Sunday, December 14, 2014

Classic Alfredo with Chicken & Broccoli

  • 1 lb boneless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
  • 6 tbsp butter, divided
  • 1 medium head of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 10 oz long pasta (fettuccine linguine, angel hair, etc)

  1. Over medium heat, melt 1 tbsp butter in a medium pan and cook chicken until no longer pink in the center (lightly season if desired); set aside
  2. Melt remaining 5 tbsp butter in a large saucepan on medium-low heat
  3. Add garlic, cream, and white pepper
  4. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring frequently
  5. Add Parmesan and simmer sauce for 10 minutes or until sauce has thickened and is smooth
  6. While sauce is simmering, prepare noodles as directed on package and adding broccoli to the pot 4 minutes before pasta is done
  7. Add mozzarella to the sauce and stir constantly until smooth
  8. Stir in chicken, noodles, and broccoli and mix well

My Thoughts:
This is mainly my Classic Alfredo recipe with chicken and broccoli added for a more "grown up" meal.  This recipe tastes amazing and is a family pleaser.

Source: Wood Cook Book

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Cream Cheese Blondies

  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 eggs, divided
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 (8 oz) block cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a stand mixer or large bowl, mix butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and 2 eggs until well blended
  3. In a separate medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt
  4. Add flour mixture into butter mixture in three parts, mixing well before adding the next until well combined
  5. Spread 2/3 of the batter in a greased 9x13 metal pan
  6. In a small bowl, mix together cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Beat in remaining egg until combined and spoon over batter
  7. Spoon remaining 1/3 of the original batter over the cream cheese mixture and swirl with a knife
  8. Bake 30-35 minutes or until batter is golden brown

My Thoughts:
This was the first blondie I have ever made, and the first time my husband has even had one ever.  His first reaction was "its okay, but there isn't any chocolate".  I wasn't initially impressed either...but the more I ate them, the more I came to really enjoy them.  These are defiantly worth trying, especially if you do not enjoy chocolate.

Source: Lil Luna

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Slow Cooker Jambalaya

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 lb smoked sausage, sliced
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 3 tbsp. dried onion flakes
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tsp dry oregano leaves
  • 2 tsp dry parsley leaves
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dry thyme
  • 1/2 lb raw shrimp, deveined and shell removed (optional)
  • 1 cup raw rice

  1. In a crock pot, combine all ingredients except shrimp and rice
  2. Cover and cook for 8 hours on low setting
  3. Prepare rice as directed on package
  4. Stir in rice and shrimp, cover and cook an additional 15 minutes or until shrimp is cooked

My Thoughts:
This recipe is a great jumping off point for creating your perfect meal.  You could do so much with this by adding different seasonings and changing things up.  We enjoyed the simplicity of the jambalaya and intend on making it again.  There is a slow burn that the cayenne gives off and we couldn't handle the amount that the original recipe called for, so if you like it hot, consider doubling the cayenne.

Source: adapted from Plain Chicken

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Bacon Cheeseburger Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/4 cup crushed French fried onions
  • 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese cubed (I only end up using 1/2-2/3 of block)
  • splash of pickle juice (optional, but HIGHLY recommended!)

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • In a medium-large bowl, combine meat, egg, flour, milk, bacon, fried onions, and pickle juice until thoroughly mixed
  • Shape meat around cheese cube (I find that leaving an opening at the top of the ball works best)
  • Place meatballs on foil-lined baking pan
  • Bake about 25 minutes or until cooked

My Thoughts:
Boy, are these amazing! I first made these without leaving an opening on the top of the ball, and all of the cheese ended up oozing out everywhere!  So, by leaving an opening at the top, the cheese doesn't break loose and you end up with a nice "glob" of melted cheese in the center of your meatball.  These meatballs have a nice crust on the outside and a great tenderness in the center.  The pickle juice REALLY adds to the meatball, I have tried it both ways and without that juice, it doesn't even compare.  

Source: CentsLess Deals

Red Garlic Mashed Potatoes

  • about 8 medium red potatoes, chopped in similar pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup warm half & half or milk (more if needed)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
  • black pepper, to taste
  • a couple dollops of sour cream (optional)
  1. Place sliced potatoes in large pot and fill with water to just cover the potatoes; salt if desired
  2. Bring to a boil and cover, reduce heat so it doesn't boil over and simmer for about 25 minutes or until tender; drain water
  3. Add in remaining ingredients and mash all together

My Thoughts:
These potatoes are comparable to Applebee's; the measurements are approximate so get creative lol, i have been making these for years

Source: from my mother, and probably morphed from there lol...its been too long to recollect

Red Beans & Rice

  • 1 (14 oz) package smoked sausage
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 (15 oz) can red beans, drained
  • creole seasoning
  • 1 cup brown rice, prepared as directed on package
  1. Slice sausage thinly
  2. Heat olive oil in a  large skillet over medium heat
  3. Add sausage to skillet and season with creole; and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally until lightly browned and sizzled
  4. Stir in beans until warmed through
  5. Serve over prepared rice

My Thoughts:
If you are looking for a filling yet inexpensive meal, this is the one to try!  This dish consists of very simple ingredients with simple flavors, and gets a nice kick from the creole seasoning.  Leftovers reheat well

Source: adapted from Kevin & Amanda

Monday, October 13, 2014

Garlic Parmesan Chicken & Spinach

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 lb boneless chicken breasts, cubed
  • seasoning blend or salt & pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 8 oz of spinach

  1. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat
  2. Stir in garlic and cook for about a minute
  3. Add in chicken and season as desired; cook until no longer pink in the center
  4. Stir in Parmesan cheese until melted
  5. Add spinach and stir until wilted and everything is combined
  6. Serve over brown rice, quinoa, or pasta

My Thoughts:
Healthy? Yes!  Boring? Maybe a little, but I enjoyed it.  This is a very simple recipe with simple ingredients but it has so much potential.  You can really play around with this dish, using different seasonings and other ingredients to make it the way you want.  Next time I think I may add a squeeze of lemon over the brown rice for a little zing.

Source: adapted from Simply Healthy Home