season with salt. (I skipped the extra salt)Top with the basil, pine nuts and more parmesan.

    Lasagna-Style Baked Ziti

    Tried a new recipe a couple of weeks ago and repeated it lastnight....such yummy goodness!! Its lasagna meets baked ziti and I love the combination!! Makes a lot -- one batch usually means leftovers for three people in our house!! It really is an easy recipe and they say you can make this and put it into the freezer for a make-ahead pasta dish. Why anyone would want to make this and then put it away is beyond me...because it makes my house smell amazing and by the time the cheese is melting, my mouth is watering!

    If you try it -- you have to tell me how you like it! =)


    12 ounces ziti (about 4 cups)
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 large onion, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    1/2 pound lean ground beef
    kosher salt and black pepper
    1 26-ounce jar marinara sauce
    1 bunch spinach, thick stems removed (about 4 cups)
    1/2 cup ricotta
    1/2 cup grated Parmesan (2 ounces)
    1 cup grated mozzarella (4 ounces)


    1.Heat oven to 400° F. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain it and return it to the pot.
    2.Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, 4 to 5 minutes.
    3.Add the beef, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon until it’s no longer pink, 5 to 6 minutes.
    4.Toss the pasta with the meat mixture, marinara sauce, spinach, ricotta, and ¼ cup of the Parmesan.
    5.Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or 4 large ramekins. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and the remaining ¼ cup of the Parmesan. Bake until the cheese melts, 12 to 15 minutes.

    Meatball Soup with Escarole and Orzo

     I must pass along this recipe because it is truly one of a kind! Not only is it healthy (about 280 calories per serving and 22 grams of protein per serving!!) but its divine and my house smells like Olive Garden. The home-made meatballs have my mouth watering....I'm excited to see what the mint adds to the flavor of them! If you try it out, please let me know what you think ~ this will definitely be one of our family favorites this season!

    (this is how to clean and slice a leek ~ I've never used them before and this video made me feel kind of like an idiot when I realized how easy it was. But when Adam and I looked at eachother and asked how to use it...I knew we were in trouble!)

    and this is escarole.....I'd never seen it before and Adam, the produce guy, always thought this was green leaf lettuce! who knew!?




    1 pound 95 percent lean ground beef
    1 egg
    1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
    1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

    1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 tablespoon lemon zest
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper


    2 teaspoons olive oil
    2 leeks, cleaned and sliced
    1 rib celery, sliced
    3 cans (14.5 ounces each) low-sodium chicken broth
    1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
    1 small head escarole, chopped (about 6 cups)
    1/2 cup uncooked orzo
    2 teaspoons lemon juice
    1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce


    1. Meatballs: In a large bowl, combine beef, egg, bread crumbs, mint, parsley, garlic, lemon zest, salt and black pepper. Stir to mix well. Using your hands or a small scoop, shape the mixture into about 36 meatballs using about 1 heaping tablespoon for each.

    2. Soup: Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add leeks and celery and cook 5 minutes, stirring often, until softened.
    3. Stir in the broth, tomatoes and escarole and bring to a boil. Stir in the orzo and return to a boil. Carefully drop in the meatballs and return to a boil.

    4. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook about 18 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the orzo is tender and the meatballs are cooked through. Stir in lemon juice and hot pepper sauce

    Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Salad


    Tonight, because of the lovely 100 degree weather, I opted for a warm-weather dinner idea. I recently received this recipe from FoodNetwork.com and had to try it! Definitely taught me some things because I've never peeled a roasted red pepper, nor have I ever used the broiler before!! I thought I would share, because it was absolutely YUMMY!! We ate it with pulled roasted chicken, and had enough leftovers for two people after feeding the four of us! Only took me 20 minutes! (even Ella agreed and asked that I make it more often -- score!)

    Kosher salt
    12 ounces mezzi rigatoni or other short tube-shaped pasta
    2 bell peppers (red and/or yellow), halved, stemmed and seeded
    6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
    1/4 cup almonds
    1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    1 lemon
    8 ounces bocconcini (small mozzarella balls)
    1 bunch fresh basil, leaves torn
    Freshly ground pepper


    Preheat the broiler. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Shake off the excess water.

    Meanwhile, place the bell peppers cut-side down on a foil-lined broiler pan, add the garlic and broil until charred, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer the peppers to a bowl, cover and set aside about 5 minutes.

    Heat a dry skillet over medium-high heat. Add the almonds and toast, shaking the pan, 4 to 5 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop.

    Squeeze the garlic from its skin onto a cutting board. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt; mince and mash the garlic into a paste with a large knife. Peel the roasted peppers and slice into strips; transfer to a large bowl. Add the garlic paste and drizzle with the olive oil. Finely grate about 1 teaspoon lemon zest into the bowl and squeeze in all of the lemon juice. Add the bocconcini, basil, almonds, pasta, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste; toss.

    Per serving: Calories 731; Fat 37 g (Saturated 11 g); Cholesterol 41 mg; Sodium 845 mg; Carbohydrate 73 g; Fiber 6 g; Protein 26 g

    Grilled Chicken with Fresh Basil Dressing

    I am loving all of these new recipes that I am finding!! We finally fired up the grill this past weekend after getting a handle on our new neighbors ~ the mosquitos! We've been doing the usual, burgers & hot dogs, so I decided to peruse the good old recipe bin in my email and find something tasty to try! This caught my eye because I LOVE fresh basil, so this is the one we attempted and it was a HUGE hit! This pretty much sums up the experience:
    1. Hand Adam raw marinated chicken and instructions to grill and the man is very happy!
    2. Pulling out the food processor will always make Ella want to help in the kitchen...(is being destructive a good thing!?)
    3. Ella will lick her plate clean if you put basil dressing on her food...and if you make au gratin potatoes!
    4. Sophia will eat grilled chicken...or any form of chicken...with slurping noises and all, while its still hot!
    5. I will hear proclaimed at the end of our meal, "this was the VERY best dinner I have ever had Mom, THANKS!"...and without even having to remind her of her manners...this is a big deal people!


    2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus 1/4 cup
    1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds, coarsely crushed
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    3 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
    3 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
    1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
    1 large garlic clove
    1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

    Whisk 1/3 cup of oil, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, fennel seeds, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper in a resalable plastic bag. Add the chicken and seal the bag. Massage the marinade into the chicken. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day, turning the chicken occasionally.

    Meanwhile, blend the basil, garlic, lemon peel, remaining 1/4 cup lemon juice, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a blender until smooth. Gradually blend in the remaining 1/3 cup oil. Season the basil sauce, to taste, with more salt and pepper, if desired.

    Prepare the barbecue for medium-high heat or preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from the marinade. Discard the marinade. Grill the chicken until just cooked through, about 8 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to serving plates, drizzle with the basil sauce and serve.

    Grilled Lemon and Herb Chicken with Mash

    2lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes
    3 Small Ripe Roma Tomatoes
    1 Large Bunch - Fresh Basil
    1 Small Bunch - Scallions
    1 Medium - Fresh Red Chile
    7oz Frozen Sweet Corn
    2 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
    4 Boneless / Skinless Chicken Breast (thawed)
    1 Lemon
    1 Pat Butter
    Olive Oil
    Salt & Pepper

    1. Put the water on to boil. Cut any large potatoes in half. Add a pinch of salt, and once boiling add the potatoes. Cook for 15 minutes until tender, meanwhile....
    2. Roughly chop the tomatoes and basil leaves. Trim and finely slice the scallions. De seed and finely chop your Chile. Put all these ingredients into a mixing bowl.
    3. Add a few lugs of olive oil and the red wine vinegar to the bowl and mix well. Have a taste and season with salt and pepper, then put to one side.
    4. With a small knife, carefully score the underside of each chicken breast in a criss-cross fashion, then season with a little salt and pepper.
    5. Lay your chicken, cut side down, next to each other on a cutting board and cover with plastic wrap. Bash the breasts with a heavy-bottom pan until they are 1/2 inch thick. (I used a meat tenderizer)
    6. Get rid of the plastic wrap, then finely grate the zest of a lemon of the breasts and drizzle them with olive oil. Pick the thyme leaves and scatter these over too.
    7. A few minutes before your potatoes are cooked, add the sweetcorn to the pan and simmer until cooked through.
    8. Get a frying pan on medium heat, and once hot, add a splash of olive oil (1 tbsp).
    9. Add the chicken breasts to the pan and cook for 3 minutes on each side until golden and cooked through.
    10. When they're done, drain your potatoes and sweetcorn in a colander and leave to steam dry for a couple of minutes, then return to the hot pan. Add a pat of butter and season with salt and pepper.
    11. Gently crush the potatoes with a potato masher, then pop the lid on so they stay warm.
    12. Divide your mash between your plates, then top each portion with a lovely golden chicken breast. Squeeze over a little lemon juice.
    13. Spoon a good dollop of your tomato relish over each breast and drizzle with a dash of extra virgin olive oil. (we skipped the extra olive oil part).

    Looks like a lot of steps, but that is only because you are doing these at the same time. I followed each step, in order - and we had a VERY delicious meal! SOOO happy and very much worth the $4.99 I paid for the app. It comes with videos and sound bites to keep your attention, and under each step, lets you know the ingredients you will be using. Fool proof -- just the way I like it!!

    Bacon and Asparagus Pappardelle

    The Finished Product ~ So delicious!!

    1lb dried Pappardelle Pasta (we used fettucini)
    8 slices Smoked Streaky Bacon (the best you can afford)
    1 medium bunch Asparagus
    4 heaped tbsp Creme Fraiche
    2oz Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese
    Olive Oil

    1. Fill your kettle and put it on to boil. Place the frying pan on medium heat.
    2. Cook your pappardelle in boiling salted water according to the package instructions. Give it an occasional stir to make sure the pasta isn't sticking together. Meanwhile..
    3. Roughly chop the bacon and add to the hot frying pan with a splash of olive oil. Fry until crispy and golden then turn the heat off and leave to cool slightly. Meanwhile..
    4. Snap the woody bases off the bottom of the asparagus spears and discard, then thinly slice the tender stems leaving the tips whole.
    5. Add the creme fraiche to the pan of bacon and mix together. Leave for now.
    6. Finely grate the Parmesan and put to one side.
    7. About a minute before the pasta is ready, add the sliced asparagus stalks and tips to the pan to quickly cook.
    8. When your pasta and asparagus are done, scoop out a cupful of the water for later, then drain everything in a colander.
    9. Tip the pasta and aspargus into the frying pan with the bacon and creme fraiche. Throw in half of your grated parmesan and stir everything together.
    10. If the sauce is too thick for your liking, add a splash or two of your reserved cooking water to thin it out slightly.
    11. Taste and season with a good pinch of salt and pepper. (we skipped the extra seasoning and just garnished with the rest of the parmesan cheese

    Crunchy Parmesan Chicken

    1/2 cup butter or margerine, melted
    1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
    1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp pepper
    1 cup buttery crackers (crumbled) - we used 1pkg club crackers
    1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
    8 chicken tenders, thawed

    1. Stir together first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Combine cracker crumbs and cheese in a shallow bowl (pie pan).
    2. Dip chicken in butter mixture; dredge in cracker crumb mixture. Place on an aluminum foil-lined 9x13 baking pan.
    3. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until chicken is brown and done.

    I serve this with steamed yukon gold potatoes and sweet corn. SOO YUMMY! Hope you enjoy!


    This is a blog created for those love food! You can contribute, read, take, use...do whatever you like! This is an open forum for contributing to one place that will house our many yummy recipes! I am a foodie at heart and love nothing more than having my girls chasing eachother around the kitchen island while I try to master a new recipe. There is a lot to be said about the traditional family dinner, around an actual table, enjoying the fruits of your labor and some great conversation. So pull up a chair....and stay awhile....